Yakuza 0 Review
Maybe it’s too early or 2017s preemptive trolling me, but being able to play 2 great games back to back? Maybe I’m pressing my luck. What else should we expect from Sega’s infamous Yakuza series? Yakuza has been a smash hit in Japan since its first installment. Once again a new Yakuza game comes in 2017 kicking ass and taking names as well as setting a pretty high bar for future 5/5s in 2017. But honestly what else would you expect from Sega’s epic kickass saga? Well, get those piggy banks, ready folks, because Yakuza 0 is most definitely worth every last penny!
Are you ready for the ultimate Throwback Thursday? Yakuza 0 takes us all the way back to the 1980s where legendary badass Kiryu Kazama is getting those stripes being a low-level punk kid in the Dojima family. And when I say young punk I mean beating the tar outta some debt-riddled low-lives in a dirty back alley. Our legendary 4th starts his ascension into badassery by being nothing more than a mere debt collector making him a perfect fit for the garbage riddle booze invested street of Kamurocho. After a job well-done news hits that he may have done a job too well when the victim of Kiryu’s first job turns up dead. Nothing is ever as it seems in Yakuza so when Kiryu finds out that the dude actually was shot to death. Our boy has been setup and all thanks to the territorial fight for a dinky dirty square empty lot. But again nothing is what it seems, turns out the lot is worth millions. It is the final piece in a high stakes real estate game where all the players involved happen to be Yakuza. So down the rabbit hole, Kiryu goes to try and clear his name by trying to find out who framed him.
Goro Majima, on the other hand, starts off knee deep in the shitter already. Have you played Yakuza 4? Do you plan on doing it soon? Well, there’s a ton of spoiler alerts for you guys! Just a fair warning. You see Goro refused to take Yakuza orders which resulted in him being put in a unique kind of prison. Instead of a steel cage, Majima is under watch 24/7 in the small city of Sotenbori forced to make money managing the Grand club. Anything is better than this crap to Majima and he’ll do anything to get back in the Family. So, when his ticket back in offers him a hitman job, with no hesitation Majima jumps at the chance! Well too bad just like Kiryu he will go down the rabbit hole too. So down the rabbit hole, our heroes go!
How is it that these games still keep me glued to my controller? Innovation! This time around the 2 biggest changes are combat and leveling up. Each character gets 3 different styles of combat that can be switched freely during fights. Each style is unique to the characters (my personal favorite being Breaker&Beast style). But it’s leveling them up which is the true challenge. Rather than use CP (Currency) it’s all about the paper here. Yep, ya gonna need major bank to level up these 3 styles!
This leads to the highly creative angle the development team took at making said paper. Beating the tar outta punks on the street ain’t gonna cut it here. Instead, each character has a small business to run where he can take a cut of the profits. This results in this strategy like mini games becoming the main component thus adding to the gameplay. There’s also a “Catfight Club” to place bets and make major bank and playing minigames can earn players extra dough at the end of each chapter. But don’t go ham, because there are ways to lose money too. Mr. Shakedown can take all your bank if you lose a fight and if you use cash confetti too much you’ll be broke before you know it!
As far as graphics go they are amazing as usual as is this kickass soundtrack. However, the best part of Yakuza 0 are the sub stories. This time around Sega just mashed the funny button and went all out with over the top crazy sub stories. They will have you laughing every step of the way. Everything helping a dominatrix become more dominate, joining a cult, and characters such ass “Mr. Libito” make this game a barrel of laughs. Also, players well run into sub-stories along the way to the main quest, but no worries you can deny doing them. But they come back to help you in the long run so do go back and complete them. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a throwback if you didn’t see all these old characters from previous installments! Dead characters are alive and kicking, as well as being their younger selves. So keep your eyes peeled to see what they were up in their hay days!
Great story, great combat, minigames, and tons of laughs. I don’t know about everyone else but that sounds like a perfect game to me! But all personal things aside what makes this game so great is the development team actually changing things up making each game different from the previous installments. So Yakuza 0 kicks off 2017 with a 5/5! Looking for a new game this coming payday? Well, then this is it!
Take My Money!
Title: Yakuza 0
Publisher: SEGA of America (North/South America), Deep Silver (EMEAO Territories)
Release Date: Jan. 24, 2017
Genre: Action RPG
Platform: PlayStation 4
Players: 1 for the main story/game. (There are some mini-games that support 2 players)
Previous Review of Yakuza 5
Yakuza 0 available at play-asia.com