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All things Yakuza! - Start with Yakuza Zero


womblingfree
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Yeah Yakuza 2 is great, all the little niggles get cleared up and the story and badass atmosphere is still tops. Again, as a I said, it gets a bit silly but then the first one wasn't exactly straightfaced. There's also more side things to do, like being a host, or running a club etc.

I'm thinking of getting Yakuza 3 but at the same time I'd like to play a Yakuza game in English for a change, and just sit back and relax while playing instead. Sounds like it's another winner though from impressions on the internet

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hopefully, this delay means two things: that it'll be cheap and that it won't have voice-overs. I couldn't see myself paying much more than £20 for the sequel to a game that had a lot of promise, then threw it all out the window as the narrative got progressively worse.

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I'm playing it at the moment - it's surprisingly good fun. And intentionally hilarious on many occasions. Somehow hitting people around the chops with beer crates never seems to get old.

WHADDAFUCK?!? *begins to fight Street Punks again...*

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I loved it. Preach will find something to complain about. ;)

And that's the prompt I was waiting for :P This is what I said while I was still enjoying it:

GTA comparisons are almost laughable to be honest - for one, exploring the city's not a completely futile act because there's a good chance that most of what makes the environment interesting is actually open for business. It makes the scale of things far easier to appreciate and quite beside anything else, it's a damn sight prettier than Liberty City or San Andreas.

Shenmue comparisons are easier to draw, but they're pretty tenuous, aren't they? Protagonist is Japanese, setting's Japanese and there's a lot of walking, talking and interacting to do. I think you're pretty much spot on with your RPG comparison (especially since doing even the most mundane of things like eating food and buying products earns you experience), though it's an awful burden for it to carry, especially when it's so much better than what that particular genre's been able to pump out for the past 5 years or so.

Truth be told, it's got its problems, but they're not so big that I even have to choose to overlook them, especially when there's so much else to love about it. The city itself is this gorgeous, neon-lit playground that's alive with all sorts of people, "business" and chatter - and no matter how much of it you think you've seen, there's always the feeling there's more you've not even touched upon. About the only thing that would've made it better is if you were able to view it all from street level like in Shenmue, but propping the camera up well above street level and above even the buildings makes the scale of it all appreciable in a different way to Shenmue.

About the only thing that fucks me off is the combat. Now if I'd been able to finish a combo off without getting kicked in the back by some twat who's just walked onto the screen, I wouldn't have wanted for a lock on system nearly as much as I do, but it happens so often that it's enough to make it a pain. Still, that's not to say it's a complete loss, since the QTE stuff's just so brutal that it the amount of fun I derive from doing it's verging on the perverse. In the grand scheme of things though, combat's not frequent, time consuming or complicated enough to detract from the hours you'll spend lurking the streets, for the kind of fun some prudish dick wizard At AM2 thought Ryo Hazuki wouldn't go in for.

And this was what I thought after I'd finished it:

I'd lost so much interest in this by the final few chapters of the game that posting impressions immediately after finishing it would've sent me into a coma. In almost every respect, Yakuza's a typical JRPG - and with that in mind, it can be broken down into three seperate parts: exploration, combat and story. It'd be nice if it did all or even one of these 3 better than even an average JRPG, but it doesn't.

See, exploration's all well and good once the dreary introduction's over and done with, but no sooner than being given the freedom to explore, you're being thrust into random battles. To the game's credit, they're less random than a standard RPG because the opportunity to steer clear of them exists, but until you distinguish the arseholes from the rest of the crowd, there's fuck all to seperate one fight from the other, besides clothing and maybe numbers.

Worse than that, the combat's really rough to start out with. Finishing a combo without getting twatted in the back half way through's a rare occurence and keeping the fucker still while you do it's even rarer. Fair enough, there's a semi-useful lock on feature and a sidestep to make the whole process less painful, but neither of these come into their own till much later, by which point the story's taken precedent over everything else and you find yourself a spectator to what's possibly the most absurd storyline ever.

It starts out well enough and despite the excessive swearing, you figure it's fairly well rooted in reality - but as time goes on and the narrative unfurls, the whole thing becomes so ridiculous that it's only marginally more palatable than House of the Dead 2's bizarre yarn. I shant spoil anything for the folk who've yet to complete it but suffice to say, if you think the story's already taken a turn for the bizarre at the point you've reached in the game, it can and will get worse.

About the best thing I can say about Yakuza is the city itself - it doesn't stay entertaining for the duration of the game but it's pretty enough and varied enough to make exploring it worthwhile. My favourite way of spending time in the city turned out to be Shine, a hostess bar on Pink Avenue. After a long period of negotiation and one-way flattery, I nailed the not-so-lovely Erina in a love-hotel opposite the batting cages.

