Yakuza Reader Review
Disclaimer : I'm not trying to be controversial or trying to go against the grain. Like you I think the new Star Wars trilogy is better than the old crap, that Godfather 3 was the best and Maddies parents totally did it.
That aside, Yakuza is appalling.
I don't know where to begin with this, its so all encompassingly boring. The opening combat of the game will cement the tempo for the rest, that is poor combat segments where one move is usually the best to perform and the loading screen actually lasts longer than the combat.
Speaking of combat, imagine you're a drunk salaryman, after drowning your daily woes with some sake, you walk around a fairly small, faithfully recreated I wiki'd, neighbourhood and you bump into the largest man in Japan. Yes that's right, the actual largest man in Japan. He's huge, the only thing improbably bigger than him is an extravagant tattoo of a dragon on his back that would be hard to fit on the side of a mini van. What would you do? If the answer was start a fight and then get you face beaten in with a bike then well done, you're as suicidal as the drunken populace of this games setting. That's not an exaggeration, there are literally alleyways of drunken salarymen waiting to get pummelled.
As you glide around town beating wageslaves collecting their pay packets you can venture into hostess bars to romance buxom ladies via an assortment of drinks, foods and gifts over the span of the game. Each lady has a set of conversation options which when answered correctly, through mad guess work I imagine, can ultimately win.... I have no idea what actually since it was about as entertaining as softcore porn without the porn.
This is all the fun you can have outside of the game though, inside the main story arc there's even more fun to be had. For starters you will get into combat segments that last a little longer than the loading screen for it and you may even get something interesting to beat them random henchmen to death with other than your current most powerful move. say for example a giant concrete statue. Also as you mangle men through Japan's criminal underground you gain stronger and more not so often used attacks, which take the combat from tepid to lukewarm.
The story of the game contains many staples of the genre, betrayal, redemption, the cops knew internal affairs were setting them up and lots of deaths of people I either didn't know or didn't care about. Everyones surprisingly bullet resistant too and you just know your gonna beat the crap out of the main antagonist easily since his giant tattoo is a carp. A fish versus a freaking dragon, I mean, come on!
I remember finishing the game thinking I had missed something huge, something that would explain why so many people think its great, maybe the story I went through is just some sort of fleshed out side mission or there's other streets to wage war on white collar drunks. But there isn't. This is it and I had paid for it.
4 / 10