Beat the game- impressions (spoilers)

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#1 Posted by DystopiaX (5802 posts) -

As said, spoilers, probably. Just beat the game. Didn't do everything but did a ton at 64%- did most of the substories except the final dancing one because fuck that guy/that minigame, failing all the telephone club ones, anything related to the gambling/chess minigames cause I cba.

My final thoughts about this game is that it's probably my favorite in the series, so far at least. Said this elsewhere but I started with 3 and played every one to completion since then, with the exception of Dead Souls. A lot of great improvements to the series- things like multiple combat styles (though I ended up enjoying Majima's more than Kiryu's, by kind of a lot), the friendship mechanic encouraging me to engage with side activities I spent little time with before, from stuff like the crane game to bowling, the equipment that shows substories on the map, substories not going away/chapter specific. Really liked the business minigames, especially the cabaret- thought the management was actually kind of fun. Story-wise I think this is the best one of the ones I've played. Tbh in the past story was always more secondary to me, and if you asked me to recall specific details about any of them I would be hard-pressed to, having not gone back to them really since I beat them. But by the time the story hit its "climax"- to me around the time when Kiryu goes to Sotenburi to pick up Makoto- it had me pretty much. I basically cleared all the side stuff I wanted to do by that point, which was lucky for me because the story grabbed me to such an extent that it would have felt weird to go play bowling while dudes are in danger, etc., and basically blazed from there to the end. The emotional "twists" got to me, despite the fact that I thought/still think that the fact that Tachibana+Makoto are related was kind of contrived. Found myself really caring about what happened to her, and when Tachibana died probably came the closest to crying at a videogame than I ever have. In general I thought that the fanservice/nods to later entries in the series was really well done, though having not played the first two I'm sure there's some stuff there that I've missed.

Anyone else here finished the game? What did you guys think? Interested to hear from other people who've beaten it as well.

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#2 Posted by odinsmana (982 posts) -

I beat the game a couple of weeks and really enjoyed it. It always surprises me how they manage to improve on the games from entry to entry considering how huge the games are, that they have a shoestring budget and that they are released pretty much annually.

I liked the different combat styles and helped the combat from becoming dull. Some are definitely better than others, but the game is easy enough that I ended up switching between them just for fun. The friendship mechanic was a good way to make your interactions with the stores and diners more meaningful and the trainers were varied enough to keep things interesting. The businesses felt like the took the role of the Side Stories form 5 and I think they were a step down. The mechanics of the real estate and hostess clubs are fun for a while and the stories are decent, but near the end of each business arc the gameplay became pretty dull and grindy. I think they are also a bit to integral to the game. You have to do them if you want to unlock the best skills in the ability tree and it`s the only way to get enough money to buy those abilities anyway. I was going to finish them anyway, so it wasn`t to much of a bummer for me, but if I do ever replay this game I would not want to go through the business story lines again, but I would kinda have to. A thing they did do that I really liked was connect to the sub stories. Having the people you helped show up and help you out was always really fun.

On the story side I really liked it. It`s defiantly one of the best stories they have done. they also managed to pretty much wholly avoid the prequel trap so many games and movies fall into where it turns out everyone knew each other and every single minor character was actually super important this whole time. The fact that Maejima and Kiryu never meet is actually pretty cool. I do think they had a leg up though on a lot of other series by the fact that both Kiryu and Majima are already established in the games world at the start of Yakuza 1, so it doesn`t feel weird that they had this big adventure before the events of the first game in the series. They also managed to make the story flow nicely into the first game which was really wondering how they were going to do two thirds of the way through the game, but when the credits roll everyone have landed nicely in positions that set them up for the events of Yakuza 1.

The sub stories are pretty much how they have always been and were of a similar quality to those in previous games. It was planning to finish all of them but ended up not doing all of Majimas hostess ones and the Amon fights (or whoever Majima fights). I got the the Amon fight with Kiryu, but it was just not fun, so I decided to skip it and also not grind through the hostess interactions with Majima.

