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They keep making these game and oddly them keep being very good. Anyone else very interested.
Easy Allies Review
Whatever we may think about this moment, our practice is just to return to it. This moment is where all beings exist.
"You Have to Say Something" Dainin Katagiri p. 9
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Me too, I wanna play Judgement.
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There's an interesting story out that Lost Judgement may be the last in the Judgement series because SEGA wants to release the games on PC, while the talent agency representing Takuya Kimura does not. I'm not too familiar with how celebrity talent agencies work over there but it seems like an odd situation that I hope they're able to resolve.
The music industry is considered pretty "behind the times" compared to the Western way of doing things, so it's not a surprise that a company like Johnny's is so against having his likeness on PC or the Internet at all. There's a fine line between that person themselves being considered the company's "property", as they're definitely part of the brand. As a result, when you consider the photoshop heavy nature of the Internet, any meme or something would be "damaging to the brand". When you consider how much easier it is to rip assets – and therefore character models – from a PC game compared to consoles, there's probably fear of how that stuff could be used in, say, Gary's Mod.
It's kind of funny how moments like this go a long way of showing how, even when they're making out-of-touch decisions like Atlus or Nintendo, how much more progressive the Japanese games industry as a whole is compared to many other industries in that nation.
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So I ended up pre-ordering the super digital deluxe edition of the game so I could play early, but put only a "bit" of time into Lost Judgment. I completed the first two chapters and am honestly really digging it so far.
I don't know if the comparison works, but in terms of the early parts of the game it feels to Yakuza what Bully might have felt like to GTA. It makes me want a game like Bully where you play as a student, but in the Yakuza style. This has also reduced the amount of random brawls in the streets, which already seem to be a bit less frequent than prior entries in the series. At the very least, no constant gang on the hunt for Yagami what feels like every half hour.
Really, though, the shift to the school has allowed for a lot of classic Yakuza goofiness (like a rhythm game based around teaching a dance class choreography based on made up Kung Fu) without going the standard route of grown men in diapers and stuff. In other words, what made the first Judgment stand out was Yagami being a detective, not a criminal, and therefore his involvement with Kamurocho was different from Kazuma's. But, for the first two chapters of Lost Judgment, at least, the tone and characters manage to stand apart by having no real focus to the Yakuza at all, but instead by beginning with an examination of bullying, potential causes, what allows it to happen, and presenting a (fantastic, unrealistic) "solution". This likely will feed into whatever the greater themes are, but it's still refreshing to get a game like this.
Also: all Yakuza games now need a skateboard.
So I am digging it so far, but am also only just beginning. We'll see how things turn out.