Game Name: Yakuza 2
Game Developer: Sega
PAL Release: 19/09/08
Game Type: Action/RPG
Game Description: Yakuza 2 is sequel set a year after to the Action/RPG Yakuza. Kazuma Kiryu returns to the seedy Tokyo underworld to bail out his old Yakuza organisation.
This time not only does Kazuma have to deal with a foreign threat of a Korean Mafia gang trying to take over his city but he must also deal with the Osaka Yakuza as well who want to strike down Kazuma’s old gang while they are weak.
This quest will take Kazuma to very shady parts Kamurocho (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka) where he must unravel another conspiracy within the two biggest Yakuza gangs in Japan with the aid of a mysterious lady who is the Osaka Police Department’s anti-gang lead investigator but is some how connected to Kazuma’s current predicament.
Yakuza 2 took me by surprise. I did not think that Sega could honestly match the first game in terms of story telling or just the general gameplay but they did. Please note that I am not saying this is better than Yakuza 1, what I am saying that’s it’s on par with it and serves as an awesome companion to the first game. (Click here to see the entry for the first game!)
Yakuza 2 is a much more ambitious game in general when compared to the first game. This is mainly because Sega knew that they where on to something with the series at this point in Japan. You can tell more effort went in to this game and more money also. The game takes place in two cities now which is great in my opinion because after all variety is the spice of life. With that said the game because it has expanded so much the scope of the game does hinder the tightness of the missions and narrative somewhat. Towards the end I was hoping between the two cities to complete quests and was a little bothersome but over all I enjoyed visiting both cities and exploring them both.
The gameplay has been greatly improved as well. There is no good and better endings like in Yakuza and you don’t have to baby sit Haurka like you did in the old game, well not to the same extent of taking around the shops and amusements for two or so hours like in the last game anyway which is a relief. This means you can take in the game at your own pace, you are actually more of your own boss in this instalment of the series. There are also a lot more things to see and do in this game as well when wondering around towns. New nightclubs to hit up and possibly even run as well as new activities like Shogi, Mah-Jong, Bowling as much more.
The fighting is a lot smoother and the weapons are a little more useful in this game. There is more moves to use your “HEAT” bar with and you are assisted by you NPC companions a lot more in this allowing for some awesome tag-team moves and such.
The presentation like I said has improved from the original. The music and sound still give the game that high end “movie thriller” feeling. During the cut scenes the camera takes on multiple angles now and sometimes you even see stuff that’s happening away from the main character which is new to the series. There seems to be a lot of flashbacks as a means of storytelling too which is also new to the series. The story itself focuses less on Kazuma this time around since his story has been explored somewhat in the original game but you can tell while playing that he is that main character. This time Yakuza 2 allows the supporting characters to shine though a little more and flesh them out a lot more giving them plausible, realistic motives for their actions which has been a strong point of the series in my opinion.
It took me roughly 20 hours to beat the game and I highly enjoyed it. The story alone was fantastic especially if you have already invested the time to play the original game and get to know Mr. Kazuma though that game. The game itself played like a polished and enhanced version of the original game but with a big scope and a much bigger budget this time around. I highly recommend anyone who is reading this to try this series of games out because they are both fantastic games and I consider them to be some of the best RPG’s on the Playstation 2.
Best Bit: Finally seeing the incredibly satisfying end credits after a couple of really epic fights. (and yes I do know that’s the same line from the original game review but it’s a strong point of the series!)
Worst Bit: Fighting the bullshit tigers, you will understand once you actually play the game.
Most Memorable Line: “Next time remember to wear some cologne, you wreak of blood” ~ Ryjui Goda to Kazuma Kiryu just as he’s about to leave a night club in Kansai – Second Chapter