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Thoughts on Yakuza 1+2.

I've just finished a marathon of Yakuza 1 and 2 in preparation for the PS3 titles. Both are likeable games, but I've discovered the one gaping flaw that persists through both.

The combat system is perfectly adequate when facing multiple small-fry opponents, but it COMPLETELY falls apart in boss fights. Most of the boss fights are easy enough that the problem doesn't reveal itself, but if you find yourself without items and your health lower than three-quarters in some of them you'll see exactly what I mean.

In at least two of the boss fights of the first game, and one in the second, I found myself feeling as if I had to break the games to win. Trying to apply skill did not work due to how random these bosses were and how each one had unbreakable attack patterns, super-armour and unblockables. Approaching about 20 continues which constantly suggested I should switch to easy, I had to resort to tactics such as getting the bosses to run around in circles whilst I taunted to build meter, or deliberately getting my health in the red so I could get a boss in a Heat attack that lasted forever as long as I kept mashing square.

Far from being dramatic slugfests, the fights looked completely laughable and I could only despair at how badly designed these encounters were. Presumably you are meant to brute force them with health items. Bad design.

Hopefully the PS3 games solve this problem.

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Poison in the human machine.

Capcom could just endlessly release trailers of new content and ship empty discs and I would still give them my money.

Dhalsim seems like an awkward choice for this sort of thing, but I can picture all of the world warriors being thrown in just in terms of ease of porting and to counterpoint the Tekken classics, I hope this points towards a very accommodating character number.

Steve looks somewhere between Balrog and Dudley? Think how perfect a rival Dudley is but consider if the cast warrants two speedy British boxers.

Poison is looking like Juri meets the Anne Summers accessory section. I have to wonder if they haven't just literally lifted some animations from Juri considering how similar the fireball looks and how the shoryuken-kick thing just looks like the start-up of Juri's second ultra, also the lip licking in the second video.

And how will the transgender issue be handled? Would be a shame if Capcom copped out into confirming her as born female, where is the fun in that? Lord knows the fighting game world needs its Amanda Lear.

Yoshimitsu is looking very much Yoshimitsu, since the late 90s this look is probably the first thing to pop into mind when I see the name. What else could be said except Capcom might have attempted to give his look a redesign Sentinel-style. No, I imagine they dare not alienate the Tekken fans.

Being tag-team based I could see Hugo after Poison appearing, but those decorated trucks look like they are pointing towards Sodom. I'll take anything. You can cut Capsmack with Gen milk sugar but it's still sweet, sweet Capsmack.