I’d never had the chance to check out any of the previous Yakuza titles from Sega.
That in itself feels like such a redundant statement because there has been a consistent stream of Yakuza titles on a tonne of different platforms.
How did I miss it?
I don’t know. I really don’t.
But with Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life it’s time I become protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and do some kicking and karaoke.
While recovering from injuries received in Yakuza 5, a hospitalized Kazuma Kiryu is approached by the police, who plan to arrest him for his past crimes.
Kiryu chooses not to resist the arrest and willingly spends 3 years in prison in order to live peacefully with his adopted daughter Haruka, and the children he fosters at the Morning Glory Orphanage.
Upon being released and returning to Morning Glory, Kiryu discovers that Haruka has seemingly gone missing and must return to Kamurocho once more to search for her.
The most fantastic thing this title’s menu screen does is present an option called Memories.
I thought to myself “Huh, I wonder what this is.”
And what it is, is a goddamn rundown of Yakuza 1 through 5 and how Kiryu ended up here.
Spending roughly 20 minutes going through this, I felt well-prepared for the next lot of shenanigans Kiryu was going to end up in, himself being the ever-reluctant protagonist.
And then the game spent another 30 minutes running me through some gorgeous cut-scenes along with some refresher tutorials which taught me how to play the game.
And then you’re in.
Firstly, this game is gorgeous as hell.
It’s this mixture of smooth looking 3D characters with hints of anime awesome-ness that produce a visually vibrant experience.
What was absolutely mind-bending was when the game goes “HEY! Switch to first-person if you want!” and wow…I was not ready for that (ed. note: Nor have we played GTAV in FPS).
Moving along, as I explored this world I found the game deliberate in its experience. Acting like you may have played previous titles or just video games in general, it blasts you into a hustling, bustling world asking for interaction.
While I was excited to fight again after the short tutorial at the start, seeing vending machines made me giggle with excitement.
“How much can I buy? What can I buy? What do they do??”
Providing buffs to Kiryu on his journey, I was accidentally prepared for the battle waiting around the corner.
Introduced by an extravagant Street Fighter-like title card when you meet your foes, it’s both hilarious and extremely fun at the same time.
This leads into a pretty straight-forward battle system that really sells into the anime-like detail along with brutal action taking place and a majority of objects coming into play (ed. note: The first time you use a bike as a weapon? Wow, am I in the WWE now?!).
Off-the-bat, I can see why this series is popular and consistently performs on the market.
And I know once I get well deep into the karaoke, that Yakuza 6 will probably become one of my favourite games of this year.
XENOJAY.COM was supplied with a digital copy of the game for review by the distributor.