The Yakuza franchise is a franchise that I personally feel torn on. I love the franchise but I don’t love playing the critical path.  Every game the story pulls me in with the eccentric plots but then the actual act of playing the game is a bit of a bummer. It all comes down to the combat which lacks depth, there is nothing specifically satisfying about the combat, it’s just get through these combat sequences so I can to the good parts which is the story.

Game Genre

Third-Person

Beat em’ Up

Light RPG Elements

Story

This game is the final “chapter” of the main protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. Throughout the series there have been additional protagonists but Kiryu has always been the main guy. So the most important aspect of this game is the ending which may sound like a pointless thing to say because any story the ending is vital but it’s that much more important when it’s the true end of a franchise. That’s why I adore Uncharted 4, they nail the ending, it’s just so perfect. So getting back to Yakuza 6, I’m conflicted on the ending. In one sense, it’s very true to the character, Kiryu’s final decision is something that I could absolutely see him making but it’s not a satisfying ending for the player.

If you’re a fan of the Yakuza franchise then it is absolutely worth checking out but I personally don’t get chills thinking about the ending. I can’t help but think, “man Kiryu continues to be a dumbass.”

Favorite Character

My favorite character in the Yakuza franchise is Majima. I know that doesn’t really make me that unique, he’s a franchise favorite among most Yakuza fans. The fact that he is barely in the game (maybe less than 5 minutes) is just very disappointing.

Luckily, Yakuza 6 is not the end of the Yakuza franchise, it’s just the end of Kiryu’s story so that means there will likely be more Majima.

Puzzles

Yakuza is not known for Puzzles.

Gameplay

As I mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of the gameplay. When I say that, I am specifically talking about the combat rather than the rest of the gameplay. All of the side content (the mini-games and what not), I love but the problem is, that’s all side content. The main crux of the gameplay is the combat and I guess for me personally playing 4 Yakuza games in the span of a year and half has burnt me out on the Yakuza combat. Especially considering how shallow and simple the combat truly is.

Bosses

 This game has a lot of boss battles, one main problem I have with the bosses is they’re pretty basic. It’s like fighting a standard enemy but the standard enemy has more health. Narratively the boss battles hold a lot of weight, unfortunately the combat does not hold up and they all just feel very samey.

Mission/Level Design

Yakuza games are split into chapters and this game is no different.

  • Start: Every chapter starts with a cutscene setting up that chapter.
  • Next, run over to the checkpoint on the map.
  • Fight
  • Another cutscene
  • Run to another area on the map
  • You just keep doing this over and over again for approximately 45-60 mins.
  • Then at the end of a chapter is another cutscene that really drives the narrative.

It may seem like I’m bashing the core game and I’m not. I’m just trying to make it clear that this is a very narrative driven game. If you’re looking for a chaotic crime game similar to a Grand Theft Auto, then you’re looking in the wrong place. First and foremost this is all about story.

Music/Sound Design/Voice Acting

  • Music-Atmospheric, I don’t remember any of the music but no complaints.
  • Voice Acting-The voice acting is all in Japanese so it’s hard to say how great it truly is but it seems great.

Mechanical

Recap: The Good

Fun Story

Bombastic/Amazing Moments

Recap: The Bad

Very little Majima

Same Combat

Recap: The Okay

The Ending

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