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All things Yakuza! - Start with Yakuza Zero


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1 hour ago, Garwoofoo said:

The only one that really unsettled me was the FMV photography game in Kiwami 2, which was played completely straight and seemed completely out of character with the rest of the game. You’d have to play it over and over to “complete” it, too. I didn’t. 

That reminds me of Michigan, which also had a rather grim camera section to it.

As I said, I'm not a prude, I just found it interesting that people would be up in arms if something like this was in a western release but it gets a free pass under "culture". Again, I'm not offended by it being in there (I've bought more than enough limited edition vita games over the years) it was just a weird thing to see and there seems to be quite a relaxed attitude to it.

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It is ridiculous and it is bad, and it isn’t really possible to defend, but it is set in Tokyo’s red light district which is a pretty pervy place all things told.

 

Thankfully most of it is optional / played for laughs but, yeah, I dunno. It’s maybe the gaming equivalent of a Carry On film or something. Except it’s from 21st century Japan as opposed to 1970s Britain, which probably makes it harder to excuse. It definitely wouldn’t be the same series without it. But yeah, can’t excuse it and I wouldn’t even ever make an attempt to. That’s not what this post is. I think this post is just me going, “Ooft, yeah, it certainly is, isn’t it? Jeezo, man.”

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Played Zero and Kiwami 1 & 2 earlier this year and kinda burnt myself out on the series, but just started 3. It seems a little basic at first but it picks up around chapter four. The orphanage stuff I find quite affecting.

 

I’m in Kamorucho now and had to do a police chase bit which I found quite tiresome. I’m hoping there aren’t any more running bits. 

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Enjoying Yakuza 5 quite a lot so far. I can see why it's criticised for its pacing - the cutscenes go on forever and sometimes it feels like you're playing for ages without ever really being in control of very much - but as a slow-paced slice-of-life drama it's actually quite compelling as long as you approach it in the right frame of mind. Just pottering around being a taxi driver is a straightforward pleasure. It's great to finally be back in the Yakuza 0/Kiwami engine too, the whole thing feels significantly less clunky than either 3 or 4.

 

The absolute best bit though is that when you play the drums game in Club Sega and you get to a drum roll, Kiryu inexplicably bellows out "LINDA!!!!!". Absolutely creases me up. Every time. 10/10 would Linda again.

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Finished Kiwami 1&2 in the last few weeks, and now getting stuck into Judgement. In retrospect, Kiwami 2 then straight into Judgement probably wasn't the best move, as they are so similar in many ways. I'm guessing they were made by the same team consecutively? Yagami even has some of the same Heat EX actions as Kiryu in Kiwami 2.

 

Anyway, I'm absolutely loving it... but wondering which I should play next? I've got the remastered collection downloaded already. If I did Yakuza 0 next, would going to the PS3 era stuff be a bit jarring?

Yes, there's cultural stuff that's kind of uncomfortable (e.g. in Judgement, Yagami is 35 and he can date a 19 year old. Also in one dialogue tree, you can say that you'd be willing to date a 15 year old.... yikes. It's resolutely a "wrong" choice in the tree, but still).

 

Funnily enough the FMV photography game in Kiwami 2 didn't really bother me, although its very existence did make me laugh. If anything, having well known AV models in those sequences, who have obviously made a conscious decision to be in the game, bothers me a bit less than some of the in-engine stuff. That said, I only did the first session, and didn't bother with any of the others.

 

Spoiler

I'm usually absolutely uninterested in game storylines (at least if they're delivered in lengthy cutscenes that interrupt gameplay), but for some reason I've been finding the melodrama of the Yakuza stories really enjoyable. I found the stuff at the end of Kiwami 2 with Sayama and Ryuji Goda genuinely quite affecting. Am I getting soft in my old age?


Anyway, having a big stack of these still to play in these shitty times really helps. Really looking forward to Like A Dragon as well. Long live the series!

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Had a great moment in Yakuza 0 last night when it is revealed that Kiryu’s

new boss is the person who imprisoned the blind girl in the other story [\spoiler] was areal “cor blimey, guv!” moment.

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1 hour ago, scissorkicks said:

Anyway, I'm absolutely loving it... but wondering which I should play next? I've got the remastered collection downloaded already. If I did Yakuza 0 next, would going to the PS3 era stuff be a bit jarring?

