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    angelarvizucruz's Yakuza 0 (PS4)

    [January 17, 2018 09:51:39 PM]
    I started Chapter 2 today, which starts off Kiryu's new life as a non-yakuza, and the game finally opens up for the player to run around and do stupid things instead of solving the murder. Although the plot wants you to investigate the mysterious Tachibana Real Estate, who is also after the empty lot, I decided to wander off and in true Yakzua fashion, I got distracted by all the sidequests and mini-games available to me.

    I met Mr. Shakedown, the bane of my existence, became friends with a young store clerk and a street cop (eventually helping the cop overcome some past trauma), and I helped a young boy reunite with his father via the power of video games. Along with that, I've tried racing RC cars, even more karaoke, and some batting cages. I've been filled to the brim with pocket tissues and I keep getting beat to shit by Mr. Shakedown. And I helped a dominatrix gain her edge back by telling her how to talk down her customers and make them feel like shit.

    Despite the comedic turns the side quests take, there was a rather serious side quest that had darker undertones about it. It involved high school girls selling their undergarments for cash, and it results in one of the more... frequent customers to become possession of one of the girls. You step in before they have a chance to use a pocket knife on her to kidnap her, and you beat the shit outta them. The girl learns her lesson about the dangerous of such activities, and everything ends happily. However, it does give us the wonderful lines of "I think... you should just show your underwear to people you care about." "Oh. Okay."

    As for the main story, which I later returned to, I had to pay off some homeless guys with a variety booze in order to get more info on Tachibana Real Estate. At the moment, all I know is that the CEO is very acquainted with me, wears a single glove, and has absolutely zero fear when it comes to the Yakuza trying to bring him down--in the end, he always wins. Although he helped Kiryu when he was out in the rain after post-expulsion, he is very suspicious and I am very wary of him. He apparently hires homeless people to harass tenants of buildings he's bought out, because he cannot legally make them leave. They need a bit... of convincing. Once again, the issues of utilitarianism and Kant's theory of morality are presented.

    Due to the fact I was able to wander about and waste time, seeing Kiryu's interactions with the other people shows a more human side to him. Although I am aware of who he is as a person in later games, this installment is very interesting as it shows the beginning of that personality poking through the rough, grumpy "you can't tell me anything" young man facade. Although he's hot-headed and resolves everything via fighting, you can see him slowly start to think about his options and is becoming the level-headed, problem-solving Dragon everyone knows about.

    I'm slowing getting a hang of the controls. I've never been one for beat-em-ups, and I grew up on Nintendo and Xbox, so the controller is also a bit new to me. However, as I play I'm getting better at it. I've also recently gotten a PSP, so that's helping as well. I'm exciting to see what's up next, I just have to actually go find all that booze for the homeless men.
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    [January 17, 2018 10:30:57 AM]
    Yakuza’s weird contrast between character interactions, minigames, and the overall story is much more apparent in this installment then in the other ones. Picking up where I left off, Kiryu and his buddy went to get some ramen after karaoke, and the plot finally started up—the dude Kiryu beat up is dead. He’s called in by the heads of his “family”, as the yakuza groups are called. They tell him he really fucked up and needs to turn himself in, even though Kiryu knows he left him alive. This is supported by the fact the man died of a gunshot wound. The sudden shift in tone is again flipped on its head when Kiryu watches two men fight, one of them winning due to his rapid punches. He then exclaims, “That’s rad!”. Shortly after this, it’s back to the story where Kiryu confronts his contact for setting him up. The contact claims he was just doing what he was being told, and one of the family lieutenant arrives and intervenes.

    What is so odd about this scene is that Kiryu is upset and heartbroken over the fact his superiour has set him up for his own personal gain, and the deal he gives him to get out of this mess is to spy and bring information back to the lieutenant about Kiryu’s surrogate father, the head of a different family. The fact Kiryu is so angry about this is odd—Yakuza are nortorious for doing shady things and paying off police officers in order to keep doing what they’re doing. It seems that backstabbing and betraying is a common thing that should be happening among them—but it’s a shock to Kiryu.

