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About the product
- Enter the “Dragon Engine” - Explore the world of Yakuza like never before with detailed visuals, lifelike animations, a new physics engine, interactive storefronts, seamless transitions and more
- Revamped minigames like karaoke, batting cages, darts, hostesses, and the SEGA arcade have been streamlined for maximum pleasure
- New additions like the RIZAP Gym, Cat Cafe, and Clan Creator are the perfect distractions after a long night of bashing heads
- Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life to play tourist in beautiful Onomichi - home to plenty of local activities like bar mingling, spearfishing and more
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In Yakuza 6, Kazuma Kiryu will find out exactly how much people are willing to sacrifice for family - be those ties through blood or bond - when he investigates a series of shadowy events that involve the ones he holds closest to his heart. Fresh out of a three-year prison sentence, an older and weathered Kiryu comes to find out that his surrogate daughter, Haruka, has gone missing from the orphanage he looks after. The trail leads him to his old stomping grounds in Kamurocho, where he discovers that she has been struck by a car and now lies in a coma. To make matters worse, Kiryu learns that Haruka now has a son that he must look after. With baby in hand, Kiryu journeys to the seaside town of Onomichi, Hiroshima to unravel the truth about Haruka, her son, and a sinister secret that the Hiroshima yakuza are harboring. From the unparalleled realism of the new setting of Onomichi, a beautiful, sleepy port town in Hiroshima Prefecture, to the latest evolution of Kamurocho, the biggest red-light district in Tokyo, Yakuza 6 is the ultimate iteration the game's blend of gritty crime story, hyper-explosive combat, and all the vices and distractions those locales have to offer.
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Understandable, because even among Yakuza veterans that played ALL of the series, they consider Yakuza 0 to be one of the best, if not THE best, in the series, right next to Yakuza 2.
With Yakuza 6, they built a brand new game engine, and we are getting a facelift and many technical improvements that weren't available from before.
Going into buildings/restaurants without a loading screen, jumping into battles without stopping, not to mention graphical upgrades.
But these come at a cost. Depending on which version of the playstation you are playing this on, you are getting 25 ~ 35 frames per second, with screen tearing occassionally. It is certainly playable, but if you are used to Yakuza 0's buttery smooth 60fps, this might be a disappointment for you.
The story shines, and you are constantly reminded how awesome Kiryu, the main character, is. He is simply a bad4ss, plain and simple.
However, they also gutted alot of the side stories and mini games. The map also seems to be smaller with chunks of Kamurocho blocked off. But the game still manages to entertain.
Is this the proper send off for Kiryu Kazume, however? That's up to the gamer to decide.
To give a brief summary of my experience with the Yakuza series so far, I've played through Yakuza 0, Kiwami, and some of 3 & 5. I've quickly become a huge fan of the franchise and planned to go through each game consecutively from 0 all the way up to 6, but ultimately ended up deciding that I couldn't wait and went ahead and jumped to 6 early. I can easily say I already don't regret making this decision.
Yakuza 6's story gripped me from the opening minutes. I believe it sets the stage and characters up well in some clever ways that should somewhat ease newcomers as well as provide reminders for series veterans. Despite this. I would strongly suggest to have some understanding/experience with previous games/stories/characters to better understand the context of where Yakuza 6 sets the stage for Kiryu's (main protagonist of the series) final story.
To quickly summarize my initial thoughts: gameplay is more streamlined than ever and I mean this in the best way possible; it's quicker, smoother, and easily the most convenient it's ever been - examples include the ability to save anywhere/anytime, to be able to walk around in first-person view, and perhaps the most significant being that load times when entering/exiting buildings or battles has been removed (to name a few of the improvements).
Participating in side activities such as eating/drinking, etc now more than ever have a direct effect on your EXP. The leveling up has also been simplified and feels more intuitive and responsive to your preferences - I'm enjoying this over the old circular-system in previous entries.
I've heard a lot of criticism on the fact that Kiryu now has only one fighting style and that it is too simplistic, but I'm frankly not seeing this as an issue but rather as a breath of fresh air - sometimes simple equals better. In this case, I feel that it works to this games advantage.
