Judgement (PS4) Review
Kind of more Yakuza
Kamurocho feels different and the same
The plot is quality
I miss Kiryu
Didn’t see Majima under a traffic cone
Yakuza is one of the two series that comes out every year that I will be happy to play. One of them is an RPG that takes 20 hours to casually beat. Yakuza, on the other hand, is much more demanding of my time. This is why it is both a blessing and a curse that as a long time fan of the series seems to be moving forward, and not re-releasing old games with crazy amounts of new content.
It isn’t that everything that was done is wonderful, the game still takes place in Kamurocho–the setting of almost all of the other Yakuza games. The area itself has changed just enough that it does feel different, which is nice because the last time the city had a drastic change was between 0 and 1. While the time between Yakuza 6 and this title is only two years, entire stores have been removed, and sections of the city are boarded up. Worst of all, it looks like Gindaco Highball closed.
One of the two things that defines the series is the combat, which is still surprising solid. Kiryu normally fought like a brick wall that could lift a motorcycle and destroy a man’s face with the air pressure from his anger alone. Yagami, on the other hand, is much more fluid in his motions and feels like a more studied martial artist than simply a brute force powerhouse. This is, of course, from some of the same people that work on the Virtua Fighter games, so that level of depth is expected.
The other element that is never lacking in these titles is the plot. While the story does focus around the exploits of Yagami, this time he has the more nebulous job of being a detective and ex-lawyer; basically meaning that just about he is ready for almost any plotline that can be thrown at him in either normal society, or the criminal one. Thankfully, this is on par with the last several entries as well–so nothing to worry about there.
Yakuza is a great series of games, and it was tragic to see a good thing in. In the same instance it is wonderful to know that the world that those characters lived in are going to continue on. For anyone who is a fan of any form of action games, good crime stories, or just wants to get lost in a highly detailed world, Judgement is the title for you. If you are a returning fan, there is nothing to worry about. Pick it up as soon as you can.