Yakuza 4

Yakuza 4

Ship Date: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It’s only been a year since Sega launched Yakuza 3 in the West, so it’s no surprise that Yakuza 4 feels very familiar.

It hasn’t improved graphically. It still looks like an early PS3-era game, albeit a very stylish and colourful one. The arcade fighting mechanics haven’t changed much either. They’re still easy to learn and the finishers are still comically brutal, but constant fighting is still repetitive and we’re also still waiting for a decent targeting system.

We’re still exploring Kamurocho, Sega’s fictional representation of Kabukichō (Tokyo’s red-light district), and the city is mostly the same as before, but there are new people to meet and even some new parts to explore, including rooftops and underground areas. We are also still doing the same activities as before (i.e. shooting games of pool in-between fights with street punks and Yakuzas). There’s so much “still” in these opening paragraphs that we suspect you’ll be asking: “Do we really need this sequel?

Well, we’re actually delighted to be playing Yakuza 4. Sure, if Yakuza 3 left you feeling fatigued, we doubt you’ll want to throw another thirty-plus hours into Yakuza’s criminal underworld, but there are many Yakuza fans who can’t get enough of the series’ tangled storylines, many subplots and its bizarre – semi-naked bra-thieving – humour. Yakuza 4 has all of this in abundance.

And let’s face it, newcomers will hardly complain about a lack of innovation because they’ll be experiencing Yakuza’s unique essence for the first time. The hardest part of this review is trying to describe this essence to someone who hasn’t already experienced it before – you know, the type of game in which you witness a killer die in a car crash after he dropped a cigarette on his man-area while parked.

22135kiryu 01 e1304118129303 Yakuza 4   the PS3 Attitude review

Kazuma is back kicking ass but he's support this time

It’s hard to nail down Yakuza 4 because it’s made up of multiple elements. It’s part open-world JRPG, giving you the freedom to explore, chat and undertake sidequests. It has numerous shops and restaurants where players can stock up on supplies and satisfy their hunger, and arcades and gambling dens where carefree spenders can lose their money. There is also, erm, saucy entertainment at the hostess bars, strip clubs and massage parlours – the latter has an ‘interesting‘ mini-game if that’s your thing. There is always something to do in Kamurocho.


Review by Seanoc