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Yakuza series

Started by Bhazor, August 02, 2018, 04:29:47 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Pink Gregory

It's on Game Pass, but since YK1 and 2 went off I've been reluctant to start what I know to be a long game with the possibility that it might suddenly be going away.

5 and 6 aren't much on Steam, just need the willingness to start!

Mister Six

DOOOO IT, DOOOO IT.

(Although I'm going to deliberately play it slowly in dribs and drabs, so it's not a race and there's no real pressure.)

Pink Gregory

Well look at that, it's the Steam sale!

Here goes another 100 hours

Mister Six


letsgobrian

Quote from: Pink Gregory on June 24, 2022, 06:32:49 AMWell look at that, it's the Steam sale!

Here goes another 100 hours

And the rest!

Easily the most time I've spent in a Yakuza game and I've still got about 20% of game left until I round up all the mini games. I never did much of that ramen stall game and never even
Spoiler alert
took Tatsuo Shinada to the chicken races
[close]
in the fourth section.

Mister Six

#515
Blimey, Yakuza 5 might be the best of the series since 0 (although technically it came out before that, but whatever). It certainly feels like they've really fine-tuned the combat after 4, and even Saejima is fun to fight as this time around.

One thing I love about the series is RGG's insistence on tinkering so that each game feels different. 5 repeats 4's formula of changing to a new character every four chapters. But whereas 4 saved Kiryu to last, as a little treat (with the bonus that he's tougher and more skilled a character, so the usual start-weak-build-up-moveset formula is disrupted by letting you muller everyone immediately), this time he's the opening protag, which makes leaving him behind feel like jumping into the unknown (even if most of the stars of this game were playable in 4).

I've finished Kiryu's opening four chapters and Saejima's prologue, and while there's certainly time enough for the game to piss it all up the wall and turn into an incoherent load of old bobbins, so far it's been pleasingly straightforward and (relatively) sensible. There have already been a couple of "Ah-ha! I was behind it all along!" scenes, but I'd rather get them spaced out over the course of the game than crammed into the last five minutes, a la the almost parodic Yakuza 2.

The gameplay is also absolutely on point. There's the combat, sure, but the side quests - the unique story-focused minigame missions that each character has - have, based on Kiryu's showing, been massively improved. In 4, his side mission was some old bollocks about wandering about duffing up gangs, like you didn't do that anyway. This time around he's got three taxi-driving minigames that are each distinct and fun: a simple conversation game akin to the hostess chats, where you have to deal with a problematic customer; a ridiculous highway racing game; and a surprisingly tense deliver-the-customer game where you drive around the map following the rules of the road and trying not to give a bumpy ride while suicidal pedestrians sprint out in front of you and the passenger begs you to hurry up before they miss their grandson's birthday/are late for an office meeting/piss themselves. The latter sounds like it ought to be a chore, but is actually the most fun of the three, I reckon.

Anyway, now I'm Saejima and the idiot's only got himself banged up in the chilly north again, so let's see how things go from here...

Pink Gregory

I'm trying to finish up some other games before I dedicate myself properly, but I played about 10 minutes of Kiryu and it is a great opening-

Kyushu (?) at night feels a bit like an airport terminal, it doesn't feel like anyone really lives there and it's grey and dark compared to Kamurocho or Sotenbori; you can feel the weight on his shoulders with minimal dialogue and even his run sort of slopes forwards now, like he's a bit older and can't keep his balance.  Was pleased how many of his usual moves you start with, I found Kiryu a bit limited in Y0 compared to Majima.

Already some great faces showing uo as well.

Mister Six

Yeah, it's a really bleak, bland-looking place, especially at the start and in comparison with the neon-drenched sleaze of Kamurocho and Sotonbori. As you say, perfectly suited to Kiryu's general mood, although it looks a bit nicer in the daytime.

That said, Kamurocho looks a little dull too. I think this was the first time they'd used the new engine that was also employed in Y0 and K1, so that might explain it. Or I was just feeling a bit flat when I got back to Tokyo.

letsgobrian

Quote from: Mister Six on July 04, 2022, 04:09:52 PMYeah, it's a really bleak, bland-looking place, especially at the start and in comparison with the neon-drenched sleaze of Kamurocho and Sotonbori. As you say, perfectly suited to Kiryu's general mood, although it looks a bit nicer in the daytime.

That said, Kamurocho looks a little dull too. I think this was the first time they'd used the new engine that was also employed in Y0 and K1, so that might explain it. Or I was just feeling a bit flat when I got back to Tokyo.

From digging around it appears that the other game reported as running on the Y0 and K1 engine is Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise.

So I'm not sure what Y5 is, certainly feels significantly different from Y3 & Y4 in both graphics and gameplay. But has elements that Y0 lacks like the truly massive brawls in Chapters 1 & 2.