Though I'm only several hours in so far, I've already felt entirely hooked and intrigued by the story, characters, and setting. I find myself itching to jump back in and to continue to unravel the plot twists, mystery, and to discover what Kiryu's final entry will entail for his legacy. From what little I've played already, I am more than confident that it will truly be a proper send off. A huge thanks to SEGA for continuing to localize the Yakuza games for the West. I can only hope that there is much support for this latest entry so that we continue to have the privilege of playing future main line and spin-offs in such a fantastic franchise of wholly unique and special games.
[Update] I just wanted to add that I have, since originally writing this review, completed the game. I've unlocked about 60% of the trophies as well and played a significant handful of sub-missions and explored a lot of the mini-games, etc. Additionally, (and I should add very obviously) I've now experienced the entirety of the story including all of the plot twists and turns, characters, settings, and boss fights. To put it as succinctly as possible, my overall review remains the same as before. In other words, having now finished my time with Yakuza 6, as opposed to originally only experiencing several hours, I can easily say that Yakuza 6 still remains quite possibly my favorite Yakuza game. To add to this, Yakuza 6 is also now in my top 25 favorite games of all time.
Throughout 6, you will explore both Kamurocho and Onimichi - the former of which has been a constant setting throughout the entire series and the latter of which is a new, suburban fishing town. The level of detail in these two locations in addition to the ability to travel around in first person mode places the player at a new level of immersion. The overarching story is gripping and kept me intrigued throughout. The majority of sub-missions that I experienced ranged from the typical heartwarming fare to that of being ridiculously silly/quirky (as is expected from the Yakuza series). I continually felt rewarded by my exploration both by finding new sub-missions and by gaining EXP which allowed me to near-constantly level up Kiryu's stats the way that I wanted. Almost all of the characters you meet throughout the game get a good amount of screen time - while some bosses/villains seemed a little underdeveloped/underwhelming by the end of the game, most of Kiryu's allies had grown on me significantly.
Personally, I believe Yakuza 6 is an excellent send-off for the series long-time protagonist, Kiryu Kazuma and fit his character well. While a lot of fans seem to be divided on the ending, I think that SEGA did his character justice. Okay. I'm done now. Hope my ranting helped in some way!
That said, this is probably my favorite Yakuza game. I've played them all and I'm a fan of Kiryu, The Dragon of Dojima. But, even if you haven't played any of the series, don't be afraid. The game includes a backstory and option to review the other stories up to this point. Though, this isn't the best entry into the series. This sort of closes it out. The difference in this game, it seems to be more focused on THE STORY than anything else. It felt like, "We've done the combat thing and killed it. We gave people Japan, their shops and vending machines. We've even crushed adding mini games WITHIN a game. Let's do an AWESOME story." This story in this game is elaborate, complex, emotional, gritty, and savory. The 'Umami' of video games. Kiryu is older and wiser, but still a BOSS when knuckling up. The level up factor is lack-luster but gets the job done. The fighting and combat is not like all the other games, but again... gets the job done. The focus is on the mystery of a now mature Haruka (his daughter-like ward) and her baby Haruto.
I like that you won't guess what happens next in this game. It'll get you! But, it drives you to push forward to find out what happens next. So, you really don't miss the extras that were in the other games like owning a hostess club or businesses. Kiryu is determined here and has NO time for games!! There are a few mini game and adds: like owning your own (righteous) street gang and taking down a tyrannical rival gang. It's a nice little mini game addition.
That said, worth a grab. So, I believe I can't do 5 stars on this because it feels almost a little too focused on the story at the expense of doing less in the city to make you feel part of it. At the same time, I understand. Kiryu (at this point) doesn't really want much to do with the city and is more focused on his family. Also, the fighting and upgrades seemed to take a single step back. But, it was still fun. I like the add of the new city and the first person perspective. It rounds out life in Japan. It's not all like Tokyo and lights. Onomichi is a nice quite town with a simple life that people really don't want to discover. But, now you can walk around and experience it. Only thing you're missing is the heat, humidity and bugs.