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on June 14, 2013
Yakuza Dead Souls (YDS) is an action RPG that has a ton of zombies, minigames, substories and cutscenes. You could easily sink more than 100 hours into this game before finally beating it, so you will definitely get your money's worth. YDS is not a part of the main Yakuza series. You can play and enjoy this game just fine without having played the other games in the series before, but you might not understand several of the in-game references and inside jokes. Most of the inside jokes and references seem to come from Yakuza 4.

YDS is divided into five chapters. The first four chapters focus on one particular character (Akiyama, Majima, Goda and Kiryu). The final chapter involves Kiryu with Goda fighting as a sidekick. If you fail to complete all the substories for a particular character during his chapter, you have to beat the game and then switch characters during the Premium Adventure mode. During each chapter, you will encounter several characters who are willing to fight alongside you. These characters can be trained at "Gary's Boot Camp," where they can learn special abilities and augments.

The main reason why this game is different from other Yakuza titles is the combat. Almost all combat in this game involves shooting zombies, blowing up zombies, burning zombies, impaling zombies, or blasting zombies with water. I literally killed more than 30,000 zombies in my first playthrough (on hard mode). Zombies are everywhere and often overwhelm your characters. It's fun finding new ways to kill them, but after killing the first 5000 zombies, it doesn't seem as much fun as beating up waves of actual Yakuza thugs like in Yakuza 3 and 4. But it's still fun.

You'll be able to use a ton of weapons in this game, including Gatling guns, sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, pistols, small handguns and grenade launchers. Kamiyama, the stuttering equipment modder, is back. Unlike in earlier Yakuza games, you'll really want to take advantage of his upgrades here. You need all the firepower you can get in YDS. Part of the fun is switching weapons to take out zombies at long range and switching again to mow down large groups of zombies in close combat.

YDS also has the hostess substories. Once you successfully romance a hostess, you can fight with her. Be advised that you need to download add-on packs from the PlayStation Store (it's free) in order for them to have access to the best weapons. Each main character also has about 15 substories to complete--some of which are quite hilarious.

Again, this game is a lot of fun to play. But you need to consider these downsides:

1. There can be considerable slowdown if too many zombies get on the screen at once.
2. Some of the stories are repetitious. Several, for example, involve rescuing people and leading them out of the zombie area.
3. The zombies and mutants appear in the same places almost every time, thus making the game too predictable.
4. It can be a little too difficult to use the snipe gauge because the timer expires so quickly.
5. The subterranea manholes are very long and repetitious. Kiryu's mission has 30 floors, for example.
6. It can be very difficult training your partners at Gary's Boot Camp because the AI is a little too good.
7. The storyline is okay, but it's a bit of a letdown from Yakuza 3 and 4.
8. You will often find yourself dropping items to pick up fallen loot because your inventory fills up too fast.
9. The hostess missions can get a bit aggravating, especially since you have to do A LOT of hiking to get to one of the two clubs.
10. Several of your sidekicks will not pull their own weight, thus making it harder to develop them.
11. Loading times are a bit more conspicuous in this game, particularly when entering and exiting areas in the quarantine/zombie area.
12. The chase sequences can be quite difficult. Also, the controls do not seem as responsive during these sequences.

This game has enough alcohol, cigarettes, guns, ammo, blood, and violence to satisfy anyone's need for a hack-and-slack thriller. It's a lot of fun and will definitely keep you occupied. It's quite different from other Yakuza games, but it is still a lot of fun. And at about $15, you will definitely get your money's worth. Just remember, this is NOT a game for children.
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on June 11, 2015
After finishing off Yakuza 3 and 4 I thought it be nice to get this non canon game thats still somehoe related after 4 but still non-cannon (if you get my drift) well im glad to say theres some story involved (not strongest but not a total yawn like Resident evil 5) the games mechanics on shooting is a bit off at first but within minutes youll get the hang of it. Shoot your way through zombies, blah blah blah.. I wished there were more picks of weapons. Guns all feels somewhat the same only smaller differences like the heavy pistol kills with one shot anywhere while the Smg and regular pistols just feel the same (one shoots slightly faster than the other) its the only mino complaint I have so far. If you have played the other yakuza games this game you will probably enjoy although it sorta feels more like a dlc than a game. I got mine for 6 bucks (10 bucks with shipping included) id say this one is worth no more than 30. Theres a bunch of cheap copies here so if I were you id get one.
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on October 16, 2013
So, Tokyo is being overrun by zombies, and as a member of the Yakuza, your heavily armed and ready to fight, so what's the first thing you do? Play ping-pong, of course! So what if the world is coming to an end, there's still time to play the claw game. Of course, after slaughtering all those zombies, your arms might get a little tense, so how about a relaxing massage? Talk about a game with a split personality, albeit one that works. Now, you may say, if you've played one zombie apocalpyse game, you've played them all, but that's not the case here. Even though it's difficult to talk about this game without comparing it to the Dead Rising series, they are different enough. One of the best aspects of Yakuza Dead Souls are the characters. My favorite character was probably Goro Majima, who is happy that there is a zombie apocalypse going on in real life, so he can slaughter zombies. If you aren't laughing halfway through the game, then this is just not the game for you.

The only drawback are the controls, which take some time to get used to. The auto aim is a bit more forgiving than you might expect, but the manual aiming is really tricky, since it defaults over to the right control stick. However, after you get used to it, you'll find that the game plays really well.