Historical spin-off Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin falls between Y5 and Y0 and introduces the orb-based experience and multiple combat styles prior to Y0, while including things like the chicken races from Y5.

So I'm guessing Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin was built off Y5 and that led to the development of the engine that Y0, K1 and Lost Paradise share.

Mister Six

IIRC, Lost Paradise (which I have, but I'm saving as Yakuza methodone once I'm done with 6 and waiting for the price of the Judgment and LAD games to come down) uses 5's driving mechanic, and they chose to build it in that engine because the fancy Dragon Engine used for Kiwami 2 and all the post-5 games was still a bit untested at the time.

Ishin and the other Yakuza samurai game, Kenzan (built on the 3/4 engine) remain tantalising mysteries for me. I'm hopping beyond hope that they and Dead Souls will get a nice remaster at some point.

Thursday

I thought the little ramen stalls lit up at night look pretty nice, wouldn't mind stopping by there on a walk one night. To eat there though, not work.

Mister Six

Oh yeah, the waterfront is nice. But the streets - particularly the bit you actually take control of Kiryu on - are a bit bleak.

Mister Six

Anyway, JESUS CHRIST, SAEJIMA, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO SUCK SO MUCH?

Spoilers for Part 4 prologue and Chapter 1
Well, not Saejima, but his section certainly doesn't get off to a good start. Daft bugger's back in jail, and the writers are clearly struggling for things for him to do, so over the course of the first chapter he gets involved in some convict shenanegans including a young lad being framed for murder. The story isn't bad, and the characters are well realised, but it ultimately involves intermittently running around the same prison yard area talking to people while watching what feels like (and may in fact be) hours of cutscenes.

To mix things up, Saejima and his mates occasionally visualise what they might do on the outside, which is an odd way to introduce the cabaret chat-up minigame (buy those champagne towers each time for fast XP growth!) and a convenient way to introduce a couple of fights without breaking the story.

This time, at least, Saejima's combat is a bit more fluid and involving, and there's some skill in timing your combos so that you catch people when they bounce off the floor and swing them around over your head. But it's killed the momentum of the story dead, especially coming off the back of Kiryu duffing up about 20 guys at the same time while being confronted with mysteries and betrayal.

If my fellow prisoners continue to feature throughout the story it won't be so bad, but I get the feeling this is just the game spinning its wheels because it wants to commit to the arbitrary four chapters-per-part structure without forking out for even a second play area.
[close]

The Crumb

Love Lost Judgement building up to a thrilling web-of-conspiracy climax and then chucking in a fucking ridiculous hostess club scene and a bizarre and downright wrong conversation about how women should ask men for advice on how to do their make up properly.

Mister Six

Really looking forward to playing Lost Judgment despite/because of all the questionable Japanese boomer politics. Hope the rumours about the star's management company making it unlikely for a third Judgment game to be made are bollocks.

Quote from: Mister Six on July 05, 2022, 07:28:22 PMAnyway, JESUS CHRIST, SAEJIMA, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO SUCK SO MUCH?

Sorry, I spoke way too soon here. After a deeply underwhelming start, the last bit of Saejima's first chapter is brilliant, featuring a mass brawl that's ideal for his character and a couple more increasingly mad things besides. I don't want to spoil them, but I've been won over to his part, at least for now.

Mister Six

Okay, yeah, actually Saejima's chapters are fantastic. Haven't finished the fourth and final one yet, but things look promising.

In other news, Rahul Kohli from Bly Manor and Midnight Mass is a Yakuza fan! Although he wrongly suggests starting with Kiwami 1 rather than 0.

https://twitter.com/RahulKohli13/status/1545228487492919296?t=KgRTOLyE44WzK1eORzHIJQ&s=19


bgmnts

Just beat Majima in the batting cage in Kiwami and it was an abysmal experience. I can only really handle about half an hour of this game at most.

Which sucks because I have 6 of the bastards :D

Mister Six

Majima gets a lot more bearable as you level up. There is a bit too much of him in the Majima Everywhere thing though.

Have you played 0? I forget.

bgmnts

Quote from: Mister Six on July 12, 2022, 05:57:26 PMMajima gets a lot more bearable as you level up. There is a bit too much of him in the Majima Everywhere thing though.

Have you played 0? I forget.


Yeah smashed fuck ton out of it. I think that's all the Yakuza I need to play. There's definitely something wrong with me here but I just don't enjoy the combat it feels clunky.

And I am half levelled I just found the stupid overly long animations that stun lock you quite frustrating and tedious. And the fact you cannot press the start button whilst being hit is SO STUPID. Perhaps that's a porting issue.


Pink Gregory

Quote from: bgmnts on July 12, 2022, 06:28:07 PMYeah smashed fuck ton out of it. I think that's all the Yakuza I need to play. There's definitely something wrong with me here but I just don't enjoy the combat it feels clunky.

