Yakuza 0 is amazing and you should play it

So I’m walking down an alley in the middle of the night minding my own business when I see this woman on the ground crying. I was all hey what’s up and she was foreign so she said a lot of words wrong but she was like bad man force me to do sexy work so I can send money home to my family but he stole my passport and now I have to get a pizza or else I can’t go back to work.

I was like dude sorry to hear about the forced prostitution but I can totally help you out and she seemed pretty happy about that. I mean if a pizza is going to make this poor woman’s night a little better I can spare a few minutes.

In order to find a pizza I went to a burger joint because all western food is the same and I was like yo gimmie a pizza and the lady behind the counter was like no dude we do burgers here but why don’t you try this other place, they do pizza and they deliver. And I’m all sweet can you just call them for me and I’ll pay you and she totally did. So I had pizza delivered to the burger place and the cashier waited outside with me until the pizza arrived because it’s Japan and people are really nice about stuff like that.

Then I took the pizza back to the alley and the crying woman was like um what is that and I was like it’s your pizza, dummy, now you can go back to work. But she’s all no dude my Japanese is better since you went for burgers and I need a visa not a pizza and I’m like oh shit.

Now her pimp shows up and he’s talkin’ 'bout did you get that visa yet and she’s like well I have a pizza and he’s all well you know what that means, now you work for me for life. And I was all nu uh so I beat his ass until money came out and then he starts crying and confesses that he only stole her passport and forced her to sell her body because he’s in love with her and will she marry him and then he’ll get her a legit job no more sexy work promise and she was like k and then we all ate the pizza together while the pizza delivery guy looked on and smiled.

And that is how you make a side quest in your video game. Take some notes, Final Fantasy XV. The end.

I would buy the side quest you just described at 59.99. But then again, I just spent the last hour on the UFO Catcher.
This game. So very good…

Man, I love reading stories about what happens in Yakuza games. I just love all the thousands of little things and the story they have and everything. The only thing I don’t like is this part:

That’s the main gameplay. So I can really enjoy the game vicariously through other people telling stories about Yakuza games.

Covered in a Jimquisition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCaySI6wRm4

I have no desire to watch some blowhard’s video*, but the original post is how you sell a game. That little anecdotes exemplifies why I do – but ultimately don’t? – want to play Yakuza Number Whatever It Is This Time. That pizza/visa thing? Good writing! Nice. Speaking of which, Cathcart, if you wrote regularly about videogames, you would be the Kellywand of writing about videogames.


* says a blowhard who does his own videos every other weeknight…

Sorry, I don’t get it. What’s the deal with the pizza/visa/oh shit? And why would somebody force someone into prostitution if they loved them? And she was like k to marriage? Then you all ate pizza together? I’m just confused, and it’s not even late, or early.

Edit: okay, the video is clearer than the OP (sorry Cathcart!). That was a crazy side mission.

I watched Angry Joe’s review and Yakuza does look pretty amazing despite some terrible archaic design decisions. Gonna be one of the purchases for sure, hopefully it will fill that Sleeping Dogs sized hole.



Is the combat interesting? This guy makes it sound like the sheer impact is part of the fun:

He also walks through the first story mission if anyone’s on the fence.

Btw I wonder why does sega make Yakuzas Sony exclusive and only release english versions years after japanese. This series could be blockbuster worldwide if they bothered and marketed it, wtf.

“Absurdly Japanese open-world 3D brawler” doesn’t actually have that much international appeal, because of those first two words. Most people don’t want to put cat ears on their old-man player character that’s going to be beating up thugs on the way over to getting some yakisoba before heading to the karaoke bar.

Are there other 3D brawlers that are not absurdly Japanese that are huge hits around the world? It seems like that’s a pretty niche genre to begin with. I’ve heard the WWE wrestling games are kind of like that, do they sell well? I’ve never seen them on top of the sales charts.

It’s a good game. If you’ve played any of the others in the series you basically get more of the same, with the story being the real-time account of what you’ve gone over several times before in backstory cutscenes in previous games. But it’s still fun to play and charming with all those side quests and the like. Also extremely sexist and retrogressive, but then they are trying to recreate the least progressive of all possible societal elements of 1980-ish Japan, I guess.

“Open-world 3D brawler” sounds a lot like Batman, at least.

Having worked at Sega and also on the Yakuza series 2 through 4, It’s interesting how many people think that. Unfortunately I have about 8 years left on my NDA so I can’t get into details, but more generally (not just about Yakuza) while sometimes companies make bad decisions, there is a lot of weird perception that that not localizing titles or not putting a massive marketing campaign behind something is a personal affront to the fans. As if companies enjoy making people suffer not able to play games they want, not making revenue, etc. etc.

Lots of gamers have blinders and think “I love it so there must be MILLIONS more people like me out there! And they are leaving MILLIONS on the table!” Publishers have lots of data so generally if they are doing something you don’t understand you should think about what they know that you don’t rather than assume they are making bad decisions.

Is the Yakuza series somewhat similar to Way of the Samurai? Because I thought Way of the Samurai 4 was sort of okay as a japanese open-world brawler with cool customization, but a microscopic grindy open world full of pointless mini-games and “crazy” japanese antics that are not quite endearing. The real damning part is that combat is just not fun, simple and tedious with and endless amount of hacking away at targets and not the “Swish! Swish! Then the guy drops dead” that katana combat should be.

Or is Way of the Samurai not representative of the japanese open world-ish brawler?

Cool. I haven’t actually played Yakuza. I am not a fan and I am not taking it as an insult that they are not localizing and trying to make it big worldwide. But simply as a gamer, seeing the videos from it and reviews, it does not seem to me that different from western games, apart from its “japaneseness” and couple design decisions. I mean it is a semi-open world brawler with great storyline and unique air of Japan around it. It’s not like we are talking about farming simulators here.

I’m pretty sure Farming Simulator sells more than Yakuza in the West.

f discourse

Yeah, I didn’t think you took it as an insult but there are many who do.

There are a surprising number of “rejectors” of Japanese games, even among the non-FPS audience. So if something even smells Japanese they are automatically not interested. Yakuza is not only made by a Japanese dev team with a unique and arguably old-fashioned, charming and/or bizarre cultural perspective, but even moreso it’s about Japanese people having adventures in a thinly veiled fictional versions of Tokyo neighborhoods that hold no relevance for 99% of the audience in North America and Europe.

It feels a lot more cool when you are kicking ass on a virtual street corner of the same place you walked in real life a couple of days ago.

Germany is not the entire west ;)

I don’t doubt there are some people dumb enough to be rejective of Japanese game because of its Japaneseness, but I doubt they are in the majority. There are all kinds of games from all kinds of places and settings that are appealing to people worldwide, as long as the quality is there and people actually know about it. If SEGA actually does go through the trouble of localizing and releasing in the west, I just don’t get why not do it day and date with japanese versions and with better marketing support. But yes I know they have their strategies and research and I know nothing Jon Snow :)