Overall I really loved the game and it`s become one of my favorites in the series.

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#3 Posted by redyoshi (1426 posts) -

That was a really fun ride the whole way through. I got up to Gambling King in the Real Estate business before deciding to move on and finish up the story before all the upcoming new releases, so I ended up finishing with around 31% completion after doing maybe 30 sub-stories with Kiryu and barely any with Majima. The main story also did maybe too good of a job of setting an urgent tone at times that skipping out on the main objectives in order to run the Cabaret club or anything else would have felt wrong. I do look forward to digging into that stuff in post-game later on though.

One thing that annoyed me about the story however was right at the end where both protagonists ended up getting that speech to not "cross that line" and kill. I think it was just a bit heavy-handed, and they also seemed to forget that they had me go through a highway shootout sequence with Kiryu where I had to shoot more than a few guys in the head. So after that, the preaching fell a little flat. Also, Makoto not putting two and two together when she saw Majima that last time definitely had me shaking my head. She didn't get a good look at him when her sight was still recovering, but she definitely knew that he only had one eye. I thought maybe she would at least start to realize it during the after-credits scene when she found the watch but I guess it wasn't to be.

I think overall I ended up enjoying Majima's side of the story a bit more, but he was also just a lot of fun to play in general. All three of his styles felt so dynamic whereas with Kiryu I rarely switched after discovering the wonders of Beast Mode.

Just one thing left me deeply unsatisfied. I desperately wanted to kick Sagawa's ass just once.

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#4 Posted by odinsmana (982 posts) -

@redyoshi: I think Kiryu is supposed to never have killed anyone in the series, but the first game also had a similar shooting sequence, so I guess we are supposed to think of them as non-canon?

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#5 Posted by redyoshi (1426 posts) -

@odinsmana: Yeah, I suppose so, and I honestly have no problem waving it off if that's the case, just like I don't think too deeply about heat actions like the one where I can just straight up stab a guy in the gut. It was just a moment that stuck out like a sore thumb at the end because they wanted to keep Kiryu clean.

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#6 Posted by odinsmana (982 posts) -

@redyoshi: You`re not wrong to think that. For as much as I love the story in these games it does require some hand waving on my end from time to time to make it all work.

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#7 Posted by OMGFather (1027 posts) -

@redyoshi said:

Just one thing left me deeply unsatisfied. I desperately wanted to kick Sagawa's ass just once.

Really? He became one of my favorite characters. The ending hit me hard.

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#8 Edited by redyoshi (1426 posts) -

@omgfather: I just felt like he really had it coming. Credit to the voice actor for doing such a good job in the role, because while he was spending most of the early-mid part of the game acting very smug in his power and control over Majima, I couldn't help but look forward to breakdancing all over him. I know Majima seemed to put it past him and part with him on better terms though, so I guess he's just a bigger person than me.

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#9 Posted by DystopiaX (5802 posts) -

@redyoshi said:

@omgfather: I just felt like he really had it coming. Credit to the voice actor for doing such a good job in the role, because while he was spending most of the early-mid part of the game acting very smug in his power and control over Majima, I couldn't help but look forward to breakdancing all over him. I know Majima seemed to put it past him and part with him on better terms though, so I guess he's just a bigger person than me.

Yeah, one thing i forgot to mention was I thought the voice acting was superb this time around. All the Yakuza bosses and Makoto especially. I think that the Chinese dudes, especially Mr Lee's "friend" sounded a bit hammy with exagerrated accents but not knowing Japanese it's hard to say how thick they really laid it on.