 

 

There are three engines at play here:

 

- the old PS3 engine (Yakuza 3 and 4)

- the newer PS3 engine (Yakuza 5, 0 and Kiwami 1)

- the new Dragon Engine (Yakuza 6, Kiwami 2 and Judgment)

 

So if you've already played and enjoyed Kiwami 1 then you shouldn't find 0 hard to adjust to at all. And it's probably the best in the series and will definitely throw a new light on the character of Majima, so I'd go with that one next.

 

Going back to 3 is a bit of a struggle, to be honest. The main story is good but everything else is a bit basic (it is, after all, now the "oldest" of the games as the two prior to it have both had remakes). It's still well worth playing but you might find yourself speeding through the story in order to get to the better games.

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Yakuza 3 was a rough looking game when it launched on PS3. The aliasing was pretty terrible, did it start out its production  life as a PS2 game?

Yakuza 4 was a huge improvement graphically and the different playable characters made it really interesting. I enjoyed the story. 
 

Apart from 10 minutes on the zombie spinoff I haven’t played a Yakuza game since, until I downloaded Zero last weekend. It’s early days but the story seems like it’s going to be worth it. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, StoooTube said:

Yakuza 3 was a rough looking game when it launched on PS3. The aliasing was pretty terrible, did it start out its production  life as a PS2 game?

No, but it was their first time making a 'true' open sandbox Yakuza game with a behind the shoulder third person perspective. 1 and 2 were both isometric affairs with fixed cameras, with the entire map being broken up in small segments separated by loading screens. For example, walking from the start of the main street (the one you always start in beneath the arch in Kamurucho) to the very first Popo supermarket was already 2 or 3 separate areas.

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I remember that having played and rinsed the isometric PS2 games, Yakuza 3 blew me away when I first saw it. This was still early in the PS3 lifecycle and I couldn't believe I was seeing the exact same world I loved so much and knew so well in proper, fun to explore 3D. Back then it impressed the hell out of me and I remember showing it to friends who had also been to Japan, to look at how convincing and detailed it all was. Going back now it's by far the roughest visually, but back then it was a huge step up for the series.

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41 minutes ago, Popo said:


You called?

I want one Bento, a CC Lemon, and an Asahi Super Dry please. And could you turn on your microwave after I shove this goon's head in it? Arigatou gozaimashita!

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I completed Yakuza 0 last night and really enjoyed it. Only downside was it said prepare for the final battle and I went in thinking it would take about 20 minutes to do. I started it at 12.40 this morning and it finished at 3.10 :P I'm bloody knackered.

Highlights were 

The way Kiryu protects Nishi with his fist when they fight together and the counterattack they do



Kiryu-Chan!

The first gigantic brawl where Kiryu is triggering cutscenes by punching people through doors to open them.

Playing Space Harrier and Out Run

The Cabaret Club mini game

The over-the-top heat attacks

The twisty plot

The Naked Gun way they would rip their clothes off to reveal their tattoos

I'm sure there's plenty more but those are the ones that stuck out for me.

I'm keen to play Kiwami next but I need a break for a little while. Might do the enhanced version of Bullet Storm next.

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See also the Extremely Serious Taxicab Simulator minigame. I think it's part of something called "Yakuza 5" but I wouldn't really know about that, all that punching just gets in the way of my cab driving.

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I thought I'd finally wrap up Y5 last night in a quick sesh, kickstarting the finale at around 10pm... and then dragging myself to bed all dreary-eyed and emotionally exhausted at 2.30 in the morning. 

 

Sweet. Baby. Jesus. What an amazing conclusion to the whole thing. I didn't think it was ever going to end (and didn't really want it to either). I took my time with Y5, starting it ages ago and treating it as a Yakuza miscellany of sorts, lots of side stories set in its world that weave in and out of each other. But they really land the finale, and everything is tied together so well. It's just got me itching to dive straight into Y6 and finish the saga, but I'm going to hold back. 

 

After being all a bit 'Who the hell is this prick?' when starting Shinada's plot line, I really warmed to him and to Nagoya by the end. I thought his loan shark anti-hero partner Takasugi was amazingly realised, and the redemption arcs of both characters had me a bit emotional at the end. Akiyama continued to be ace throughout the whole thing. 

 

And any time that calm Y0-style Majima showed his face just brought those warm feels. Poor fella's been through shit loads in the last few games and the way they've had him slowly mellowing until he's almost back to being how he was portrayed in Y0 just shows how well that latter game fits into the series' canon.

