Yakuza 0

July 15, 2018

 

Want a game that has fighting,scantantly clad women,Japan and Gangsters? This game has it all. 

Yakuza 0 this is actually the first time I ever played a Yakuza game the game has a lot of variety in it much more than a EA game.   

The series itself has been around since 2005 on the ps2 its developed by Sega and its roots originate from the earlier fighting games.  It's open world crime game like Grand Theft Auto but it’s a beat em up type of game and is nothing like it. 

The main story is a prequel to the current series. You play as two main characters Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima. Each of them has their own fighting styles and both of their stories in the game intertwine. 

These two characters have their own unique jobs they can make money from. 

Goro Majima can run a cabaret club as a minigame where you can assign hostesses and you have to choose which would be a good match. 

Kazuma Kiryu is a real estate agent who can buy various property and invest and take money from the property he buys and both have side storylines of their own. 

The story is inspired by the Yakuza film genre a popular film genre in Japan and the main characters are Yakuza Gangsters. I found the story in game to be emotional,deep and funny at times. Some of the scenes in the game were quite intense and each character in the game was highly deadly. The character development of the game is shown in various ways you see Kiryu becoming from a hot headed Yakuza to a more calmer and heroic protagonist who despite his nature as a gangster he is actually very kind and he always has a lesson to teach to the people he meets and he is always willing to help. Goro Majima bit by bits becomes more wild and much more carefree as he tries to find a way to figure out why the girl he Is protecting being targeted 

The voice acting in the game it’s the first time I played a game where there is Japanese voice acting instead of English voice acting and it’s a actually a good thing. Because, it makes it feel like it’s a realistic crime setting and each of the characters are well acted. I had to read the subtitles to understand what your saying but if you prefer an English speaking game your not going to like this game one bit. As there is very little English in it. The Japanese dubbed actors gave each character they are playing a natural emotion and reaction to the characters in addition some of these voice actors actually acted in Yakuza films from the research I did. I found the voice acting to be very excellent and you can still enjoy it even you do not understand the Japanese Language. 

The sub stories in the game it has a lot of them. And it shows the lighthearted and weird side of the game. You can help a dominatrix to be better at her job. Seriously you can actually do this side story. You can do a stealth mission where you have to get a adult magazine for a little boy. And help a single father find his "long lost daughter" who allegedly works as a hostess. Its actually clever and witty writing and each of these stories had a good amount of entertainment value. Some of these stories are also teaching you lessons such as "if you have something to say say it" and 'If you have a dream chase it" these lessons can actually be applied towards real life for those who need it.  

The game has a lot of minigames from gambling to playing sega arcade games,fishing,rc racing and take part in a fight club. And a couple rhythm ones like Karaoke and Disco. Its fun but it takes practice if you want to get the hang of it. 

Some of them are hit and miss I wasn’t fond of fishing I found it to be boring and it didn’t really need it. 

The seedier minigames that’s just one part of the weirdness and this game has no limit to it. 

Catfight is just a simple rocks,paper and scissors luck game with scantily clad women with some very close shots of them. And you can even bet on the fighter you choose and the more you bet the more likely you are to win. 

A phone minigame where Kiryu has to choose his words carefully while he talks to a woman at the other line and has a certain amount of time to do so.  

You can watch softcore porn called "Gravue" and the girls you encounter in the game some of them are modeled off their own porno actresses. The main character presumably masturbates to the porn after the video is done when the camera points to the tissue box. 

You can befriend certain characters you meet in the game like a little girl who is outside the arcade in Sotenbori as Majima and you can befriend Mr. Libido. A hyper sexual guy who does the hustle every time you talk to him and he points out where all the girls you can see in the porno videos at. Befriending them can also be useful as you can earn bonuses from reaching full friendship. You can collect telephone cards where you can view in your album as either Majima or Kiryu of the girls you collected.  

There is no auto-save you have to go to telephone booths to manually save the game its annoying. 

The soundtrack in the game is energetic and perfect for fights I enjoy the heavy metal in the game and whenever it plays during a fight I keep feeling more ready to take out the bad guys. 

Graphics are ok but they are not next gen level. It has a lot of invisible walls in it along with some low textures. The buildings can look the same frequently and the place feels cramped tight too.  This is not gta you can't go around and beat people up or steal cars.  There is only two places you can go to in the game Sotenbori and Kamurcho and exploring the city and it can feel the same when you explore. Not to mention some places are restricted to both characters Kiryu can't enter a cabaret club in Sotenbori. And Majima can't enter a Rc race in Kamurcho. So the game can feel very restrictive at times due to this. But it does look like Japan realistically during the late 80s and everywhere you go it feels like you are in Japan. Despite how small the maps are and low texture the visuals can be. 

The combat it's good but it can be annoying  to get into encounters with enemies you don't want to fight and you have to defeat them. Even worse stay clear from Mr.Shakedown get defeated by him and you lose all of your money. Beat him and you get a lot of money. But he can be overpowered and if you keep on beating him he just gets way more health and a lot more powerful.  

The boss fights in the game are fun and intense they each have their own fighting styles and ways you can beat them. If you managed to click the right button on time in qte sections you can do a lot of damage to them. There is up 3 fighting styles of the game balanced, speed and power and a 4th one legendary after you fished the side business storylines for each character. You can spend money to unlock more abilities and improve your attacks and health and find trainers for your 3 fighting styles to learn more moves so you can get the edge in combat. 

Fighting enemies in the game does often tend to be formulaic as it can be often button mashing from time to time. 

Weapons have a durability meter and when its used up you have to go and repair it but you can find sturdy weapons in the game that does not need repairing. 

You can train to learn new moves and to improve your fighting skills and invest money into yourself to gain more health and deal more damage. 

You can choose up to 3 styles for Kiryu and Majima as I said before. They both have their own unique style of combat. 

When you fill up your heat meter you can press triangle to unleash a powerful attack and its varied depending on what style or object you are using.  

Its annoying too to have people get in your way and not move I had to find other ways around them just because of how they won't move. 

The cutscenes in the game well not all parts are voice acted some are still animation,some are pre-rendered cutscenes,some are real time in game cutscenes that I prefer, and others lack dialogue and its entirely just text box.i would rather It to have the cinematic cutscenes and real time that is voice acted. 

But each cutscene in the game was excellent and its very engaging to see the life of the Yakuza through how honor bound they are and how much pressure there is in the storyline. 

This is a good starting point if you are new as you do not have to play Yakuza 1 to know about the series. And you can actually have a lot of fun in the game. 

It gets 4 stars. 

Looking at it now I would be more interested in playing Yakuza games as the stories of crime in this game with its character development and Japanese style It one of the reasons why I enjoy cult video games as they always have something unique about them. 

 

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