By Ujio 4 Comments
So I've been playing a lot of Yakuza lately and I must say I love it. Why I didn't play this game sooner I don't know. Well, I probably do know but it's just stupid on my behalf to have waited this long. Aside from some nagging game play mechanics (specifically dealing with combat) the game is great. I don't know how many chapters total there are in the game; all I know is I'm currently working through chapter seven (pretty sure I'm close to eight).
So initial impressions are favorable. The game has a pretty interesting plot so far, and I haven't been bored with any of it that would cause me to lose motivation and stop playing. I like the RPG-ness of being able to level up the skills of your character. The pacing seems really great since everything is spread out just right so you never feel you're spending too much time "stuck" in one chapter. The random battles are fun and serve to break up the monotony of running around the city to your destination. Leveling up is very tangible with the new sets of skills you learn, and your character never feels too powerful nor too weak for the enemies or bosses you fight.
The negatives are nothing more than minor quibbles, actually. Such as while in combat once you start a combo you cannot break it to avoid getting hit. So if the guy you're attacking suddenly evades you continue attacking in a straight line as the enemy flanks you and gets a cheap shot in to your side or behind you. There is a "lock on" of sorts but no way to quickly switch between targets, and since the majority of time you are fighting multiple enemies it can get annoying getting gangbanged by everyone and not being able to switch your lock-on quickly to the new enemy attacking you. Also with items you pick up it sucks you can only carry three weapons. It sucks even more that every weapon you buy and/or find has only a certain amount of usage before it "breaks." Brass knuckles can break? C'mon. Also for stat enhancement you can only wear ONE item at a time even though you find lots of items that boost your offense or defense or a charm that grants you a bonus for some ability (like the "Goddess" charm which prevents enemies from swarming you). I'm hoping Yakuza 2 fixes these problems as I haven't played it yet but plan to right after I beat the first.
So those are my impressions. Godwilling I'll have the chance to write down a more formal opinion in a review.