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Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)

Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along
I started playing this game on Saturday 3 February, 2024  //  I stopped playing this game on: Monday 4 March, 2024
Current opinion of this game
No comment, yet.

March 4, 2024 12:21:29 PM
This game has such a sense of humor - it's subtle - and generally involves characters saying dumb stuff or being put in dumb situations. There's a side quest where you get bumped into by some ruffians who try to shake you down, you then beat them up (assuming you choose not to pay). I've run into them twice already!

It's these random side story quests I've enjoyed the most. One involved a buxom woman who comes on to you a lot, only for you to get drugged and robbed in a bar! Well, I later ran across the bar, beat up the bartender and...sort of finished the quest. Not sort of, it counted as finishing it! (with trophy award and all).

There's been a few of those quests where you do something, and then, later on you get the narrative resolution. It's an interesting structure that seems fresh - rather than having the quest always "active" here it just resolves later as a result of your wandering around. That being said I did learn what the "!" on the map meant (generally it's for quest stuff that's active).

The game's been a neat introduction to the franchise for me, and at 12 hours in, I don't think I'll be continuing to play mostly because I've got a drawer full of other PS4 games I need to get to (I've stopped buying PS4 games for a while - so it's all backlog now, and it's very very slowly getting smaller)

I also learned where to make use of all these locker keys I'd been finding - and opened a bunch of lockers (it's kind of strange to think that ALL of keys to the lockers have been lost by their owners) for prizes and treats.

Perhaps the strangest thing about this entire game is that the protagonist - Kazuma Kiryu - for all his anger and violence, basically spends most of his time fighting random people that attack him while trying to do nice things for others! I've been trying to find a replacement for the RC racer guy who can't get married because he's failed the full-time RC racer commentator interview and really needs full time job but can't quit before there's a replacement. I spent some time helping a woman sell matchboxes (with matches) because she wanted to get a gift for her paramour, but she's really poor (and perhaps a bit lazy) and her parents make the matches out of their apartment... Also the poor old man who's shivering and just needs a cloak (got him that, he gave me a pair of glasses, that then helped someone else, and so on). He's a friendly neighborhood spider-man without any superpowers except for mean fists and kicks.

As for how the story will play out? Well, one of the women I was looking for (who presumably stole the yakuza's nest egg of a billion yen) turned up dead. Drowned. Cement to weigh down the body and all. Pretty dark and tragic, especially as I'm trying to protect her daughter who has some sort of pendant that everyone seems to want. There's too many characters and ties (families) for me to keep it all straight, but it's the daily running around that's had me most engaged with the game to be honest.

February 18, 2024 03:34:06 PM
My first Yakuza game!

I have no idea where this one fits in the general series (other than it not being a "main" numbered entry) and so far, having just finished chapter 5, I can say that it really takes a while before it opens up.

In my mind this game was GTA but in Japan, and I was quite wrong about this. It's similar in being (sort of?) open world - unless it really opens up later, this feels much more constrained - and there's no driving/vehicles and lots of brawling combat. It's perhaps more fair to say it's an open world brawler? It sort of makes me want to play Shenmue again, because I'm sort of reminded of it, though I might be nostalgic of Shenmue in a strange way? (I think it had some fairly robust fighting, but was it brawling or 1v1 sideview fighting? I don't recall).

Anyways, so far I'm sort of kind of understanding the story - lots of different names and Yakuza families, and the story seems to cover lots - from protagonist Kiryu being young, spends years in prison, and is now (finally!) out and free...and has a reputation from back then, but now he's weak.

It's been fun so far, though I'm struggling with the combat - in the sense that I feel I don't understand the timing well and end up getting hurt a lot and having to blow through lots of health items just to make progress (for boss/important fights, random fights are fine). I've also heard there are lots of interesting side things to do, though I haven't run into any of them yet! Perhaps this is where the map should open up later? I chatted with some kids to race RC cars, and I know that's a thing I can do - but I don't know where yet.... things to look forward to though?

kudos for original design to Rodrigo Barria