    Now, Kiryu doesn’t seem like such a hot-headed punk. It becomes apparent that he appears to have his own set of (arguably skewed) morals, and they seemed to be based off Kant’s theory of morality, don’t use others for a means to an end. However, the lieutenant seems to be seeing through a utilitarian view, as he believes sacrficing Kiryu (or, the trust he has for his father) will allow him to be a new captain, and that is what the clan needs to thrive. Kiryu is told to find the deed of the land and turn it into Kuze. Kiryu, not wishing to turn against his father, declines and decides to leave the family is an attempt to protect himself and his father. This only results in many others coming after him for betrayal and believing he owns the deed. It’s an interesting look at how the Yakuza handle things like this, and to see that some still cut off the pinkies of those who have acted out of line, something that has been around since the time of the samurai. I’m anxious to see whar happens next, and how exactly Kiryu is going to survive in Kamurocho with mulitple families on his tail.

    It was also interesting in an overarching story sense, since it explains why the millenium tower of the other games has been such an important location since the beginning.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 17th, 2018 at 13:26:33.


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    [January 16, 2018 09:21:20 PM]
    As an avid fan of the Yakuza series, I was really happy to find that the prequel to the series was something we were allowed to play. I was not as familiar with Yakuza 0 as with the other ones(Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza 4), and I was eager to get in. Right off the bat, before even starting the game, the first thing that stands out is the title of the game--"Yakuza", which is a term to refer to the Japanese Mafia. From the get go you know that you're going to be playing a shady character.

    The opening cutscene also emphasizes this as it presents (a younger) Kazuma Kiryu beating a man to near death and stealing his money. He doesn't even wipe the blood off his face when he leaves him in some back alley! He is later approached by a loan shark, and it's revealed it was a job he took up to get back some "overdue fees". The game's tone shifts suddenly as it goes into an upbeat, rock-themed intro showing you how Kamurocho, Tokyo, is where the nightlife is. It was quite a 180 from the serious tones of the beginning.

    Due to the PlayStation belonging to my brother, I could only play for about an hour. However, if I was looking at this as someone who had no knowledge of Kiryu and his personality, it does a good job at presenting you with what he is like. It also gets you thinking about his morals, as it seems he has them pretty skewed, to an extent. He's fine with carrying out a job that requires him to beat a man, take his money, and leave him in a back alley. However, when he sees some hooligans threaten and shakedown a passerby, he immediately steps in and stops them--also beating them to a pulp, but this time to defend a stranger. Although Kiryu's character is pretty set from the get go in Kiwami, which is the next game in the series, it's interesting to see him be a bit more bold and brash, and see him more willing to do some more questionable things. Along with that, we also Nishikiyama, Kiryu's best friend/brother, and they interact just like brother's do, and it seems that the beating up random hooligans is a normal occurrence for them, like the equivalent of taking an extra cookie before dinner.

    For these two, that's nothing serious. For the average person playing, beating people up on the daily for no true reason besides getting some cash is a horrid thing to do. Why would you ever beat someone to near death for cash or for just looking at you funny? It's unthinkable. It lets the typical player, who isn't a thug, see what that life is like for people like the Yakuza, where beating people up for no reason is as common as seeing pigeons on the street. At one point, the pair come across a pair of drunks blocking the way, and Kiryu literally goes "I'll just sober them up... with my fists." Nishikiyama only shakes his head like "oh, Kiryu, you silly goose".

    When they're not beating people up, they're wandering around, getting junk food, and talking about cute girls. It makes me think about the first discussion in class where we were discussing what morality and ethics are, and it was brought up that it really varies from person to person. To me, beating people for no reason is against my morals, but to Kiryu, it's alright because they were in his way. Right after a day of beating up some dudes, Kiryu goes to some local bar and does some karaoke where he astral projects himself into a killer rock band with Nishiki. Like any other Yakuza.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 16th, 2018 at 21:32:30.


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    Status

    angelarvizucruz's Yakuza 0 (PS4)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 16 January, 2018

    Opinion
    angelarvizucruz's opinion and rating for this game

    Interesting and engaging in both story and gameplay.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See angelarvizucruz's page

    See info on Yakuza 0

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