Where I play and review the Yakuza series

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by CT Phipps, May 24, 2019.

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  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I'm now playing the series from beginning to end.

    Thanks for recommending this guys.
     
  2. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Yakuza Kiwami review



    The original Yakuza (in "Like a Dragon") game was for the P2, so you can safely say that this is a late review. Well, technically not since Yakuza Kiwami is a remake rather than a remastering and is a fairly recent import. The Yakuza games are a PS exclusive series that is pretty much the most Japanese game you can make due to the fact crime is both a universal thing as well as something that is deeply specific to local cultures.

    The Russian mobs, Italian mobs, Chinese mobs, and Japanese mobs are all incredibly distinct from one another. America also adds its own unique flavor to its crime games that I tend to think of the Grand Theft Auto series as kind of, "the thing that could only be made in America." Which is of course hilarious if you know it was made by a bunch of Scottish college kids who knew America primarily from its cinema.


    Kiyru is both a good protagonist as well as straight man.

    Yakuza, by contrast, was made by the Japanese for the Japanese. Its creator, Toshihiro Nagoshi, risked his career to create a open world game set in a district of Tokyo about a rogue with a heart. Sega didn't believe Americans would want to play the game and they didn't for a long time but thats since changed. The real-life Yakuza are a controversial organization that at their height were something like 200,000 members and infinitely more powerful than even the American mafia at its height.

    They're a group involved in gambling (their name basically meaning a losing dice roll ala "Snake Eyes"), human trafficking, prostitution, strike busting, extortion, and right wing politics. They delivered disaster relief and were instrumental in the assassinations that created the Imperial Japanese (employing, I kid you not, ninja to kill the Queen of Korea). They're gangsters but a colorful bunch every bit as romanticized and vilified by Japanese media as the criminals of America.

    The premise of the game pretty much tells you this is going to be a darker, grittier, and Tarantino-esque storyline than we're used to from most mainstream games. Kazuma Kiryu is a Yakuza lieutenant about to be promoted to being father of his own crime family. He's ambivalent about this promotion as he's comfortable as a soldier and unambitious. He's also more interested in romancing childhood friend Yumi. Well, events turn to manure when his best friend, Akira Nishikiyama, murders the patriarch of his Yakuza clan because he was about to rape Yumi.


    A great but inconsistent character.

    Yeah, it's not a pretty story. Kiryu takes the rap for Nishikiyama and spends ten years in prison, emerging in a modern Tokyo he doesn't recognize. Kiryu finds that his long stent in the joint didn't do anyone any favors because Nishikiyama is now a hated crime boss who resents him for complicated reasons and Yumi is missing. There's also been a heist of 100 billion yen from the Yakuza (about $10,000,000 at the time of the game).

    The complicated interpersonal relationships and exaggerated emotional torment makes the game's storyline its best element. Written by Japanese crime novelist Hase Seishū, it is an overwrought but entertaining story about the bonds of friendship falling apart, respect, and personal relationships. Kiryu isn't really a Yakuza anymore but is haunted by his past as well as the fact everyone can tell he's a (former) member just by looking at him. It takes the somewhat obvious route of giving Kiryu a little girl to protect like Wolverine but it's a major part of the story and surprisingly well integrated.


    Beast Mode is my favorite fighting style.

    If I'm speaking a lot about the story, it's because it occupies a huge bunch of time versus gameplay that isn't so hot (but isn't bad either). You'll be watching hundreds of cutscenes that include many additional ones to the original. These are primarily devoted to developing the villain, who actually has a fairly interesting backstory. Even so, expect up to ten minutes of cutscenes at a time. It gets a bit ridiculous at times when some of this could have been in gameplay (and there's plenty of that as well).

    The gameplay is okay and apparently based on the Yakuza 0 game. You punch a lot of things, you switch between four styles, and you have dozens of encounters with thugs while doing sidequests. It's a beat-em-up brawler with RPG elements and that's fine. The fighting gets a bit repetitive but what are you going to do. It's an update of a PS2 game and a fantastic one at that.

    The humor of the sidequests are great as Kiryu, while a serious character in the main story, is an amazing straight man for the majority of the story. One character who shows up a lot in the remake is Majima, who becomes your personal Team Rocket and attacks you hundreds of time throughout the game. Very often wearing ridiculous costumes and in ridiculous places. Sadly, you need to fight him to learn the "Dragon of Dojima" style so it becomes all but useless since you won't have mastered it until the end of the game.


    Lots and lots of fighting. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

    Is it flawless? No, there's some inconsistencies in the storytelling with Majima being a psychopathic Joker-like character in some scenes and a heroic defender in others (due to the fact his character changed in the sequels that are before the remake's new scenes--if that makes sense). Also, the number of cutscenes in the game goes from being impressive to being overwhelming. Finally, the gameplay is a bit repetitive due to the sheer number of trash mobs that will be attacking you on the streets.

    In conclusion, Yakuza Kiwami is one of the best games I've played in a decade. Its story and graphics are incredible. The characters and storyline are some of the best I've played. There's a few problems to the game but they don't diminish the overall experience. I think Yakuza Kiwami is a great game. If you have a PS4 you need to buy this (and you probably have).

    9/10
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  3. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    I'm happy you enjoyed it.

    Really the only issue I have with the game is it pulls like 317 plot twists in the last hour and you're sitting there trying to comprehend all these twists and turns like

    tenor (1).gif

    it's actually not that bad but still

    Also did you watch the post credits scene? Missed it my first time.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  4. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I did. I was so pissed off and angry at it.

