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All things Yakuza! - Start with Yakuza Zero


womblingfree
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Definitely stick with Yakuza 3. It's got one of the best villains in the whole series and the combat system gets pretty good once you get all the additional moves. It's pretty dated but it has a lot of charm overall.

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I liked 3. It felt definitely more low-key coming off the razzle dazzle of shiny Kiwami 2, but I personally quite dug the particular Shenmue-ness of its small town segments.

 

I’m playing 5 at the minute. Only on the Kiryu part so far (9+ hours worth of it and counting) but nice to be back in the groove of stoating about, caving cunts’ cunts in, doing karaoke, playing darts and mopping up side quests.
 

Also really loving the ultra mundane taxi missions. Who knew sticking to safe driving, using indicators and stopping at stop signs could actually make for decent fun in a video game? I was expecting all the car shit to be janky as hell, but even the races are pretty serviceable. It’s almost as though Toshihiro Nagoshi had Virtua Racing and Daytona USA on his CV.

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3 hours ago, Garwoofoo said:

I'm playing 5 too. In one session yesterday I drove a snowmobile, punched a bear in the face and then fought a mountain god. The game is absolutely nuts.


The NiGHTS: Into Dreams theme song came on in the M Store for me last night 8-)

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I'm playing Yakuza 4 at the minute.

 

Spoiler

I get that the Saejima scene where he's on top on Haruka is meant to be uncomfortable, but I audibly breathed a sigh of relief when he climbed off of her. 

Jesus Christ, that was pretty tense considering a couple of chapters before I was taking photos of a guy wall-running while wearing women's underwear over his face. 

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I got really into Saejima's hunting side-story in Yakuza 5. Such a weird little diversion, plays absolutely nothing like anything else in the game and has nothing to do with the overall plot either, but I played it right through to completion and really enjoyed the self-contained little story it offered. I want to go off to town now with my cold weather gear and hunting shotgun and really show them all who's boss.

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1 hour ago, Garwoofoo said:

I got really into Saejima's hunting side-story in Yakuza 5. Such a weird little diversion, plays absolutely nothing like anything else in the game and has nothing to do with the overall plot either, but I played it right through to completion and really enjoyed the self-contained little story it offered. I want to go off to town now with my cold weather gear and hunting shotgun and really show them all who's boss.

 

I found that the weakest area in the game for me. I suspect it was coming from an epic hunting journey in Red Dead 2 in the mountains that scuppered it a bit though!

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Yeah, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it but found it really got its hooks into me. A nice change of pace after Kiryu getting jumped by punks on every street corner.

 

(I haven't played Red Dead 2 though. I suspect perhaps I should!)

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1 minute ago, Garwoofoo said:

Yeah, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it but found it really got its hooks into me. A nice change of pace after Kiryu getting jumped by punks on every street corner.

 

(I haven't played Red Dead 2 though. I suspect perhaps I should!)

 

I think you should! It doesn't have quite as many whacky adventures, but the ones it does have are pretty damn good too!

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On 28/04/2021 at 11:23, Calashnikov said:

I was expecting all the car shit to be janky as hell, but even the races are pretty serviceable. It’s almost as though Toshihiro Nagoshi had Virtua Racing and Daytona USA on his CV.


Ok, I just bought...

 

Spoiler

‘Let’s Go Away’ from Daytona USA 


... on CD from Kiryu’s mobile phone shop to listen to during races! :omg: 

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Yakuza 3 - Finished! Didn't love it. Felt the pacing was all over the place and the combat felt like the CPU was just holding block the whole time. Just blasted through the main story. Some great moments though, anikiiiii!!!


Yakuza 4 - Feels a bit closer to 0 in look and feel, and combat is an upgrade from 3. Loving the expanded Kamurocho. Chapter 1 and just hunting for sub-stories so signs are good 

 

EDIT - missed this in 3 - the massage parlour mini-game!! WTF :lol:

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The Haruka chapter in Yakuza 5 is a bit :blink:, isn't it?

 

Even discounting the incredible tonal whiplash that the game gives you by transitioning straight from Saejima's gritty melodrama into a singing-and-dancing rhythm action game, it's a bit of an eye-opener into the world of a Japanese idol. The actual concerts and dance battles are wholesome enough but everything surrounding those is deeply suspect. I can't decide whether I'm more freaked out by the events where you have to do a series of uncomfortably long handshakes with a succession of grotty Japanese perverts, or the ones where you have to run panting through the streets and then everyone comments on how sweaty you are.

 

Most of all though it's this: I feel like I've known Haruka since she was about 5! She's been a constant throughout all the games, Kiryu's always super protective of her and that's really come across into the game in a big way. I just want her to sing and dance and be successful then go home again. I swear if anything bad happens to her in this game, anything at all, I'm going to be absolutely devastated.

 

This series, though. A couple of hours ago I was punching bears in the face.

