So, I started up Yakuza 4

About 2 weeks ago, I finished up Yakuza 3, which was one of the games along with uncharted and MGS4 that motivated me to buy my PS3. I thought it had a very fun story with a lot of “ANIKI!!” and “OMAERA!!!” being shouted and a lot of suit jackets, shirts, and ties being ripped off with one hand before brawls ensue. I had a few criticisms by the end, like the combat becoming too repetitive by the final hours of the game and that after a while, Kamurocho feels a bit dead. One can only buy so many C.C. Lemons at the Don Quixote before the novelty of the Faux-Kabukicho starts to wear off.

“Hey Baby, you wanna take out an extremely concerning interest-free loan?”

So far Yakuza 4 has taken some steps in order to address those concerns in particular. The most obvious is the inclusion of four playable characters. I’ve only played with Shun Akiyama, the Hobo-Turned-Loan-Shark with a heart of gold (or a gold plated heart. this is Kamurocho after all, nobody is an angel). He fights more like a Tae-Kwon Do master than your more typical underworld ruffian. First off, his standard rush combo is already flashier than almost anything Kazuma Kiryu could pull off. This is a welcome change, and makes the game seem fresh instead of just another storyline stretched over an admittedly stale combat system. The other great change that I’ve encountered is that Kamurocho has been expanded vertically, adding new underground and rooftop areas to run about in. I'm sure I’m going to have to use these to dodge some heat later in the game, but for right now all I’ve found there are locker keys.

I look forward to more ping-pong, hostesses, karaoke, and grievous bodily injury. Only time will tell if Yakuza 4 can measure up to the government intrigue and Okinawan madness of the previous installment. i hope it does, because so far im pretty impressed.

17 Comments
18 Comments
Posted by DougCL

About 2 weeks ago, I finished up Yakuza 3, which was one of the games along with uncharted and MGS4 that motivated me to buy my PS3. I thought it had a very fun story with a lot of “ANIKI!!” and “OMAERA!!!” being shouted and a lot of suit jackets, shirts, and ties being ripped off with one hand before brawls ensue. I had a few criticisms by the end, like the combat becoming too repetitive by the final hours of the game and that after a while, Kamurocho feels a bit dead. One can only buy so many C.C. Lemons at the Don Quixote before the novelty of the Faux-Kabukicho starts to wear off.

“Hey Baby, you wanna take out an extremely concerning interest-free loan?”

So far Yakuza 4 has taken some steps in order to address those concerns in particular. The most obvious is the inclusion of four playable characters. I’ve only played with Shun Akiyama, the Hobo-Turned-Loan-Shark with a heart of gold (or a gold plated heart. this is Kamurocho after all, nobody is an angel). He fights more like a Tae-Kwon Do master than your more typical underworld ruffian. First off, his standard rush combo is already flashier than almost anything Kazuma Kiryu could pull off. This is a welcome change, and makes the game seem fresh instead of just another storyline stretched over an admittedly stale combat system. The other great change that I’ve encountered is that Kamurocho has been expanded vertically, adding new underground and rooftop areas to run about in. I'm sure I’m going to have to use these to dodge some heat later in the game, but for right now all I’ve found there are locker keys.

I look forward to more ping-pong, hostesses, karaoke, and grievous bodily injury. Only time will tell if Yakuza 4 can measure up to the government intrigue and Okinawan madness of the previous installment. i hope it does, because so far im pretty impressed.

Posted by eroticfishcake

@DougCL: The story to Y4 is kinda silly but it's executed so wonderfully I ended up enjoying it more then Y3's story. The structure is a little unusual considering the fact that you're playing four different characters (from Level 1) but it isn't a problem since the game is pretty easy on Normal difficulty. It's just that adjusting to the fighting styles takes some getting used to. But yeah, the three extra protagonists are pretty cool since adds so much character to it. Wait till you'll get Saejima's scene in the restaurant, he's just so fucking badass. Also you should totally sing a duet with Hana-chan when you're playing as Akiyama. That shit's amazing.

