Yakuza 0 is a prequel game for fan favorite characters Kazuma Kiryu – the Dragon of Dojima- as well as Goro Majima -the Mad Dog of Shimano- in order to learn how they earn their titles and came to be who they are in the series. The setting of the game takes place in 1980s Japan. Get ready for the Japanese thug life to earn money, power, and respect. This game is jam pack with variety of entertainments to play.
Story kicks off with Kazuma Kiryu wanting to join the Yakuza Kazama Clan in Kamurocho. One job has him to complete a simple collection run and is told to beat up the person. Then after a job well done Kazuma hangs out with his best buddy that fans will recognize but the person that was beaten up wounds up dead in a specific lot. This brings the family Yakuza Clan mad at you for the attention it’s bringing. The lot is wanted by your Main Clan family in order to have complete control of Kamurocho. All they need is to find the owner and this lot is an important story element for both characters. Then it is up to you to try and figure out who frame you.
After two chapters it switches to Goro Majima who is a Yakuza member of the Shimano Clan and has been exiled to Sotenbori to pay off a debt by working as the manager of the Grand Cabaret. Trap in a cage like scenario being watched by members of the family all around. Goro Majima steals the spotlight in this prequel. His story in this prequel is simply amazing and fun to play with his crazy fighting style. He shows more emotions and makes you root for him throughout his journey. He had little show time in the series but in this prequel he is the star. I wish there would be an alternate game ending starring him as the main character and letting him have a happy ending he well deserves.
Every other two chapters you get to switch character and get a summary up to that point to refresh memory where it left off. The stories intersect in interesting points during the journey. Kazuma Kiryu origins is great too to witness how he came to be and the life that lead him to the underworld of the Yakuza. Each character throughout their journey will meet fantastic characters as well as their own Masters that teach them new fighting moves and later on in the story owning their own businesses that add additional side-story content as well. Goro Majima’s business game is managing a small Cabaret and this alone could be a standalone game that is fun to play for hours. At the end of the story it leaves an emotional ending and excitement to see more of the two main stars of the game. Voice audio is in Japanese only with english subtitles for the game.
Fantastic side-stories that are worth to play. One side-story includes helping a little girl getting a doll from the crane machine as well as helping someone propose to their fiancee via a crossword puzzle. There are other weird ones to that are fun. All the side-stories were great to complete and others were funny too. Side-activities are available in variety of mini-games too. In the SEGA arcade you may play Out Run and other SEGA arcade classics. There is a Disco Dance Club, Karaoke, RC car tournaments, fishing and more in the game that are all fun games in their own right that could be sold as standalone titles.
Gameplay is the beat’em up style the series is known for. Each character has three styles to switch from and level up the skill tree from money collected from beating thugs down. Switching styles is key for later fights in the game. All the bosses were challenging and fun to beat up. Using combos and the environment is a blast. Crafting items is pretty straightforward to use. Gaining experience is earn by completing requests or beating up thugs on the street that are avoidable if to outrun if in a hurry. Overall the fighting mechanics work perfectly and with the fighting theme tune provides a great time. It could get repetitive fighting same types of enemies but the gameplay is just pure fun.
In my 80 plus hour playthrough of the Yakuza 0 I had a blast playing every second of it. Playing the origins of these fan favorite characters was a blast to learn their backstories and what lead them to be who they are. This is the best prequel I have played. Goro Majima steals the spotlight in this game. He is the main star and was a fantastic journey to reach the end. I just wanted to see him have a happy ending. This is my first Yakuza game. I can’t wait to play the rest of the series now. I missed the series from playing other games at the time it first came out on PS2 but heard great things about it. Now that the remaster of the first one is coming soon on PS4 it is great time to play the series where it all started. This is a great games for fans of the franchise as well as newcomers to enjoy what fans of Yakuza have been loving all these years. Crazy fights, side-stories, awesome side acitivties, and a great story provide a fantastic package. No previous games must be played but fans that have invested in the series will get lots of aha moments and references.
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- Fantastic origins story
- Variety of side-stories to enjoy
- Awesome mini-games to play
- Amusing Characters
- Goro Majima steals the spotlight
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Title: Yakuza 0 Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA of America (North/South America), Deep Silver (EMEAO Territories)
Release Date: Jan. 24, 2017 Price: $59.99
Genre: Action RPG Platform: PlayStation 4
Players: 1 for the main story/game. (There are some mini-games that support 2 players)