It’s Been over a year as the Japanese Launch of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life at Japan. Nevertheless, great things come to those who wait, and this is definitely true with Kazuma Kiryu’s last experience.
We have understood for a long while that the initial chapter of this series will be Kiryu’s sendoff, and while I obviously won’t tell you how it happens, I can definitely say it’s worthy and affectionate farewell.
Before I go on, I must bring up a appropriate disclaimer: the Yakuza series was a very relevant portion of my life for a gamer and as a individual. For the past twelve years, Kazuma Kiryu has been like a friend that has developed up with mepersonally, has shown me that a view on life which was foreign but respectable, has left me grin, laugh, cry, and at times even cringe just a little bit. He even helped me to understand some vital lessons.
The series helped spark and always fueled my love for Japan, as I saw with my own eyes Kabukicho (the true counterpart of this game’s Kamurocho) change and evolve in real life (partly for the better, and partly for the worse) exactly as it did on the screen.
Call me a crybaby if you may, but I believe that’s a testament to the worth of the series as a whole, and of this game specifically.
Yakuza 6 starts pretty much exactly where Yakuza 5 finishes, with Kazuma Kiryu going to prison to atone for his offenses. Unfortunately, things are fairly gloomy, as Haruka determines to openly confess her connection with the former mobster. However, showbusiness in Japan can be savage and permits no space for feelings. This action of respect and love for the guy who took her in and brought up her abruptly ends the idol profession that she worked so hard for.
Things go from bad to worse, so as evidenced fans begin to troll her social media, and she moves into hiding in order to prevent repercussions on Kiryu’s orphanage and onto her buddies who live there.
It’s’s time to get the mature and weary enthusiast to roll his sleeves up once again, and correct all the wrongs which were done in his absence, while searching for Haruto’s dad (and tending to the child himself), and looking for the reality behind Haruka’s condition.
The main story includes a shift in tone in contrast to the previous games, with generally bleaker and more adult subjects (not the Yakuza didn’t delve plenty into the bleak and mature earlier), while to the opposite end, additional sub-stories often take a turn for the funnier and even disgusting aspect of things, providing a charming contrast between light and dark hues, and a welcome break in the drama.
As usual, the cast of characters is excellent, with extremely likable elements that increase the worth of the storytelling, too as a result of the top-notch acting by a star-level cast that contains popular Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano- Believe me when I tell you that his performance loses nothing with no transition to digital.
The one slightly disappointing part of the grand finale is that cherished personalities of series, first and foremost Goro Majima, are almost entirely absent. I am able to’t say I didn’t miss them.
The sound of this game is fantastic, such as a compelling score that nicely underlines most moments, including both narrative and gameplay, whilst voice acting which is almost unparalleled.
As I did with past games, that I can definitely applaud Sega’s option of completely bypassing the English monitor, showcasing the game in Japanese with subtitles. Not only it feels a lot more accurate, but it could have required a restrictive budget to do justice to the Japanese track.
While I don’t agree with every single translation option created by the team (but when do I, actually?) This is surely one of the best localizations I have seen in a very long while. Everything has been preserved. Regardless of the existence of mature themes and imagery, Sega did absolutely nothing to earn the game more palatable to western sensibilities. That usually means that its full Japanese taste was maintained with all of its quirks and controversies, and that’s definitely excellent value for those who aren’t horrified by the concept of enjoying the unfiltered depiction of a different culture.
There are lots of people who believe that localization needs to be rather heavy-handed so as to make a story and dialogue pleasurable for an English-speaking crowd, and Yakuza 6 is once more a demonstration of just how false that idea is.
Yakuza 6 is the first game of this series using the brand new Dragon Engine, and that brings along quite the jump in terms of visuals. Breeze and details are up across the board from gameplay to cutscenes, and environments have not been as beautiful as they are in this new game.
I was walking about Kabukicho just yesterday, and even when the game reaches the district because it was two decades past, the resemblance is completely remarkable. The Dragon Engine really brought the surroundings to life. Ironically I’d have appreciated the real-life wander more if attorneys didn’t quit me every fifteen feet to attempt to drag me to some “titty bar” or some sketchy massage decks, but this goes to show that Yakuza‘s constant thugs aren’t that unrealistic after all.
It may partly be the novelty effect, but I found my own time in this moment place hugely enjoyable, especially paired with the remarkable acting done for the local characters and the development of the story.
The effects of the new engine expand way beyond simple visuals. Pretty much gone are the somewhat awkward transitions between exploration and combat, while inputting insides and establishments is currently seamless. There’s something intensely satisfying about battling at a convenience store while devastating enemies and physically-enabled merchandise equally.
Combat controls also feel a lot more responsive and normal, having lost the majority of the clunkiness that some might have found distracting in previous games of the series. A completely overhauled physical interaction between personality models and the environment improved both gameplay and visual spectacle.
On the other hand, transitioning to a entirely new engine comes at a cost. There’s only one fighting style, and some aspects like heating actions feel marginally sacrificed in relation to the number offered by previous games such as Yakuza 0. That said, battles remain very pleasing, and I feel that the smoother gameplay makes up for what has been left outside.
As normal, you can anticipate a lot of minigames, such as full-fledged versions of many arcade titles, all of the way to more elaborate features such as baseball, administering a kitty cafe, and also the clan founder, that is basically an RTS game within the game. Lots of minigames are nicely integrated with their own substories, and they bring hours of fun to the menu.
While the variety is definitely satisfying, you will find a couple that I sorely missed from prior entries. Even the Mini 4WD play area is probably the one I would have really liked to see executed with the engine and also the greater physics, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
From a gameplay perspective Yakuza 6 makes some steps forward and some step backward in contrast to its predecessors. It succeeds in showing the promise of the Dragon Engine. Yet, probably because of the inherent difficulties of transitioning to the newest technology, combined with time constraints because of the yearly nature of the series and its spin-offs and remakes, it compelled the group to trim down a bit of the fat. Should you’re acquainted with the franchise, you likely know that Yakuza‘s fat is actually a great deal of fun.
As a result of very long window between original release and localization, I played broadly Yakuza Kiwami 2 (the remake of Yakuza 2 released in Japan a couple of months ago), that’s the second game created with the Dragon Engine. This really helped me solidify the opinion explained previously, as the programmers made enormous improvements together with that which Yakuza 6 offers. You can say that 6 is an enticing (and incredibly entertaining, don’t make me wrong) guarantee, and Kiwami 2 is the fulfillment of that promise.
Despite the few shortcomings, Yakuza 6 is still a worthy successor for the franchise and an absolutely fantastic experience that can keep most enthralled from the start to the end, with a good deal of exceptionally welcome detours because of the abundance of negative stories and extra content.
It isn’t simply a lesson in storytelling and character development, but it keeps up with the series’ convention of going over and beyond the call of duty in providing a gigantic package of articles for the purchase price.
Ultimately, it’s a wonderful sendoff for one of the greatest personalities of the history of Western games (and of gambling as a whole), and while Kazuma Kiryu isn’will evaporate because of the forthcoming remake, I will definitely say I’m definitely going to miss my semi and stoic best buddy with a heart of gold.
Dear Ichiban Kasuga, you have some fancy shoes.