SEGA and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio have revealed that Judgement, the Yakuza spin-off title, is coming to Stadia, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series consoles on April 23rd, 2021 with multiple enhancements at an affordable cost.Continue reading
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is set to launch on November 10th, 2020, for all current-gen platforms with next-gen coming in early 2021. Are you ready to channel your inner dragon?Continue reading
SEGA of America and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has revealed that the first three Yakuza titles will be coming to Xbox One, Windows 10, and Xbox Game Pass for both platforms in 2020. You can expect quite a bit and it’s time to get our hands a little dirty.
+Extremely well-written stories that unfold throughout the course of the game
+Character development and backstory is spot-on, allowing for fans new and old to enjoy the story as it unfolds
+Combat and experience earning has been completely re-worked
+Minigames such as Virtua Fighter 5 and Puyo Puyo minigames are an absolute delight to play
-Combat steel feels a bit dated, but the improvements definitely take away from past frustrations.
Since the launch of Yakuza Zero and Yakuza Kiwami, I’ve been in a tricky spot with the Yakuza series. I’ve had little experience with the games outside of the past two reviews I’ve done and only recently have I found myself becoming a dedicated fan of Sega’s long-running underworld crime saga that has continued on over the past three console generations (counting this current generation that is).
With a year since its release, Yakuza Kiwamia (you can see our review here) was released, allowing us to see Kazuma Kiryu as he took his leave from the world of the Yakuza. However, fate is a cruel mistress and Kiryu, the legendary Dragon of Dojima, was once more drug back into the world of the Yakuza as a potential all-out war between the families began to ignite. As the potential war has begun to brew, SEGA has announced that Kazuma Kiryu is preparing for his valiant return with Yakuza Kiwami 2 on August 28, 2018, for $49.99.
+Extremely upgraded graphics and gameplay systems
+New focus on both Majima and Yishiki
+Borrows great fight mechanics from Yakuza O
-New focus on Majima takes away from the overall focus on the struggles between Kiryu and Nishiki
-Side quest tracking is a bit off at times, making some quests harder to do.
If you thought 2017 was a stale year so far, in many ways, you’re probably right. We’ve seen mostly reboots, remakes, and HD remasters, which eventually became larger disappointments than the original titles they were supposed to help upgrade. Yakuza Kiwami is one of those few that managed to slip through the cracks and somehow show an astounding remake of a PlayStation 2 game that launched back in 2005. It’s a remake that sees only a few subtle changes in regards to the games base visuals, narrative tweaking, and even having been edited enough to make its 80s’ set prequel Yakuza 0 fit in a bit better.
+An extremely lively and detailed 80’s Japan
+A terrific and detailed story
+Mini-games are an absolute blast
+Some scenes can be graphic, but pay a deep role within the game
-Combat grows stagnant and repetitive
Yakuza is a series that has garnished itself a cult status in North America and somehow, the franchise remains free of its possibility as successful franchise there. It’s a series that shows the darker side of Japan’s underworld as players join in on the franchises debut on the PlayStation 4. As a prequel to the franchise, Yakuza 0 is a great place for those unfamiliar to the franchise and offers them a way to learn about the franchise without any existing knowledge about it. This means everything you may need to know, doesn’t exist, and it is a resoundingly awesome feature that many games neglect these days.
The game, as my entry title, sets itself in a peculiar place for my first adventure through with Kazuma Kiryu and friends. Much of my game, however, would be given a glance over through both outdated character models as well as graphical textures to the world around the characters. While most gamers these days would take this as a problematic ordeal as combat itself may even seem just as out of date as the rest. Looking away from all this though? The series remains unique as ever with many of its mechanics and changes that haven’t happened, but what may be troubled by a lack of detail, may also serve up as one of this games strongest assets: story, which is craftily executed.