 

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I fell asleep during a ‘Saejima in prison’ cutscene yesterday late afternoon :blush: Can’t be fucked playing as him again really. Don’t like his fighting style and didn’t enjoy his stuff in Yak4. Been dreading his segment in 5 and now that it’s here I’m falling asleep. Just need to power through it. I think my last save was at the prison yard pay phone. Back through the cutscenes I go.

 

I’m actually most excited at the prospect of Haruka’s chapter. Badly needing something new and different for me to do. I think that’s largely why I enjoyed Mundane Taxi with Kiryu. Maybe I’ll similarly like Saejima’s hunting? Just need to get him out of that fucking jail.

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I actually ended up really liking Saejima’s section, after despising him in 4. The hunting stuff really clicked with me and I played through the whole lot before continuing. Then his city section, when you finally get there, is excellent, and his fighting style gets pretty insane once you’ve powered him up fully. You just need to power through that interminable prison section, really. 

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Good news, folks. Once I got Saejima to the mountain village I totally fell in love with his character, the nice change of pace and played through the entire hunting story in one massive and memorable Friday evening into early Saturday morning session :) 
 

I intend to mop up the associated mountain side missions and slap about the weird flying, fireball throwing, mountain god channeling somehow old tramp master guy who lives in the shrine what on earth I don’t even :wacko: 

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I'm struggling with Yakuza 4. While I'm enjoying the overall story, I'm finding restarting with different characters really annoying. Not being able to finish up my side stories and level up my character before it throws someone new at me and having to start again is...off putting. Please tell me I can alternate back to the earlier characters before the end of the game. 

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You do get the chance to play as all the characters again, but it's basically right at the end before the final sequence. You can switch between them at will, swap items between them and finish whatever side activities you want.

 

Or, if you prefer, you can press on and complete the game, then jump back into Premium Adventure mode to mop up all the other bits and pieces. Up to you.

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I’m not sure that scene is a facepalm actually. I thought it was brilliant. Tense and uncomfortable as fuck. Couldn’t believe what I was seeing, certainly, but it wasn’t like the usual wacky Yakuza sexist stuff. It was something else. Was it problematic, what are we thinking?

 

It certainly wasn’t played for laughs or titillation.

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Yeah, I kind of agree, it's a deeply uncomfortable scene but a really memorable one that reinforces a couple of the game's key themes (Saejima's isolation and difficulty rehabilitating after so many years inside, and Kiryu's/the player's protective instincts towards Haruka). It reinforces Kiryu's decision to trust Saejima - he does actually manage to control himself in that scene.

 

I'd take this kind of storytelling any day over Kiwami 2's creepy photography game or Zero's wanking booths.

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Well, the Haruka chapter in Yakuza 5 is absolutely brilliant. Maybe my favourite self-contained section of any of these games. Genuinely they could have sold this standalone as a dancing spin-off and it would have been fine. The fact that it's, what, 20% of a game that's also had me driving taxis and punching bears is kind of mental really.

 

Also I absolutely love Akiyama, I hope he gets his turn in the spotlight again one day.

 

It kind of reinforces my view that the best parts of the Yakuza games are the bits that have nothing to do with the actual yakuza. Whether you're running a cabaret club, managing kids' problems in an orphanage or trying to win a dancing competition, those sections are always the highlights of their respective games.

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I dunno, as much as I absolutely agree with most of the post above, I'm a sucker for the clan politics etc. 

 

The OTT introduction captions - 'Hasegawa, patriarch of the Hasegawa family, a subsidiary of the Hasegawason clan, second cousin twice removed' etc are just laughably serious considering in the next scene you'll be racing Scalextric cars against 10 year olds or beating up men in nappies or helping a guy in a public toilet who has shit himself. 

 

DUN DUN

 

 

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On 21/05/2021 at 08:00, Garwoofoo said:

Well, the Haruka chapter in Yakuza 5 is absolutely brilliant. Maybe my favourite self-contained section of any of these games. Genuinely they could have sold this standalone as a dancing spin-off and it would have been fine. The fact that it's, what, 20% of a game that's also had me driving taxis and punching bears is kind of mental really.

 

Also I absolutely love Akiyama, I hope he gets his turn in the spotlight again one day.

 

It kind of reinforces my view that the best parts of the Yakuza games are the bits that have nothing to do with the actual yakuza. Whether you're running a cabaret club, managing kids' problems in an orphanage or trying to win a dancing competition, those sections are always the highlights of their respective games.

 

Given the benefit of hindsight, I reckon Yakuza 5 might be my favourite in the series. Just an incredible amount of stuff to experience, and a lot of it that stays with you. Saejima's night time chats with his cell mates, Kiryu's heart to hearts with his taxi company manager, the music in Haruka's dance battles, the chemistry in the final chapter between Shinada and Takasugi. It's a bloody great experience, that's for sure. 

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