Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
A solid game with a few flaws
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.