Our story, much as you would expect, is simple. Players will take on the role of young yakuza gangster Kiryum whom just has to wear his heart on his sleeve, and roams through Tokyo with an iron fist. His heart, while gold, serves the yakuza without question. The story revolves around Kiryu having been caught in the middle of a battle between criminal organizations after being framed for an incident out of his control. In our events we meet Goro Majima, a yakuza member who masquerades as a manager of a grand cabaret, and finds himself crossing paths with Kiryu. Sent on a mission to take out an enemy, Majima finds himself knocking a mission that soon puts him on the run much like Kiryu.
As the two stumble into constant struggles with the yakuza, both of them stumble upon their struggles as one another. While both characters will take players by surprise, and that’s not while they are slipping out of harm’s way, the two are often able to show off their clever plans on devising, creating a story o their own. While not playing through the missions, the games story-related cutscenes are anything, but fun. They are serious, and they are ones that make the yakuza itself beyond believable. These scenes show that everything is at stake. Their lives, their friends, their family, and everything they live for.
The game sets a similar tone to games such as Sleeping Dogs where players will weave their way through the world around them. The intricacies of relationships, alliances, and financial gain play n important role as players seek to claim Tokyo as their own. While the game offers up a fascinating story, it also offers up an equal serving of astonishment as players learn what both Kiryu and Majima are capable of when it comes to their talents.
While the games story serves as its ultimate high point, the game conveys its story through Hollywood grade voice acting not normally seen in games, and offers up a rather enjoyable Japanese audio only experience with English subtitles. This helps portray the games energy, the attitude of each character, and even the ferocity of each cast member. This brings each of them to life, especially with each facial expression made, every snarl, snicker, and even grunt that’s made throughout the game. This includes the detail to the games photorealistic facial features, some of the details leading so far as to letting people see the pores on a characters face.
While characters may just seem as real as possible, there’s more to Yakuza 0 than just its story, its photorealistic characters, and details that finish out the game. Instead, Zero offers a prominent sense of trouble for NPCs and non-first-rate characters. Players will notice many of them feel as if they haven’t been upgraded since the franchises PlayStation 2 days. While this is a nuance, it also doesn’t help they move like robots, stiff, not-so-alive in comparison to Kiryu, who seems as alive as ever throughout the game. While the game can be faulted for that, it makes up for the amazing combat that feels fresh, and even more enjoyable since the days of Sleeping Dogs, which was my first experience with such a gameplay style.
Yakuza 0’s combat is quite frankly a delight to go through as players will balance out a few different fighting styles across both Kiryu and Majima. Both fighters both will feature three varieties that differentiate between the two. This helps with the games emphasis on its brawler aspects. Both fighters can be developed through the games training by “investing money on them”. This allows them both to have higher HP, new combos, and new capabilities while smashing through waves of enemies depending on the encounter.
The delight, however, sits with Majima. His abilities vastly variate from that of Kiryu who’s your typical brawler. Majima’s is a true joy as he is one that comes in with a sense of flare. His ability to throw around with a bat or dancing, is a nice change from Kiryu’s introductory chapters, which puts players at around three hours of your more standard fisticuffs. While Majima and Kiryu will both find themselves throwing down against lonesome drunks, a few bikers, lowly yakuza members, and even delinquents that get in the way. While there are others that knock these two around quite well, Kiryu and Majima are a fresh breath of air for the genre that largely needed it.
While the fighting does prove that this game is as brutal as it seems. The game also offers up some leisure time that players can spend by going to dinner, enjoying some karaoke, and various other mini-games. While playing through the game, no matter the scenario, the game makes you want to feel as if you are taking the role of a true member of the yakuza, that you are truly adventuring through Tokyo and Osaka. This means even the option missions that fans will enjoy feel as if they are just as equally as important as the games main campaign, and even offers up a need for players to visit various stores as well as amusement centers.
Yakuza 0 – PlayStation 4
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
All of this goes without saying that Yakuza 0 is a great place for first-time fans like myself. It’s a game that offers a delightful piece of entertainment so that fans can enjoy things such as bowling, throwing darts, managing real-estate, and even enjoying a few old throwback Sega titles such as Fantasy Zone at the arcade. While these events are seemingly shallow, the game offers up quite a bit of enjoyability, and something that will be quite fun. While Yakuza 0 will put fans in awkward positions such as softcore-porn video parlors or mini-games that involve scantily clad women wrestling, the game will keep players busy for hours on end. A near 80 hours that is. If that’s not enough for you, there’s really no alternative to such a title, and or part of the genre to be quite honest.
