Yakuza Series Alive and Well Through 2018

Release this Tuesday!

… And according to Kotaku, Yakuza 0 will get a Western release later. On PS4. (I missed that announcement on the PS Experience livestream while typing my previous post.)

So happy we are getting Yakuza 0. Hopefully it can attract new fans being on PS4 and a prequel to the series. Would be a perfect lead into Kiwami as well.

Looking forward to playing Yakuza 5 again as well, never finished it due to it being announced for the west and the translated cutscenes were taken down.

Super ready for Tuesday. Yakuza 0 is the cherry on top, and will get me to actually buy a PS4.

The thread title is looking more inaccurate as time goes on, thankfully. :)

I came across this article from Hardcore Gamer which ranks the previous games, in case someone want to play the previous installments to prepare for the stories in Yakuza 5.

It ranks Yakuza 3 as the best.

I tried playing part 2, and part 3. On the PS2 and PS3 respectively. On PS2, I never even got to any of the gameplay. I just kept getting shuffled from cutscene to cutscene to cutscene for hours. And I eventually gave up. On PS3, Yakuza 3 starts off with a story and setting so compelling that even though it starts the same way (cutscene to cutscene shuffling for hours), I didn’t mind, and kept playing anyway. And then I went to the city and got to my first gameplay sequence: some kind of weird fighting game. I was so baffled, I quit and never went back.

But if I could stand the weird fighting game stuff, Yakuza 3 would be the one I would go back to. It really did start with a great story.

If you hate beating up massive numbers of dudes, I think Yakuza is not the series of games for you.

It looks like the download (22GB) won’t be finished before 2AM. Stupid European PSN and its lack of preordering / preloading.

Yeah this was a total pain on my 60GB PS3 since you need 46GB free space to even start the download. Took a few hours to download and then it took about 45 minutes to install.

I’m suddenly wondering what Kamurocho Hills, the shopping center behind West Park, will look like in this game. It was planned in 1, partially built and then blown up in 2, restarted in 3, under construction in 4, and ravaged by zombies on opening day in Dead Souls. With Dead Souls non-canon, it should be built and open, right?

Yeah, I would think so, given the amount of time that has passed since the last game. But I haven’t gotten to that point yet – I am still driving taxis and making ramen in Fukuoka…hahaha.

Given that Sega’s been bullish on PC ports lately, I’m really hoping they release the entire series on Steam. The upcoming remake of Yakuza 1 would be a great starting point…

It’s funny, but no one really talked about that part of the game. I’d been drawn in because people talked about being able to go hostess clubs in Tokyo, and how the game was better than any other at the time in actually capturing the nightlife in Tokyo, and showing one window into culture there. So it made me really curious. But I don’t remember anyone saying “oh yeah, and by the way, between all that, you’ll be beating up dudes, that’s the core gameplay”. It just came as a big surprise to me.

Interesting. I was always under the impression that 3 was the low-point in many fans listings. I just started 3 myself having played the first two years ago. Thus far it’s alright, very sluggish opening clearly built for exposition with some of the most embarrassingly contrived coincidences ever penned into a narrative. It’s hokey and I can laugh in appreciation, yet the first two games were at their best trying dramatizing the guttural depths of the ahem…“yakuza” enterprises when egos and depravity clash. The goofiness steals from that. Ie. Goro Maijima was once a threatening thug, now a clown. Bummer.

I’m uncomfortable to talk about the game out of fear of spoilers. Rest assured that, 20 hours in (I like doing the side missions), Yakuza 5 is not unlike its predecessors. There are ugly dudes asking to be pounded into the pavement, and there’s karaoke.

But in Saejima’s chapter, the part in the mountains is really something else. Going out to hunt deer and bears while the cold is eating away at your health and you can hardly see through the snow - it’s great. I’ve spent the past three hours doing this, and each mission ends with me being annoyed that I’ve triggered the end.

Also, his backup cheering for the track “Rouge of Love” is hilarious. Or unsettling. In Y4, he didn’t sing, and now we know why.

As for Y3, when you play it you can’t help noticing how brutally the hostess clubs had been cut from the game, and the absence of mahjongg and shogi were unnecessary annoyances. But the story had several emotional peaks; some tranquil ones in and around the orphanage, and some intense ones all through the game. And it marries one of the best stories in the franchise with the improvements in camera, movement and fighting that stayed with us until now. So if you’re mostly disappointed with the things cut from the game, it’s a low; if you’re mostly impressed by what is still in the game, it’s a high. To me, the removed bits were merely noise in a wonderful experience.

I had burned out on this game during Haruka’s chapter. I was looking forward to her chapter at first since her combat is just dance battles, but it was hard to go from an intriguing crime story into practicing for the Princess League. A little over a week ago I pushed on through her chapter and it got really good again, ended up finishing the game at 70’ish hours.

I had been curious about Shinada since he’s the newcomer, and his chapters were really good. I typically ignore the weapon crafting aspect, but his character is geared towards using weapons so I ended up getting him some good ones and having a blast. I wasn’t a big fan of how twisty the story gets, but it was alright. 4 still holds the crown for having the stupidest plot twist. The end boss of 5 was pretty bad, but the fight itself was good, as were all the preceding boss fights with the other characters.

Now I’m about 77 hours into Yakuza 5 finishing up some of the extra stuff I missed. It would take quite a long time to do everything there is to do in this game. Looking forward to finally playing Yakuza 0. They introduced this launch edition which is pretty cool.

The Yakuza 6 gameplay they have been showing has been making me drool as well. Hopefully 0 sells well enough that they bring it over in a timely manner.

I am now interested in this game.


Hell yes. My favorite RPG series is getting two more games in the west. Yakuza Kiwami in Summer 2017 and Yakuza 6 in early 2018. Oh, and Yakuza 0 is still coming out late next month.