It may not be enough to rescue it from the pits of mediocrity, but exploration's a big enough part of the game to make it worthwhile. Just.

So if nothing else, it at least starts out well.

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I'm playing it at the moment - it's surprisingly good fun. And intentionally hilarious on many occasions. Somehow hitting people around the chops with beer crates never seems to get old.

WHADDAFUCK?!? *begins to fight Street Punks again...*

Hahaha!!! That it exactly what it's like, I loved it ;)

Especially the items you get.

<beats up horde of gangsters>

"You got some tissues"

Amazing lols.

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Right, I've folded. I said on the last page that while I was a huge fan of Yakuza and Yakuza 2, I was going to wait until Kenzan was in English before buying it because I still haven't had the chance to play any of the games relaxing in English. The time setting was what was throwing me off, because I thought they'd be speaking a harder to understand Japanese. But since people on GameFAQs seem to think that's not the case, it's getting ordered. BIG TIME. Sorry wallet.

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Right, I've folded. I said on the last page that while I was a huge fan of Yakuza and Yakuza 2, I was going to wait until Kenzan was in English before buying it because I still haven't had the chance to play any of the games relaxing in English.

How's your Japanese? Looking forward to your feedback on the game :unsure:

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Isn't it really more like "Keep trying until you collapse or die?"

:unsure:

I think there should be a law against using the same phrase of encouragement for

- a grieving widow

- a high school relay race

- someone eating a big sandwich

- someone sitting their university finals

- people going through a recession

- someone who's wife has left them

- someone chugging a beer.

and so on but they seem to think one size fits all. Then again, if we did that in English it might make things more interesting. Like a guy having trouble finishing a burger in a pub and his mate goes "Whapitintayee big man!" and then another friend turns up and says his wife has left him so the same guy turns around and says "Fucking whap it inta yeee!"

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  • 5 weeks later...

From Mr. Grim Fandango himself, Escape, in the GTAIV thread:

(How close is Kengo 3 to Blade?) We should bring back the Yakuza thread for this

Kengo 3 is a better game than Bushido Blade in my opinion. Part of people's appeal of Bushido Blade is it's PS1-ness. If Kengo was part of the way there and Kengo 2 the other part then Kengo 3 finally surpasses. The single player mode has storylines based around a mash of the historical samurai involved. The fighting is as tight as the other games, and balanced enough to throw in pole fighters and people who use the chain and sickle. As far as samurai dueling games go, I don't think they've ever made a better one. The sword fighting in Kenzan is not like Kengo or Bushido Blade, it's like when you have a sword equipped in RGG1 or 2, except you have it by default. It's almost the same as a punch.

And Genki keep putting out great games like this. About 70% of the Samurai games they've put out are worth playing. Fu-un Shinsengumi and it's sequel are great samurai games with a lot of depth. It takes a genuine historical setting, Kengo/WOTS style duels, Kengo skill development and some minor football management style stuff, and mashes it together to make a game that would sell nowhere else, but can be addictive if you get into it.

The other game I mentioned in that thread, Kenka Bancho series, is more like a 3D take off of River City Ransom (though I don't think they are official Kunio-kun games). Again, if you are looking for a Japanese setting and aren't interested in graphics, these games have a fair bit to offer. Not the production values of Ryu Ga Gotoku games, but definitely like the old River City Ransom style evolved (and slightly broken in every direction)

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No none of those games (Kengo 3 / Fu-un Shinsengumi / Kenka Bancho) were translated unfortunately. I don't think they will be at this stage of the PS2s life either.

The Yakuza series really is 'comic-like' as you said, it's all about being over the top. Like Hanaya has a secret spy base castle underneath Tokyo. And in Yakuza 2 you beat up men dressed as babies, and punch a tiger in the face. The story is quite silly and the design is exagerrated from straight to video Yakuza movies. Kiryuu doesn't really move like a real person in the fighting parts, when he punches or swings a bike at someone or whatever, his whole body lunges out and he seems to stretch. But the OTT aspects work fine to make the combat feel more meaty and the game a lot more fun, definitely.

So at the same time, I don't hold the exaggerated style of GTA against it. The problem is that they do so many things, they can't do them all very well. While I was happy to see that more time has been put into the fighting system in GTAIV, I was a bit shocked how bare bones it still looks. I know that people in videos are not using the counters etc because they are a bit thick, but since so much of the early part of the game seems to involve you being unarmed, I'm at a loss as to why they didn't put in an even more advanced fighting system.

But yeah, I think they are actually working toward the kind of thing you want, though they might not be there yet. GTA seems to be getting more grounded and story driven with each new installment. But I think we're a long way off something like Le Samourai : The Videogame.

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