Yakuza Games Catch All

DeThroned wrote:

F this game! Nothing told me I had to go to a phone booth to save my progress. There goes 2 hours I have to replay now ... Ugh!

Yeah, that sucks.

You can also save from the menu, if you're playing Kiwami.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

Sounds like you weren't paying attention to messages Majima's subordinate was sending you - there's a bunch of points in the skill tree where he goes away until you hit a certain event. (Some of it is story gated too.) Did you at least encounter Zombie Majima?


Probably a casualty of taking long breaks at times. I didn't have any unread messages on the phone, but I probably read it, then never got around to actually doing the thing that it wanted me to do.

DeThroned wrote:

F this game! Nothing told me I had to go to a phone booth to save my progress. There goes 2 hours I have to replay now ... Ugh!


I came across this today: Yakuza 3 reviewed by actual Yakuza


A few highlights:

M: Kiryu is the way yakuza used to be. We kept the streets clean. People liked us. We didn't bother ordinary citizens. We respected our bosses. Now, guys like that only exist in video games.
S: I don't know any ex-yakuza running orphanages.
K: There was one a few years ago. A good guy.
M: You sure it wasn't just a tax shelter?
K: Sure it was a tax shelter but he ran it like a legitimate thing. You know.
M: The whole plot about resort expansion in Okinawa and the CIA and the politicians involved and all that? Wow. That game came out last year, right. That's totally happening in Okinawa right now.

Conclusion: actually a lot more realistic than you might think

I love going back and rereading that every so often. My favorite part:

S: ...What's with all the f*cking gaijin (foreigners) in the area anyway? It used to be just Japanese, Koreans and Chinese.
M: Don't say gaijin. Say Gaikokujin. It's more polite. Jake's a gaijin.
S: Yeah, I forget sometimes. What's with all the f*cking gaikokujin in Kabukicho anyway?

I can't help but read this with Italian mobster voices though.

Nice. Thanks for sharing that. Yakuza 3 was the first one I played. I’ve also read Adelstein’s book, so it was cool to see he set this up. Very interesting.

Is this the first one with English voice acting?

The original Yakuza on PS2 had a (bad) English dub as the only option.

Personally, part of my enjoyment of the series is the Japanese voice acting but more options for people is not a bad thing.

Also the kind of a spinoff Judgment had English.

Looking at that trailer, it makes me really appreciate the effort SEGA is taking with their localization efforts. It may be approximately a year after the Japanese release, but after seeing Ghost of Tsushima's Japanese language option retain the English lip-sync, you can see they went through the effort to lip-sync these characters to the English voice over (which, admittedly, isn't too bad, and I typically prefer original language).

If this also retains the Judgment subtitles, where English subs for Japanese voice is a more accurate translation versus the modified spoken English dialogue, that would just go to show what degree of effort they're putting into this.

I don't know how often lip synching is modified (most of the Japanese games I play in Japanese are niche and anime, therefore if there's English voice-acting it's on more simplified models anyway), but for a franchise that's not super AAA popular, I like them going the extra mile (I don't recall well enough if FF7 Remake did it or not, as I played in Japanese and therefore don't recall if English lip synching matched).

I'm kind of looking forward to this. I was excited about playing the Yakuza series when it came to PC but I haven't been able to stick with the earlier ones because I found constantly needing to beat down groups of guys on the street to be frankly sort of tedious. Turn-based combat that makes "random encounters" much more chill for me.

We got George Takei doing voicework in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

Saw that, pretty cool! To be clear, while I’ll probably still go with Japanese voices, I think it’s a good thing they’re investing in a good English cast. I agree with Chris’s sentiments about Sega’s attention to the international releases of the Yakuza games.

Man, we have come SO far from Yakuza 5’s digital only release years after the Japanese.

Is Japanese voice the way to play Judgment? I started out with English voices but it feels "off" somehow. Not sure if that's just the effect of the Yakuza games or it's not a great dub.

I don't think I've tried the dub but I love the original voice track. I don't think there's a "wrong" way to do it but I generally prefer games/movies/TV in the original language with subs on.

I mean, I'm the sort of fellow that always puts Japanese voices on for Japanese media*, so I see no harm in choosing that. For what it's worth, what I've heard of the English voice cast did themselves a pretty good job, but given all the motion capture and face models are for the Japanese actors it kind of syncs up more naturally.

*Games like Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5 being an exception, as I'm pretty sure the English voice work is actually the priority there, oddly enough.

ComfortZone wrote:

Is Japanese voice the way to play Judgment? I started out with English voices but it feels "off" somehow. Not sure if that's just the effect of the Yakuza games or it's not a great dub.

I played the whole game with dub and liked it, but of course it's subjective.

Yeah, definitely subjective but, nowadays English dubs when available are a lot more of a viable option for those who want them thankfully.