One other thing i forgot was how good the localization was. It's always been decent in other entries but there were a good dozen+ times where the phrases they used or wording they used made me laugh (standout one: every time they learn a new style and Kiryu goes "that's rad", or when you meet the pervy guy and he has like, 20 different euphemisms for masturbation)

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#10 Posted by redyoshi (1426 posts) -

@dystopiax: The localization really was very impressive, probably among one of the better ones I've played. There were many times where I had caught myself stopping on one piece of dialogue to read it over two or three more times just because it was so cleverly worded. Especially during sub-stories, I got the sense that they had a lot of fun with the script in this game. The Arakure Quest (the kid's videogame) in particular was one of my favorite of the ones I've played, but the Dominatrix one is also a really good example that many people run into early.

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#12 Posted by Teddie (2110 posts) -

Just finished the game and am typing this as the credits roll, so forgive me if this is jumbled. Haven't been compelled to write about a game so quickly after finishing it in a looooong time.

I think I have pretty much the exact experience with the series as OP (started with 3, played all of em that've been localized to completion except Dead Souls), and yeah this is easily my favourite in the series which is insane considering how much time I've spent with these mechanics/characters/locations at this point.

Totally wasn't expecting to get so into the story, which is really a slow burn that just kinda explodes and then doesn't relent about 2/3rds of the way through. The combat styles were all super fun and useful in their own way, to the point where unlocking Kiryu's regular moveset was kind of... boring in comparison. It's also the first game I've gotten so deep into the side stuff with, tying the upgrades to money made the business stuff more appealing, and I ended up enjoying it all. I almost want to go for 100% completion, but I don't think I want to grind out any of the pool/darts/gambling stuff.

Thought playing this would burn me out too much to be interested in Kiwami by the time it came out, but the ending builds up to what I know of that game's story so well that I can't wait to get into it later this year. Super glad the Beast Boys are playing this, because the series has gone way too long without GOTY discussion, especially in the "best moment" category.

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#13 Edited by Welding (325 posts) -

Played each and every one of these games and have to say this one definitely knocked 2 from the top of my list. This is easily the best Yakuza game.

The thing I'm especially happy with is how much the writers restrained themselves on the story. Slowly the series' tendency to throw in unexpected twists and "I-actually-had-this-planned-all-along" moments really got out of hand; Yakuza 5 being the epitome of that stuff with an incomprehensible plot and a final villain that came out of absolutely nowhere.

So I was happy to see they took a step back and decided to restrain themselves. They stick to a relatively low amount of characters and spend the time to flesh each of them out fairly well. Centering the plot around a single McGuffin (The Empty Lot) also allowed them to stay focused; while that slowly revealed itself to actually be the story of Makoto and Tachibana.

Also; the characterization of Majima was done incredibly well and makes his behavior in the subsequent games make so much more sense.

Fighting styles were great; the substories were some of the best in the series and the hostess club side-game should be a standalone downloadable title. Seriously. I would play it all the time.

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#14 Posted by Shindig (4835 posts) -

Finished it last night. Enjoyed it although, as an origin story, it doesn't really provide that much. Kiryu's always been this righteous, heart of gold type whilst Majima's arc is kinda botched.

I mean, there's an opportunity for him to break from 'normal guy' to clownish head-case. Then he's restrained only for him to decide, post-credits to act all crazy for the next five games. On top of that, we don't really get how these two protagonists become friends because they meet once. Post-credits.

Plus, is that briefcase going to just sit somewhere for 30 years? Because that's seemingly what's implied.

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#15 Edited by Veektarius (6407 posts) -

It's been a while since I finished it, but I agree with the positive reviews. The serious parts were interesting, the funny parts were funny, the cabaret minigame was great (but would have been better if it weren't so easy. I ended up having the most fun toward the end throwing 8 of my worst hostesses at a night and seeing how I could piss off the fewest customers.) My main gripe was that they kinda botched the ending overall. Not in any of the particular plot points, it was just kind of rambling and jumbled. It felt mostly like they made a self-contained game without regard for how the series goes from there and then used the ending to tie off the loose ends. No Sagawa in any other Yakuza game? Kill him off randomly at the end.. Majima doesn't have a super wealthy lady friend/wife? Well, he loved her too much to let her live her life with a guy like him at the end. It was actually kind of interesting to try and guess which characters would persist in later games based on design. The most realistic - e.g. Sagawa, the Dojima lieutenants, seemed unlikely to last, while certain other characters seemed more created from whole cloth rather than based on actual actors, like Sera and Kazama, and those were the more likely to survive. The scene with the watch at the very end was perfect, though.