In conclusion, Yakuza Dead Souls is like Dead Rising meets GTA meets Sega's quirky arcade style seen in games like Chu Chu Rocket and even Shenmue. Yakuza Dead Souls packs hours of gameplay into this massive adventure filled with side quests and hostess dating (yeah, meet a virtual girlfriend and eat some virtual fried chicken!). Fun characters, solid gameplay, good humor and a cool storyline make Yakuza Dead Souls worth owning.
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on December 9, 2016
Quite different from the other yakuza games but after going through the controls and the firing mode it is actually a lot of fun. Not for beginners of the series though, you have to know kamurocho and slowly see it decay to enjoy this game.

Goro Majima is the best character, the loan shark is ok but doesnt really shine like in 4, cannon dude is boring and kiryu is just ... there.

Worth a buy, even more so now that its cheap.
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on April 30, 2012
If you have an affinity for Japanese culture, then the Yakuza series should appeal to your sensibilities. Honestly, this very bias explains the high scores Dead Souls has received. This would be more along the lines of a 3 star game, if it weren't for that unique Japanese flavor. If you are familiar with the Yakuza series, you should know that Dead Souls is quite the departure. Firstly, there are zombies. And not just zombies, but a crap ton of zombies. I must have slaughtered hundreds in the first hour alone. Secondly, melee combat has been removed, and replaced with an awkward, but strangely enjoyable 3rd person shooting mechanic. These controls take some getting used to, but grow on you over time. Aiming has an auto assist function, that makes head shots quite fun to pull off. The story wasn't treated like an afterthought here. The same amount of care, and attention to detail, is on par with the rest of the series. Mini games and exploration are back as well, with less emphasis placed on both. Recommeded.
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on May 14, 2013
I LOVE this game, but I feel there's a little bit of lost potential. You can get AI controlled partners, so why not make the partners a 2nd player? With online that would've been awesome. Except that they're not in town and can't be used for story missions but still! Also, as true with most PS3 games, it has a very looooooooong install time, but still well worth it.Though I was concerned since this series has been mostly fist fighting and not sure how they would handle guns but they proved me wrong. Auto-aim works really well and if not that then there's a manual aim somewhat like Resident Evil 4. The boss fights are also a lot of fun. Oh, and you can go on dates, go do karaoke or some other random things like bowling. Sure, there's a zombie apocalypse but that doesn't mean that you can't have fun.
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on February 29, 2016
This may be biased coming from me as a yakuza fan but I love this game. I have the other ones and of you are playing this game expecting the same gameplay thus is not the one your looking for. It's a nice little what-if scenario filled with your favorite characters. I got this game and binge played it the shooting dynamic are a switch-up from the usual hand to hand.

Fun step away from the usual yakuza gameplay
Still has your mini games from the others.

People expecting the same gameplay from the others may not like
Can be a bit repetitive
No hand to hand
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on January 2, 2016
Fun but boring. Lots of food to buy even though they all kinds of do the same thing. Culturally intriguing I guess. There is also karaoke side game with pretty women and a lot of contents related to getting girlfriends and buying them clothes. Not sure why that is relevant in a post apocalyptic zombie driven world but I guess a little bit of rita's all i need.
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VINE VOICEon March 27, 2012
When I first heard about Yakuza Dead Souls I was a little worried. The best part about the Yakuza series is the story, and I feared that they were jumping on the zombie bandwagon (albeit late). However, I should have reminded myself about the multitude of games I have that has the Sega logo on the box, as there was nothing to fear with this iteration in the Yakuza series.

First, supposedly the game is not part of the official Yakuza canon. The way it's wrapped up (don't worry, the ending isn't cheap) it could be, but it's probably better that it's not.

Unlike the other games in the series the combat is focused on guns, instead of hand to hand combat / picking up weapons from the environment. However, after a short time (excluding targetting hiccups), the combat felt fairly natural.

Perhaps because of the change in combat focus, this game was also the easiest of the last three in the series. Recovery items are fairly plentiful, and I rarely found myself in a bad situation, and never died, during my 24 hours on normal (default) difficulty.

Like Yakuza 4 you play as one of four characters as the story progresses, but unlike 4 you're only able to switch between the four at will in the premium adventure. There's nothing really wrong with that, but I would have liked to finish up a couple items before I got the trophy for completing the game. However, premium adventure allows you to continue where you're at, so I can finish the items I started. Once the game is completed two additional difficulty levels are unlocked, one of which is supposedly extremely difficult, so there's plenty of replayability.

I'm quite honestly a huge fan of the series, so without a doubt the game gets 5 of 5 stars. There is an issue with inconsistent targetting, however, once you realize the issue you'll find it impacting your game very rarely, and you'll be able to recover from it fairly quickly.

If you enjoyed Yakuza 3 and/or 4, and/or like the sound of a third-person zombie killing game, pick up Yakuza Dead Souls!
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on April 3, 2012
i've been a fan of the yakuza series since the first game and as much as i love the other four that've been released in the us but this game isn't as good. it could be cause it has zombies in it and i don't care for zombies i'm not sure. shooting controlls work like other yakuza games and it gets the job done but all you do is shoot mostly and it can be clunky at times. story is well done considering the twists for the zombie outbreak. it also has a good about of side quests like usual. overall i'm happy with my purchase but i would recommend waiting for a price drop on this and buying it new to support the series since you never know when sega will pull the plug if it doesn't sell well enough.
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