 

Can't think of another game series that pulls off this continuing epic soap opera vibe so well. My journey from 0 to 5 this gen has been a roller-coaster. Can't wait for Y6 but really don't want to say goodbye to Kiryu and co. :(

 

 

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I need to get back into Yakuza 5, I was really enjoying it playing as Kiryu. Then I started spending time as Saejima, retreading his Yakuza 4 intro chapter and then what feels like a 100 years hunting sodding Yogi Bear. Then LoU2 came out, followed by GoT, and I need to get back to it.

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It really is a long, meandering game. You have to kind of let it wash over you at points, it can be hard to brute force your way through. But looking back at all the wild stuff you'd gone and been through after the game wraps was a worthy pay-off, at least for me. By the end, Kiryu's crazy taxi antics in Nagasugai seemed like they had taken place years ago. 

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2 hours ago, Harsin said:

I need to get back into Yakuza 5, I was really enjoying it playing as Kiryu. Then I started spending time as Saejima, retreading his Yakuza 4 intro chapter and then what feels like a 100 years hunting sodding Yogi Bear. Then LoU2 came out, followed by GoT, and I need to get back to it.

 

The Saejima stuff was terrible. In the end I just ignored all the side stuff and concentrated on the mainline so I could finally get to play as another character. With this and 4 I think Saejima may be my least favourite. Or at the very least tied with cop from Yakuza 4.

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On 16/08/2020 at 10:29, Let us measure said:

It really is a long, meandering game. You have to kind of let it wash over you at points, it can be hard to brute force your way through. But looking back at all the wild stuff you'd gone and been through after the game wraps was a worthy pay-off, at least for me. By the end, Kiryu's crazy taxi antics in Nagasugai seemed like they had taken place years ago. 

 

I'm taking Yakuza 5 slowly, trying to savour it as much as possible. Not sure if I'll ever really break the back of that massive completion list but I'm trying to do as much as I can as I progress rather than doing what I normally do which is promising myself I'll come back to the side activities after I've finished the story and never actually getting around to it.

 

And as always it's worthwhile with Yakuza, I've found Kiryu's (entirely missable) taxi-driving side-stories really charming and I'm glad I've put the time into following that story through. I'm eating my way round Nagsugai, picking up all the moves from the Masters and clearing out the arcade tasks before I move on. I haven't yet tried the hostess clubs to see if they are as boring as they were in Y3/Y4 but it doesn't look like there are too many in this game at least. Pachinko baffles me.

 

I think I might treat it as a bunch of separate games, given its size - complete Kiryu's chapter, play something else, come back for the next character and so on. Should probably have done that with Y4 as I loved Akiyama's chapter then progressively burned out on the game as it got dafter and dafter from that point on.

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19 hours ago, Garwoofoo said:

 

I think I might treat it as a bunch of separate games, given its size - complete Kiryu's chapter, play something else, come back for the next character and so on. Should probably have done that with Y4 as I loved Akiyama's chapter then progressively burned out on the game as it got dafter and dafter from that point on.

 

Yes, recommend doing this! I took a long break between Haruka's and Shinada's chapters; as each character arc ends on a nice cliff hanger, like the end of a TV season or something, it can feel like a natural place to take a rest.

 

It's weird, I used to work just down the road from Shinjuku east exit, a stone's throw from Kabukicho. I used to go there for lunch and after work drinks sometimes, nothing shady just some of the 'British' pubs and cosy yakitori places they had down the main street. I was vaguely aware that Yakuza took place in the area as they used to advertise the releases of Y3 and Y4 on huge billboards above the Don Quixote, but since I was without a PS3 I never got around to them. My first was Y0 a few years ago and I had no idea that the series would depend on Kabukicho so heavily! 

 

We went back most recently in 2018 and the in-game map has only bloody gone and fully supplanted my actual previous knowledge of the area. To the point where I was wondering why golden gai was in the wrong direction and where the hell Kamuro Hills had got to. Quite a weird merging of fantasy and reality. 

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11 hours ago, Harsin said:

Having a virtual stroll around Kabukicho on Google Maps is such a freaky experience when you immediately just start navigating by memory successfully.


That’s astounding. I had no idea it was THAT closely modelled on a real place. Please tell me it has giant traffic cones just standing around for no reason. 
 

I suddenly feel the need to fire up Microsoft Flight Simulator and crash a light aircraft into the Millennium Tower. 

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