Serious suggestion to Sega: have all difficulty modes available right from the start
There's no reason to continue this archaic tradition of having higher difficulty modes unlocked, especially because:
1. hard mode isn't difficult, especially considering you can carry a crazy number of potions in Yakuza
2. it's a long title, not an 8-hour one.
Also factor in the simple fact that this would be relatively easy to implement.
Is there any among us who actually likes unlocking difficulty modes? I believe even if there is, they're very few, mostly liking it for the replay factor (I try to finish most content in one go), and the rest of us either don't care or don't like this way. A good example of this matter done about right comes to mind: the Mass Effect games. Although for some reason the difficulty modes span a long way with the ultimate "insanity" still not even up to par to what you would call the 90s "hard" (next up from normal), the important thing is that all the difficulty modes are available right from the start. My gaming experience would be seriously hindered by having to play through a lesser difficulty mode, because I don't like replaying the game just for the slightly increased challenge. Who does, just for that.
To those who question my liking of difficulty: I don't pride myself in being any good, and I always die a lot, but I enjoy the challenge. The more the better, though something like I Wanna Be The Guy takes it too far with the so-called "cheap deaths" which pretty much make the game as the rumba starts the moment you start the game. Again, I think everybody suck as bad when playing a new title for the first time, I just enjoy dying and trying again, over and over again.
Games that offer no difficulty modes; I find very bland. Assassin's Creed for example. The series would be miles better if they just offered a higher challenge. That's what I enjoy, being given an actual challenge and not a button-mashing scene. I don't play games solely for this factor, I factor in the story and other things as well. But it's pivotal to gameplay in my opinion. "Interaction" as gameplay just isn't the same as challenge as gameplay. If one were to Google "Assassin's Creed + difficulty" one would find lots of people who share my thoughts. The series is good regardless, but it's brought down a level for this reason.
Tl;dr: no reason not to have all the difficulty modes unlocked right from the start.
I don't think they'll listen to your suggestion (I personally don't agree with it either, because I like the feeling of unlocking something.)
Well they could always make even hard mode an unlockable. Then again you have to play through it to get to ex-hard.
Or maybe we could start off at easy. Then progress to normal. Then to hard. Then to ex-hard. You seriously enjoy this train of thought? I know I'm being spiteful but geez, it's difficulty levels. It shouldn't be something to be unlocked.