Game Name: Yakuza
Game Developer: Sega
PAL Release: 15/09/06
Game Type: Action/RPG
Game Description: Yakuza is an Action RPG set in modern Tokyo where a man named Kazuma Kiryu, a member of the Dojima Yakuza is framed for murdering his boss and ends up in Jail for 10 years.
When he is released he discovers that there is more than his current predicament than meets the eye as 10 billion yen is stolen from a Yakuza bank right after his release. Kazuma must try to get the trust of a little girl who holds the key to the mystery of the stolen money but it won’t be easy due to every Yakuza in town wanting Kazuma dead (for murdering his old Yakuza boss!) and the girl alive so that they can take the money for themselves.
Yakuza has been one of my favourite RPG’s on the Playstation 2. It’s a brutal tale of what happens when a Yakuza is pushed to his limit while defending someone he loves and makes a monumentally fatal error which ruins everyone that was close to him.
I really don’t want to mention much more of the story because I want you to go out and play this game for yourself. But what I am willing to talk about is the gameplay which is very reminiscent to an old Sega game you might of herd of called Shen-Mue, a game so ground breaking and epic that contributed heavily to Sega’s current third party status that are in today!
You wonder around Tokyo in a (normally) free roaming fashion completing missions and getting in to fights with random gangsters and yobs. The fights are not your typical turn based affair but full on real time brawls like you would find in a scrolling beat-em-up. You can perform brutal finishing moves and use weapons ranging from golf clubs and plastic cones to firearms and grenades. You gain experience while fighting which can be used to level up your attributes which will give you more health, moves or “ki” bar which allows you to perform more devastating moves.
While the fighting is pretty awesome it can be a little clunky sometimes with the controls being as they are. This is even more problematic when you are fighting a guy that ducks and dives like a slippery otter greased up on butter. The lock on system can also be a bother too, especially when you are trying to perform a finishing move on a particularly annoying enemy but instead his some weak Yakuza grunt with it instead.
You can also stop and eat food and play on slot machines, game in casinos and even visit hostess bars and try your luck with the ladies as well as numerous other things to long to list here.
The voice acting is all dubbed in English and is awesome and the music is also very good. The graphics are actually very nice and you do really feel like you are in Tokyo even though the game is only loosely based of a real section of Tokyo like the GTA games are loosely based on real cities too.
Overall I really enjoyed playing this game. It has a genuinely interesting story with characters that you will remember and give a shit about when you are done with the game. If Sega just sorted out some of the fighting mechanics by tweaking them a little I think this would pretty much be a perfect game. Alias that is what squeals are for I guess…
Best Bit: Finally seeing the incredibly satisfying end credits after a couple of really epic fights.
Worst Bit: Cheap gangsters who take pot shots at you with pistols when you are in the middle of fighting three other guys, BAH!
Most Memorable Line: “A Shotgun, I brought this for you because this city is shady as fuck.” ~ Weapons Dealer in Stardust – Final Chapter (PIC)