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#16 Edited by odinsmana (982 posts) -
@shindig said:

Finished it last night. Enjoyed it although, as an origin story, it doesn't really provide that much. Kiryu's always been this righteous, heart of gold type whilst Majima's arc is kinda botched.

I mean, there's an opportunity for him to break from 'normal guy' to clownish head-case. Then he's restrained only for him to decide, post-credits to act all crazy for the next five games. On top of that, we don't really get how these two protagonists become friends because they meet once. Post-credits.

Plus, is that briefcase going to just sit somewhere for 30 years? Because that's seemingly what's implied.

I agree with you that the Majima "transformation is really abrupt, but I think Kiryu and Majima not meeting was actually pretty cool. In the first game they know each other by reputation, but I don`t think they are that well acquainted. Majima also kinda play a villanous role in that game, so they are not really friends. Because of this I actually think it would have been weird if they had cooperated during a big event earlier in their lives considering the relationship they have in the first game.

Also on a unrelated note: Even tough she is is barely in a couple of games it`s really weird to play a Yakuza game without Haruka.

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#17 Posted by Shindig (4835 posts) -

I feel like they've peaked with her in 5. That was her game. Hopefully 6 is just Beat Takeshi staring into the camera for 90 minutes before jabbing someone in the eye with a fork.

'cos that's the game I'd make.

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#18 Edited by cloudymusic (2112 posts) -

My main complaint about the endgame is any encounter that involves more than one gun-wielding guy.

I also agree about Majima's personality change feeling pretty abrupt, but they at least tried to supply him with some sort of inspiration for it via Nishitani. Maybe it would've worked better if they had left out that post-credits "hey, now I'm suddenly just Majima from Yakuza 1, KIRYU-CHAN" stinger, because that honestly was the main thing that made it feel abrupt to me.

I also don't entirely understand Kiryu's logic surrounding "in order to make things right, I need to go back to working under Dojima, the guy that framed me for murder and wanted me erased" but that might just be me.

Online
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#19 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7472 posts) -

After a major detour to finish up the business minigames for both characters and to compete more side missions for everyone, I finished last night. The game clocks was at 168 hours.

I liked the ending, but it was weaker than I expected after the rising action from mid-game onward. Because it was a prequel and needed to fit into their canon I can cut it a lot of slack; but the fact "I need" to cut ist slack is disappointing. All the same, it has been the best game I have played this year - a fun game in many aspects. It pulled off being funny, tragic, and dramatic all at once. Many memorable characters, in fact so many memorable one that I think it unfair that the game might only get to have two in the running during GOTY.

Top Mini-games

  • Slot Racers
  • Cabarete Club
  • Pool, Darts

Bottom-Minigames

  • Karaoke
  • Disco
  • Fishing

I have to admit I spent WAY TOO much time playing Slot Racing, Darts, and running through a night or Cabaret Club. I don't begrudge the game for have dozens of mini-games, but the singing and dancing ones were IMPOSSIBLE for me. And to be honest, the arcade games were sort of dull; I'm old enough to have played those games when they originally came out....none of the were my favorites even back then.

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#20 Posted by OneManX (1727 posts) -

I honestly don't have much to say about this gamd, but Majima's knife style completely made yhe Caberet minigame worth playing (and it actually being kinda fun helped too)

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#21 Posted by Giant_Gamer (745 posts) -

Beaten the game at 84 hours mark. On this game i kinda liked how Kiryu is more rash, with him disregarding what everyone is saying to him and quitting the yakuza business. What i didn't like though is how they didn't give us a good reason why Majima became the mad dog of the shimano family and why he switched to crazy mode at the end.