Posted by Ashwyn

I still have this game in its wrapper. I enjoyed the hell outta 3 but like you the combat got a bit stale, i do hear this one improves that so maybe i should get round to playing this sooner rather than later? :/.

Edited by IAmNotBatman

Not sure why but after completing all of the Yakuza games (including Dead Souls ughhhh) I have the most fondest memories of the series in Y4. It's definitely an easier game than the others, just I never wanted to do EVERYTHING in the other games like I did with this one, hope you continue to enjoy it! Oh and don't play Dead Souls, as much as I love the series that game is not great and can be infuriating.

Posted by ValiantGrizzly

I'm kind of interested in this, do you need to have played the previous games before jumping in 4? Or is it enjoyable as a stand-alone title?

Posted by Mikey2D

@DougCL: I'm glad you're enjoying the improvements from 3 to 4. The new characters are all great in their own ways and offer variety :) Enjoy the rest of the ride - you'll be playing for quite some time.

@digitalsea87: I've played both 3 and 4 of the series. I remember that 3 had a 'previously on yakuza' style thing which basically filled you in on the situation. I think the same might be true of Yakuza 4. There are alot of characters and playing the other games is obviously advantageous. I had no trouble getting into 3 and then 4. So i'd suggest maybe picking up 3 (I'm sure its super cheap by now) and seeing what you think. The story is good and overall i enjoy the series - but it's certainly not for everyone.

Hopefully this helps.

Posted by Jazz

Akiyama is possibly my favourite character since John Marston. The guy is a legend.

Posted by Maajin

I'm still playing the first one. I stopped a few months ago in that part you have to entertain that little girl (whoa, I mean... take her around town and stuff). I wasn't sure how to progress the story at that point. But before that I was enjoying myself a whole lot.

I already have 3 and 4 for the PS3, would you guys recommend jumping directly to them?

Posted by Mikey2D

@Maajin: I'd say if you're enjoying the earlier titles in the series - then stick with them.

Personally I just decided to by pass 1 and 2 as I wasn't sure how well they would hold up - they certainly have a graphical disadvantage - i wouldn't rule out going back to play them at some point in the future.

But yea - if they're fun for you - keep going - it'll be all the more rewarding to play through all four as opposed to simply playing the latest entries.

Posted by TooSweet

Really enjoyed 3 and 4. I liked the karate school instructor and his crazy poses in part 4. My local shop had used copies of 1 and 2 in mint condition for $6 each. I took those bad boy home.

Edited by D_Bones

Just played 3 earlier last year and enjoyed the hell out of it. Have 4 still in the package and am waiting until i have more time to enjoy it fully. Also for those of you saying the story in 4 is better than 3 I really don't see how it could top a moment in 3 where I literally was amazed and laughing my ass off at the same time.

When they murder someone with a motherfucking helicopter gatling gun! What can top that?
Posted by WatanabeKazuma

@D_Bones: How about the part where the metaphor "grab the bull by the horns" becomes literal. Nagoshi!

Posted by D_Bones

@WatanabeKazuma: You totally reminded me of that! That moment was amazing. Oh my god that game was the shit. Someone please tell me stuff like that happens in 4. I will immediately pop it in my PS3.

Posted by AltonBrown

I love the Yakuza series, but I've yet to play 2. I can never find it anywhere. I just want to know what's up with 5.

Posted by Cube

Yakuza 4 is absolutely brilliant. Better than 3 for sure. Good choice.

Posted by fetchfox

@DougCL: I loved three and four (with all its ridiculousness), but for some reason I stopped playing the fourth right before the end (and this is over six months ago). I should really finish it... It's such a crazy yakuza/gangster movie soap-opera.

Posted by AjayRaz

Yakuza 4 is my favorite games in the series. either 2 or 4, but 4 has some absolutely wonderful execution when it comes to its story and how everything comes together. have fun with it. i sure did!

Edited by Yummylee