I had heard good things about the Yakuza series for years prior to picking up a game as it is made by SEGA and channels a spirit similar to Shenmue.
But I didn’t expect a masterpiece.
Yakuza 0 captures all the good elements of a well-written crime story, then pairs them with the beat-em-up style of old arcade fighting games like Tekken and Streets of Rage.
This game is massive. I picked up Zero around the end of May 2017 and I was hooked. I couldn’t put it down for a month as it was so addictive.
Alongside the main story, there are 100 sub-stories, a variety of mini-games, challenges and even fully playable retro SEGA titles from the 80s such as Out Run, Space Harrier and Super Hang-On.
It’s odd to see a world of SEGA games before Sonic the Hedgehog.
Onto the music – each fighting style has its own badass track that really gets you amped for caving a thug’s head in. Unfortunately you don’t get long enough to listen to some of the tunes because the characters quickly become so overpowered you can easily beatdown enemies in mere seconds.
The disco has a song inspired by and featuring the likeness of Michael Jackson (renamed for legal reasons). With the help of a man resembling Stephen Spielberg, you also get to direct the iconic Thriller music video while M.J moonwalks down a street packed with zombie actors trying to bite him.
Despite I’m nearing the end now, I’m glad I have five more titles to follow the story (six including Yakuza 6 which was out in Japan 2016) because it’s so good, I’ll be lost when I complete the game.
Well done, SEGA.