Story wise i felt more attached to Majima's part than Kiryu's. Kiryu's part had a slower pace with the story telling and didn't show that much of interesting events. The thing Kuze, i was like okay enough, i get it by the end of the game.

I'm surprised to see a lot of you liking to have all the fighting styles for each character, because i didn't like it that much. The game introduced to us 6 fighting styles and each of them have it own moves that can either be triggered when you are at the 1st, 2nd or 3rd heatbar. Knowing what every fighting style has to offer was overwhelming and unless you replay the game while focusing on one fighting style for each character, you won't be able to use all the cool moves that the devs have created for it.

Another thing about the gameplay that i didn't like that which is how the character grows in power as the heatbar is increasing, as i have found that discouraging me to use one of the coolest things about this game which are the heat actions.

As for Sidestory, i really didn't like the real estate side story as it was straight forward and and uninteresting. However, cabaret club side story was fun as it introduced a new mini game to the game that was fun to play.

Substories were great in general and my favorite was the psychic substory, where she reads Kiryu's future that conveniently becomes about events in Yakuza's franchise.

In the end i liked the game but it feels my least favorite Yakuza game but who knows maybe Yakuza 5 have raised the bar for me.

@odinsmana:

Worst thing is that they have met on the post credits scene. Majima recognized Kiryu from first sight too. I would like to pretend that that scene never happened.

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#22 Posted by odinsmana (982 posts) -

Beaten the game at 84 hours mark. On this game i kinda liked how Kiryu is more rash, with him disregarding what everyone is saying to him and quitting the yakuza business. What i didn't like though is how they didn't give us a good reason why Majima became the mad dog of the shimano family and why he switched to crazy mode at the end.

Story wise i felt more attached to Majima's part than Kiryu's. Kiryu's part had a slower pace with the story telling and didn't show that much of interesting events. The thing Kuze, i was like okay enough, i get it by the end of the game.

I'm surprised to see a lot of you liking to have all the fighting styles for each character, because i didn't like it that much. The game introduced to us 6 fighting styles and each of them have it own moves that can either be triggered when you are at the 1st, 2nd or 3rd heatbar. Knowing what every fighting style has to offer was overwhelming and unless you replay the game while focusing on one fighting style for each character, you won't be able to use all the cool moves that the devs have created for it.

Another thing about the gameplay that i didn't like that which is how the character grows in power as the heatbar is increasing, as i have found that discouraging me to use one of the coolest things about this game which are the heat actions.

As for Sidestory, i really didn't like the real estate side story as it was straight forward and and uninteresting. However, cabaret club side story was fun as it introduced a new mini game to the game that was fun to play.

Substories were great in general and my favorite was the psychic substory, where she reads Kiryu's future that conveniently becomes about events in Yakuza's franchise.

In the end i liked the game but it feels my least favorite Yakuza game but who knows maybe Yakuza 5 have raised the bar for me.

@odinsmana:

Worst thing is that they have met on the post credits scene. Majima recognized Kiryu from first sight too. I would like to pretend that that scene never happened.

That after credits scene is definetly non-canon fanservice/hype for kiwami or takes place further in the future since Maijima and Kiryu does not know each other at the start of Yakuza 1, so you shouldn`t worry too much about it.

As for Majima crazyness they established in 4 and 5 that the mad dog thing is a persona he puts on. In 0 he decides to put on that persona as a defense against getting hurt and being used. Pretty much everyone he interacts with in the game uses him and fucks him over. Shimano is able to play him because he can predict exactly what Majima will do. By putting on the mad dog persona no one will be able to predict what he is gonna do and therefore they can`t use him.

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#23 Edited by Giant_Gamer (745 posts) -

@odinsmana: Although your explanation fits to why Majima became a mad dog, i was really hoping that i got it from the game.

P.S. thanks for clearing it up!

