Last year I gave Yakuza 0 a chance and I’m very glad that I did. Normally I look at these weird Japanese titles and they just don’t seem up my alley. If something is weird and Japanese then it’s not for me or at least that’s what I thought. What I discovered last year is that I am a fan of Yakuza 0 so much so that it was my second favorite game of 2017. What I’ve discovered this year after playing Yakuza Kiwami is that I’m actually a fan of the franchise. This game is not as good as 0 but it’s impressed me and I am a fan.
The game starts out where Zero leaves off. You’re Kiryu and you’re good friends with Nishiki. Nishiki ends up killing a higher up in the Yakuza which Kiryu takes the fall for and ends up in prison for 10 years. The whole early part of the game is leading up to prison and then spending time in prison where it’s a quick montage. After you get out of prison this is where the game truly begins. I don’t want to get too deep into the story because I don’t want to spoil anything but the game continues with the tradition of being a Japanese Soap opera which I am a fan of.
The game’s combat feels an awful a lot like Yakuza 0’s combat which makes sense because Kiwami was built in Yakuza 0’s engine. Sadly the big difference between 0 and Kiwami is the fact that in Kiwami you do not get to play as Majima. Now from what I understand Sega did change Kiwami up from the original where they have sprinkled more Majima into the game but it’s not quite the same. Either way, it’s a great game that kept me entertained for a very time.
The game also carries on the tradition of having a lot of fun mini-games that you can get engaged with. In 0 the Cabaret Club really pulled me in and in this one, it was actually the slot cars. I don’t know what it was but it was like a fun puzzle that I had to sit down and try to solve. You needed to make sure you weren’t too fast to fly off the track, too heavy to slow you down and all the while maintaining good acceleration.
I fully plan on playing Yakuza 6 and Yakuza Kiwami 2 this year but I want to wait until Kiwami 2 comes out first. I’ll probably play Kiwami 2 when that comes out in August and then maybe finally sit down and play through 6 in November/December when things slow down for me. Plus by then the game will be much cheaper for me to buy.