With all that said, Yakuza 0 is a unique game, it’s one that offers up more entertainment than one would think it could. An absurd amount of enjoyability at that. If SEGA does anything, lets just hope they upgrade the games graphics a bit to make even the likes of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain jealous.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game given to us by the games publisher. For our review, we used a PlayStation 4 Pro with a 7200RPM HDD. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.
We all know the 1980s were kind a big deal. From colorful clothing, to crazy action films, and malls that bustled thanks to their Arcades. Yakuza 0 isn’t hy of following this as players once more reaquaint with Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima. With a lot of stake, it’s time to get away from the modern feel to go back for the classic “Gangster” tyle approach.
The latest trailer comes with flashing lights, neon signs, and even a plentiful amount of entertainment establishments in Japans redlight districts of Kamurocho and Sotenbori. It’s a perfect occasion to put on your best white suit, give it your best Saturday Night Fever appeal, and dance the night way. You’ll even be able to step into the best disco clubs within Japan while also jamming to some of Japan’s best 80s power ballads at the Heroine Karaoke Bar and you can also attend some sporting events by heading to a batting cage. If none of those are for you, you can visit the SEGA HI-TECH LAND arcade to land in on some etro games. There’ll be no shortage of alternative entertainment outlets in Yakuza 0, which will be appearing at the PlayStation Experience 2016.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you
You’ve probably been awaiting for the latest installment of the Yakuza series. With the characters having been seemingly away for sometime, it’s time to catch up to the cast of members you are used to. So where are they now? Lets find out in preparation for the games release sometime this year, well what’s left of it, exclusively on the PlayStation 3. So lets get to the cast members as provided to us by Sega.
After the events of the previous Yakuza games, Kazuma Kiryu — the Dragon of Dojima — has retired from the Yakuza to be a common-place taxi driver in Nagasugai, Fukuoka, far away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. But when his junior (and more notably, the Sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan) disappears, he is dragged back into the seedy underworld of Japan. Kiryu will once again need to rise as the legendary dragon in order to find his friend.
Taiga Saejima is a legendary Yakuza enforcer, sentenced to 25 years in prison for allegedly murdering 18 rival gang members. After the events in Yakuza 4, Saejima gets re-incarcerated and just wants to serve his new sentence peacefully. But in Saejima’s case, “peacefully” quickly leaves as an option. Which will require his survival skills more? The interior of the prison walls, or the harsh Hokkaido winter?
Years after meeting Kazuma Kiryu, 16 year old Haruka Sawamura is living in Osaka to pursue her dreams of becoming a star on TV. At the start of Yakuza 5, she’s already made it to the finals of the Princess League, a competition between rising stars, where the winner goes on to have a successful career. But even though it looks so carefree and lavish, the life of an up-and-coming idol is not without its perils. Haruka learns firsthand just how dangerous the waters of the entertainment industry can be.
Shun Akiyama is a dubious money lender who owns his own company called Sky Finance. He has a unique test that prospective borrowers must pass in order to receive a loan — he wishes to see how each will change their own destiny with the money. Akiyama is trying to set up the Sotenbori Branch of Sky Finance, but those plans get a wrench thrown in them when he receives a call about the untimely death of a former client.
Tatsuo Shinada had a promising career in the major leagues, but it was cut short when he received a lifetime ban for a baseball gambling/game fixing scandal. Now, Shinada earns a meager living as an adult entertainment writer in the Nagoya region of Kineicho. But his (mis)fortune is in for a turn when a mysterious masked man confronts Shinada and tells him to uncover the truth behind his ban.
Will you be joining the characters in order to find out what happens to them as time passes? We know we will be.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over onTwitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.