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#24 Posted by TheChris (440 posts) -

It's the strongest entry in the series, a lot better than 6 which I didn't enjoy. Imported it, and didn't like it. 0 is up there with 2 as one of the best entries in the series.

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#25 Posted by bkbroiler (1739 posts) -

This was my first Yakuza game, so it was interesting watching the ending and trying to figure out how all the pieces fit into place for the following games.

Overall I really enjoyed it. Been going for about 70 hours and I'm only about 55% completion.

I agree with a lot of folks here that I thought a lot of pieces of the ending didn't quite fit. Majima's turn didn't quite get enough time for me to buy his shift at the end - I didn't even know the post credits scene is closer to is rest-of-Yakuza personality. His decision to still be a good Yakuza boy didn't really make sense to me, given what we'd seen of him, and I didn't understand why he had any love for Sagawa at all. However, even being able to talk this in depth about the story of a video game is a big credit to it, I think.

I really enjoyed the gameplay end of things. While there was a bit of clunkiness to it all (particularly in the menus), there was so much to do that it was easy to overlook. I used all the fighting styles in various situations, and got Kiryu's legend style, and dug that. I wanted to find out what happened at the end of the story, so I skipped out on completely doing the caberet missions, but I will get to them post game. The business stuff is REAL grindy after a point.

Overall I loved it. Looking forward to playing Kiwami 1 after finishing up 0 and probably taking a bit of a break, and then playing Kiwami 2 eventually. The only thing I'm worried about is I might have started with the best.

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#26 Posted by Cube (4410 posts) -

I absolutely love every Yakuza game except maybe Dead Souls. Cannot wait for Y6.

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#27 Edited by Giant_Gamer (745 posts) -

@cube: Dead Souls still has a special place in my heart. Unlike Yakuza games, this one made me try the weapons crafting system since they are the only effective way to attack Zombies.

Also the story of the game had its good moments, like Majima's ending XD

Would not mind if they try something different in the future as they did in this game.. Like an alien invasion?!

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#28 Posted by Jeremy808 (91 posts) -

Just saw this old thread pop up and read through it, i'm pretty new to the series with just having played 0 and Kiwami last year, although it's a series I always wanted to check out and just never did.

Reading through this thread and seeing people's puzzlement at Majima's turn at the end makes me feel like everyone either didn't pay attention or skipped that scene at the end with Sagawa when Majima basically tells him that Sagawa and Nishitani inspired him and it was kind of like his own little way of saying "there's only so much time on this earth so i'm gonna get a little weird with it".

Granted I haven't played yet the rest of the series where apparently more of Majima's backstory is explained, but that's how I interpreted his turn.

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#29 Posted by totsboy (493 posts) -

I had some problem with side stuff, the main story is so good that I always felt propelled to go forward and advance the story. That and some very bad side missions like the one where you have to stealth buy a porn magazine.

Ended up finishing with like 14%.

This got me really curious to play more of the series, specially with how they show in the end what each character has done for the next 20 years.

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#30 Posted by TheChris (440 posts) -

@giant_gamer: They’ve tried feudal Japan, which are both great.

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#31 Posted by chrispaul92 (149 posts) -

Of all the games I played last year this is one of the them that I really look back fondly on. It was my first Yakuza game and I found Kiryu and Majima to be some of my favorite new (to me) characters in a long time.

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#32 Edited by Giant_Gamer (745 posts) -

@totsboy: Now that you have beaten the game you should have unlocked the adventure mode which allows you to play the side missions.

But i gotta say the fun in the side missions lies in the writing, as it seems like everyone in the development team wrote at least one of them. That is why they are different from one another and don't seem to repetitive.

@thechris: Twice they did but none of them got a port because Sega >_<

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#33 Posted by TheChris (440 posts) -

@giant_gamer: Sadly not no. Looking KHHSubs guide for the game, there are lot of very old Japanese based lingual quests in the game, that probably would require bit of knowledge of the language and culture to get. It's trickier to localize.

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