    "THAT DOG WILL STARVE WITHOUT YOU! THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS TO DOGS THAT ARE ABANDONED!"



    I'm about halfway through Yakuza Kiwami 2 and it blows the original out of the water for nonsensical and bizarre twists. I liked the first one and felt it all made sense once you finished it but the second one just keeps making bizarre revelation after bizarre revelation, I don't think it's plot is anywhere near it.

    Kind of disappointing.
     
  5. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    It's cool. He gets adopted by one of the homeless guys and there's a substory where he gives the dog up to the kids at the sunflower orphanage that kiryu grew up in.

    Also if you think Yakuza 2 has pulled too many plot twists halfway through I can't imagine how you're gonna feel by the end of the game because it never really stops. In fact it even ramps up the plot twists towards the end.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  6. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Yeah, I'm past that part thankfully. I'm to the part where there's inexplicably an exact double of the Stardust owner.

    :)
     
  7. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    To be fair I'm pretty sure they say he was surgically altered to look that (still wierd that yuya fell for it but whatever)

    Anyways yeah insane plot twist only become more abundant and over the top as the series goes on. Actually the series gets more over the top in general as it goes on.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  8. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Well, Yuya is an idiot.

    A bit like Fallout 2, the game is quite a bit denser and wackier.

    * Chinese grandmother martial artist
    * A fucking ghost from those video tape movies
    * That castle full of samurai

    I confess, I'm hoping 0 is a bit more serious by comparison.
     
  9. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    Well most of that is sidestories. Side stories are meant to be wacky. Still...

    K2GXHuB.jpg
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  10. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    Glad to see you liked Kiwami. Did you manage to finish all the substories?

    Going on a bit of a tangent, I started the series with 0, to be honest but after how much fun 0 was, I got hooked to the series.

    If you ever get to 6, you'll notice that Kiwami 2's engine was initially used there. 6 was the Dragon Engine's debut so compared to Kiwami 2, the gameplay is not as smooth as it could be.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  11. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I didn't finish Yui's romance or the Pocket Racers one but watched them on Youtube. I am mostly a completitionist, though.

    Zero is my next game after I finish Kiwami 2. I don't know if I'll play any of the other games after this instead of switching around but as a trilogy I expect it to be completely solid.

    I honestly prefer Kiwami so I'm glad it'll be similar with 0.
     
  12. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    If that's the case, then you may have missed out on the Amon fight. Not sure if you've seen videos on Amon but in a nutshell, every Yakuza game that I know of has at least one bonus boss that appears once you complete every subs-tory. Amon is tough to beat unless you've mastered the combat of the games or in Kiwami's case, learn to spam Tiger Drop (I really love spamming Tiger Drop in Kiwami 1 btw).

    Also in Kiwami 2, I recommend going through the Hostess Club side-story to its completion. To avoid spoiling you of the experience, I won't say anything further except to keep that side-story in mind when you get to 0.

    To be fair, it does seem that RGG (Ryu Ga Gotoku) Studios is merely remastering the games to make them playable on PS4 so you'll be able to experience the series as it was during the PS3 era. I'm not sure if I'll try out 3, 4 and 5 as well.

    I'll say that 0 does not have the mechanic where bosses regenerate unless you use a Kiwami Heat move against them. Personally, I think that's a plus over Kiwami.
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  13. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    Well if you don't like how kiryu plays in Kiwami 2 you're a butthole. ff187dfc50886ef53a1a5c6a560e2329.jpg

    But it is worth noting that both Yakuza 4 and 5 feature multiple protagonists with their own fighting styles so there's still variety going forward.

    Plus the legal thriller spin-off judgement is set to have multiple fighting styles and two protags (I think?)
     
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  14. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Almost done with Kiwami 2.

    It took a long time as the plot is SOOOooo boring compared to one.

    I think part of the problem is they keep playing up the EVIL KOREAN MAFIA while forgetting 10% to 15% of the real Yakuza is ethnically Korean.
     
  15. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    I thought ryuji goda could've carried the game as the sole antagonist but the game had to have 347 other villains as well.

    Oh well. Overall I thought the game was a decent enough follow up. Altho when you're remaking what is basically everyone's least favorite entry into the series there isn't much you can do to fix the story without.... Well rewriting the entire series going forward.
     
  16. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    The game does feel like it's about 3 chapters too long. Ryuji is the only one of the antagonists I really felt any menace from even though Sengoku's comical evil is entertaining.

    I wouldn't sacrifice punching tigers. I would have just had the game end with the fight against Ryuji there.
     
  17. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    That's fair. So you still ain't finished it yet? I got a copy of Yakuza 3 the other day. Broke the seal on it. NTSC copies of Yakuza 3/4 are relatively expensive in comparison to most other PS3 games. Gonna get 4 at a later point. Hopefully the PS4 remasters of 3/4/5 make their way to NA because as of now there is no physcial North American version of Yakuza 5.
     
  18. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Have one chapter left so probably tomorrow.
     
  19. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    Did you try out the Majima campaign in Kiwami 2 yet? A new addition to Kiwami is the Majima mini-campaign. It's short but does resolve a minor plot point from Yakuza 0.
     
  20. R.Graves

    R.Graves Confirmed Retard

    Apr 21, 2016
    He's gotta play through zero first.