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All things Yakuza! - Start with Yakuza Zero


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On 19/08/2017 at 12:17, crisy said:

Yakuza games are so, so sleazy. But what I really find jarring is the way it packages up its sleaze as if it were wholesome and not sleazy at all. It's consistently perturbed me about every Yakuza game I've played. It's a shame because I actually quite like the more genuinely wholesome moments in the games, the orphanage bit at the beginning of 3 is one of my favourite moments in any game ever. But the series is also full of some of my least favourite gaming moments ever, e.g. playing that sanctimonious sleazeball in the red suit who exploits vulnerable women turning them into his indentured sex workers in Yakuza 4, and the game frames it as if he's some Christ like benevolent saviour of fallen women. Urgh, the games practically have the fetor of seedy porn shops about them.

 

And of course, what's the game's solution to every problem? gratingly dumb and repetitive violence . 

 

Sorry for getting all Mary Whitehouse, I'm a bit grumpy, I've said this all before I know. And to be fair I'm probably not the target audience as I hate Yakuza films and all the dumb machismo they valorise.

 

My blood curdles when people compare Shenmue to this bizarrely popular series, or maybe not so bizarre, as I suppose it does tap into fantasises of a staunchly masculine world.

 

Only his jacket is red, assuming you mean Akiyama.

 

4 was my introduction to the series.  I hadn't researched it at all, so I assumed that Akiyama was the protagonist throughout the whole series.  I was disappointed to find that he wasn't in 3, although I also think Kiryu is a great character.

 

I absolutely loved 4, although I wasn't too fussed about the third part, when you play the cop.  The gun biting at the beginning of the second scene is both funny and badass at the same time.

 

I've played Zero in Japanese - now I'm enjoying it again in English.

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8 hours in already and at 16% completion. Will be a lot quicker than Zero , but certainly no slouch for the budget price. I'm really, really enjoying this now after a bit of a slow start - highly recommend getting the trouble finder from Bob Utsoclownface as the side stories seem a lot harder to find than in Zero - this will get you lots of XP and laughs so you can finally start unlocking all those cool moves again.


Also Majima Everywhere is fantastic. 

 

QgVYAM5.gif

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17 hours ago, Down by Law said:

8 hours in already and at 16% completion. Will be a lot quicker than Zero , but certainly no slouch for the budget price. I'm really, really enjoying this now after a bit of a slow start - highly recommend getting the trouble finder from Bob Utsoclownface as the side stories seem a lot harder to find than in Zero - this will get you lots of XP and laughs so you can finally start unlocking all those cool moves again.


Also Majima Everywhere is fantastic. 

 

QgVYAM5.gif

 

Should probably take this to the Kiwami thread, but I never realised the trouble finder showed the location of all sub stories - and I've played the entire series bar 2. In a similar vein I only realised there was a run button near the end of my play through of Zero.

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To be fair, I think the Trouble Finder was introduced in later games. It definitely is not in the PS2 games (so it is very easy to miss substories that are only available in particular chapters, as well as Coin Locker Keys that are located in places you only visit once). In fact it may have been introduced in 0, as I recall 5 just straight-up having points of interest listed on the map.

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Also, in the PS2 games you could straight up permanently fail some side missions. Either you did them first time or you were shit out of luck. They changed that in Kiwami as far as I can tell, it seems to work like Zero now - take however many attempts you need to succeed. 

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That's right! I recall 2 having some substories that had very particular ways of completing them, and that was what would be shown (Complete being better than Finished, which I think was represented by a 'fuller' tick next to it). One in particular involved some dude being prissy about damage to his car, and the 'correct' way to complete it was by ending the fight by using a Heat Action against his car. If you beat him regularly, sucks to be you.

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  • 4 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Jonathan_Kerr said:

Wait, what? So Yakuza 2 remade Kiwami style? 

 

Are they gonna remake the whole series, like Sony on a Spider-Man binge?

The first two were fixed camera and/or perspective top-down affairs. It was all the PS2 could handle. Y3 on the PS3 was the first proper third-person perspective /free roaming with the camera directly behind the protagonist affair. Like Zero still is. So the first two were begging for a complete remake, and they did so using the modern Yakuza Zero engine. 3, 4, and 5 don't need such extensive remakes. I'd guess that if they were to bring them over to PS4, they would do so as HD remasters, just upscaled a bit and done. Kiwami 1 and 2 are more like completely new games.

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Having played Zero and Kiwami this year... I'm slightly entertaining the concept of buying a pre-owned PS3 and finding pre-owned copies of Yakuza 3, 4 and 5. Is that madness? I don't know how I'd find the time, and I wouldn't want to be too burned out on Yakuza when 6 comes out.