The hype is real.

I've known it was turn based, but I didn't know you had a whole party with you. Those job classes look amazing, and hilarious.

That looks dumb AF and I loved every second of it. I've only played Zero (and a couple chapters of Kiwami). I'm wondering how much I'll miss out on by skipping straight to Like a Dragon, or if I should go through Yakuza 6 (or the whole damn series) first.

Since this is a new character and setting, and leaving off the "7" in the west, it seems they're deliberately positioning it as a good place to start for those new to the series. I think you'll be fine jumping straight to this one without having to play the older ones.

Yeah, the choice to go JRPG was done since the developers wanted to make a different style of game for a change, and swapping out to a new protagonist was an excellent opportunity to make such a change.

Judgment also allows a nice little alternative while retaining the familiar gameplay. Both seem like they're good entry points for those new to the franchise.

So I've been playing Yakuza Kiwami 2 on Xbox Game Pass, and while it's been a fun experience, there's also something about it that has made it less engrossing than Zero, Kiwami, or Judgment. I'm not quite sure I can place my finger on it.

I'm enjoying the story well-enough so far, though it does have a bit of a "whelp guess we need a sequel, so let's think up a reason to pull Kazuma back into Yakuza nonsense". I've completed chapter 9 which is likely the halfway point. Perhaps at this stage I've just been wandering Kamurocho a bit too much and am a bit tired of dodging the random thugs wandering the streets.

In fact, perhaps that really is it. Zero, Kiwami, and Judgment all had something to differentiate themselves a bit, but Kiwami literally feels like more of the same. The side quests are still all fun and enjoyable, but after dropping me into the new territory of Sotenbori they yank me right back out and into Kamurocho again. I can go back at any time, sure, but it would have been nice to at least get to know Sotenbori a little better.

Oddly enough, I feel like I've finally gotten a slightly better handle on the combat this time around, though it's also stripped down more than either Zero or Judgment. Basically: hand-to-hand suffices most times, pick up a weapon when up against a bunch of goons, use heat actions liberally, and use equipped weapons on bosses, especially when they heat up. Bosses are cheap meanies that don't flinch and basically just use a weapon to knock that health down.

I'm wondering if anyone else found Kiwami 2 to not be a letdown or disappointment, but just a bit more "meh" compared to the other games.

Just wait, there’s four more games of Kazuma getting pulled back into Yakuza nonsense.

Can’t comment on Kiwami 2 though. Only played 3-6.

The only good Yakuza game is the one with the zombies. They should remake that one and call it A Yakuza tale of Walking Dead.

Okay I never actually played the zombie game or any Yakuza. I own three of them or maybe more but never got around to playing them because I AM THE WALKING DEAD. I eat games instead of brains and never play them. gammes games gammessss give meh gamessssss

I remembered liking Kiwami 2 more than Kiwami, but I do have it listed lower on the list I posted a few pages back. Thinking about it, yeah, I remember it being more like Yakuza 0 than Kiwami 1. Kiwami 1 had a lot of frankly pretty obnoxious mechanics, like Majima everywhere and the RTS game. Kiwami 2 had the return of the hostess management, and was a more coherent storyline (I think).

I actually like the Hostess storyline a bit more than I did in Zero, but haven't played too much of it. I have mixed feelings of Majima Construction, which isn't really all that complicated but as a result just feels... like it exists. You position your units and then mostly watch health bars to make sure you heal guys.

Yeah, I'd rate Yakuza 2 lower than the other ones too - it's got a lot of the same fun goofy stuff, but the stakes feel so much less personal to Kiryu. I need my man to suffer at least a little bit in these games.

"So much less personal to Kiryu" is, I think, what really hurts the story. It's not about him at all. It's about everyone around him, which isn't necessarily a bad concept for a sequel story. The problem is the vast majority of these characters are new, and those that aren't are pulled in for what feel like typical "We gotta make a sequel" reasons. Kiryu is pulled in because he's Kiryu, and therefore he must Kiryu all over the place.

Even Ryuji Goda's "there can only be one dragon" shtick, which I expected to be the pillar of the game's conflict, is a B or C-plot thread rather than feeling like the main source of conflict.

I can't say I disliked it, but even Yakuza 0 and all of its prequelitis felt like it was saying something (while simultaneously providing plenty of depth that would retroactively make Kiwami better), with Judgment perhaps being my favorite in terms of what it's story was doing. Kiwami 2 just feels like a bunch of random stuff thrown together without a real hook. Some good ideas as characters are all still a reflection of Kiryu himself and how he constantly clashes with the world of the Yakuza itself, but just... it's a game that exists.

Given Yakuza 7 releases soon I'm in no rush to move onto 3. I'll save that for some time next year.