And I am half levelled I just found the stupid overly long animations that stun lock you quite frustrating and tedious. And the fact you cannot press the start button whilst being hit is SO STUPID. Perhaps that's a porting issue.



K1 is quite bad for having some enemies/bosses be massive damage sponges with 20 health bars.  Not repeated anywhere else, oddly.

FalknerHinton

Quote from: bgmnts on July 12, 2022, 06:28:07 PMYeah smashed fuck ton out of it. I think that's all the Yakuza I need to play. There's definitely something wrong with me here but I just don't enjoy the combat it feels clunky.

Is the Golden Gun from 0 in K1? I forget. That makes combat laughably easy if you're just in it for everything but the fighting.

And I am half levelled I just found the stupid overly long animations that stun lock you quite frustrating and tedious. And the fact you cannot press the start button whilst being hit is SO STUPID. Perhaps that's a porting issue.



If you're not a fan of the combat, have you tried 7/Like A Dragon? They changed it to a more traditional JRPG turn-based system.

edit: Does the Golden Gun from 0 turn up in K1? I forget. That makes combat super easy if you're in it for everything but the fightin'.

bgmnts

Quote from: FalknerHinton on July 12, 2022, 07:14:20 PMIf you're not a fan of the combat, have you tried 7/Like A Dragon? They changed it to a more traditional JRPG turn-based system.

Actually I'll qualify, I think the combat can be really fun, but it can be also really clunky and stiff feeling. I love having the different options and hitting someone over the head with a bicycle or killing a man by dump tackling him on his head is a thing of beauty. Perhaps i'm just getting old and the gamer gene has receded. I am gonna persevere and see if it gets a bit smoother the further along it goes.

0 was really, really fun.

FalknerHinton

Quote from: bgmnts on July 12, 2022, 07:16:35 PMActually I'll qualify, I think the combat can be really fun, but it can be also really clunky and stiff feeling. I love having the different options and hitting someone over the head with a bicycle or killing a man by dump tackling him on his head is a thing of beauty. Perhaps i'm just getting old and the gamer gene has receded. I am gonna persevere and see if it gets a bit smoother the further along it goes.

0 was really, really fun.

I can't argue with that, there's definitely an element of clunkyness to it that I found aggravating sometimes too. I'm specifically looking at you, Rush trainer guy and your bastard challenges.


Mister Six

Quote from: Pink Gregory on July 12, 2022, 06:55:25 PMK1 is quite bad for having some enemies/bosses be massive damage sponges with 20 health bars.  Not repeated anywhere else, oddly.

And it doesn't do a very good job of teaching you that you can stop an enemy from regenerating health by using the appropriately coloured heat action on them when they show their regenerative aura.

I managed to beat bloody Shimano without doing that once! Took forever.

I adored the fighting in Kiwami 2, though. It's the only one so far where I've really got stuck into the Coliseum for the joy of it, not just to unlock something or whatever.

Pink Gregory

Massive cheer from me for the first hearing of Kamurocho Lullaby in the back of a cutscene


bgmnts

HAHAHA Kiryu just slapped a little girl in the face.

Kiryu fucking rules.

Pink Gregory

Love how, after five instalments, shitty little street punks in hoodies are still thinking it's wise to pick fights with a clearly very large, very confident man for running near them

bgmnts

Kiryu might be one of my favourite video game characters going to be honest. He's just so pure.

Mister Six

Romantically/sexually awkward Y0/K1 Kiryu is best Kiryu. I love the way he stumbles and stutters when you ask for saucy DVD titles at Beam. He loses a bit of that charming vulnerability as the series progresses, although it makes sense in terms of his experiences and development, I suppose.

Quote from: Pink Gregory on July 17, 2022, 05:35:48 PMLove how, after five instalments, shitty little street punks in hoodies are still thinking it's wise to pick fights with a clearly very large, very confident man for running near them

It's even more striking with Saejima, who's built like two brick shithouses cemented together with a little concrete potty on top. Doubly so in Y5, when one of the mobs is populated by skinny, petite chat hosts that for some reason think they can take on a guy who just punched out an escaped bear in a shopping arcade.

Mister Six

Finished up Saejima's chapter of Yakuza 5 last night. Turns out that once you hit the level 20 cap, any EXP you earn is wasted rather than (say) being saved up for when you unlock the level 25 cap in the final chapter. So I've left a bunch of substories around to hoover up in the final push. Just FYI @Pink Gregory ...

Anyway, despite the shite opening, Saejima's chapter is another absolute banger, and his side story is tremendous fun. Yakuza 5 angling for second place in my game rankings, potentially pushing out Kiwami 2. Not going to commit to that yet, though. But it feels like a proper "modern" Yakuza game, smoothing out the chunkiness of 3 and really working out how to make the minigames and sidestories worthwhile in a way that 4 didn't quite manage. Even Saejima having to avoid the rozzers around town wasn't annoying this time.

God, I love this series.