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I have to say that is madness. 3, 4 and 5 are great games but did not age that well. In fact, I paused 5 when 0 hits and briefly went back: it was a slap in the face.

Also, I reckon you'll be completely oversaturated by the time 6 hits.

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39 minutes ago, SqueakyG said:

Having played Zero and Kiwami this year... I'm slightly entertaining the concept of buying a pre-owned PS3 and finding pre-owned copies of Yakuza 3, 4 and 5. Is that madness? I don't know how I'd find the time, and I wouldn't want to be too burned out on Yakuza when 6 comes out.

 

It's a great idea. Do it!

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2 hours ago, SqueakyG said:

Having played Zero and Kiwami this year... I'm slightly entertaining the concept of buying a pre-owned PS3 and finding pre-owned copies of Yakuza 3, 4 and 5. Is that madness? I don't know how I'd find the time, and I wouldn't want to be too burned out on Yakuza when 6 comes out.

 

Pre-owned copies of 5 is likely to be difficult, unless you speak Japanese.

 

I don't like 3 much, but 4 is probably my favourite of the lot.

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I've just started playing Zero at the moment, but I definitely left it a while inbetween games with the last game I played being Yakuza 3 about two years ago (I purposely waited on playing Yakuza 4 and 5).

 

On that basis, and if I ignore Kiwami 1 & 2, I should be looking to start Yakuza 6 in 2021 :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

SO... I finished the first Yakuza game I've ever played (Zero) a few nights ago and have to say it was excellent, if flawed in places. I didn't unlock all the moves, didn't get too stuck into the mini-games but enjoyed them when I played and was very impressed with the overall product. It's a classic SEGA product; punk as hell, a little bit crazy and a little rough in places. But I like that Sega's flawed masterpieces are a lot more interesting than the 'perfection' of other games.

THINGS I LOVED
 

- The combat. I hate games described as 'visceral' but you could really feel the hits. Great variety of moves and unique styles. A little bash-y but still lots of fun.

- The animation in fights. Brutal stuff. Then enemies apologising to you afterwards.

- The approach to random battles. "Hey you..." It's really clever, allowing the player to avoid if they want to. But the combat is so fun, that I always made time to do a violence on them.
- The sense of place. I've never been to Japan, but this really felt like a real place with lots of Japanese touches (that I've only read about). 

- The QTE's - I know a lot of people hate these, but they were so well done and added real drama that I really enjoyed them

Spoiler

(Majima in the kicking the knife into that dude's foot)

- The story was pretty cool. A little complex in places due to not really understanding crime family hierarchy, but whatevs.

- The tone of the game. It lurches between deadly serious and Japanese-youtube-video wacky but I think it's a strength, not a weakness.

- No English audio. Made it easy to play the game on a lower volume when my daughter is asleep in her cot.
- Majima. I liked him better than Kiryu and preferred his combat styles too.

- Combat progression system. Felt like good ol' Shenmue, although I have to say I prefer Yakuza now. That said, it really highlights how impressive Shenmue 1 and 2 were all those years ago as it feels like both games have the same level of world-interactivity.

- The characters - not sure what the plural for badasses is, but this game has a plethora of hard bastards.

THINGS TO IMPROVE ON:

- It's pretty sleazy, although it can be written off that you're playing a role. But it's a bit cringey in places.

- Female characters are either an object to be lusted after, or saved since they can't save themselves with the exception of Miss Tatsu.

- The mini-games feel like they're designed by another team. The tutorials and UI for them are pretty clunky - they could be a lot better explained.

- The side quests are a bit uneven and feel like they're designed by another team. Some are cool but others are artificially long.

I can't be bothered looking for other faults, there's too much to like about Yakuza 0.

Overall: That's Rad/10 

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There's a great little addition called Premium Adventure mode, where you can just load your completed saved game and carry on at your own chill pace, finishing side quests and focusing on becoming the biggest real estate mogul in town. I wish more games had a mode like it.

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@Jonathan_Kerr  Kiwami is a remake of a 10 year old game at a budget price, it's very different to Y0. The story is great, if slightly less sprawling, and there are no major side quests (no real estate, hostess club, taxi, hunter etc - albeit there are still plenty of substories) - but otherwise it's a brilliant way to spend 40-odd hours*.

 

(*Half what I spent on Zero...)

 

--

 

Anyway, nice Y0 post. I honestly miss playing it, my previous high point was Y4 but the 80s extravagance just tips it in the former's favour. 

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After you complete Yakuza 0, is it possible to go back into your save and clean up the hostess club sidegame in Sotenbori? See, the last chapter, and my most recent (and only) save takes place in Kamurocho. I've been trying to nail the real estate game before finishing the story, but I'm worried I've missed my chance to do the same with the hostess clubs in Sotenbori. Say it ain't so.

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