selphie1999's Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PlayStation 4) review

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Kiryu's Last Ride!

Yakuza 6 is the 7th instalment into the main Yakuza game series and the 12th title if you include the spin offs as of May 2018.

Selling a combined 500,000 units in Japan and Asia, it was also the third best selling video game in the United Kingdom during its European debut week, making it the biggest launch for the series in the UK.

However despite this it seemed that the Japanese players weren't overwhelmingly happy with this one, I didn't believe them, now I've experienced it for myself I can somewhat agree with them, but where did 6 go wrong?

Well for starters the story felt somewhat disappointing. Yakuza 6 is known to be the very last game in Kazuma Kiryu's story, Kiryu being the series main protagonist.

However for it to be his last and the type of story in which we received was very lacklustre to say the least, for one the majority of the characters whom have had a great impact on Kiryu's life from the very start and throughout the course of the series where either forgotten or just did not have very much screen time, which for us felt very surprising and didn't make for a very good send off.

The new characters in the story whom did get plenty of screen time just didn't appeal to us and thus we never felt any kind of emotional attachment to any of them. Though the new cast had strong stories that connected the game together rather well, they just felt like amateur thugs and that is putting it mildly.

It was nice to see the popular Japanese actor, Beat Takeshi make an appearance in this game and thankfully he unlike other characters had plenty of screen time too, though sadly for us as we are not big on tv and film we had no idea as to whom he was and all we could go on was word of mouth.

Perhaps for those that are familiar with his work may find themselves enjoying the game more but as is already stated we are not familiar with his work, so overall though this is a nice addition to the game it did not improve our overall enjoyment unfortunately.

The combat system seemed to be somewhat disappointing too with the lack of many of the popular Heat Moves which has been in the series from the very start, but a lot for some reason seemed to be cut out from this game. We also only ended up with one basic fight style whereas in other games prior to this one we had the ability to switch to many different ones.

The combat system wasn't terrible however as it still felt very fluid and the ragdoll physics made for some rather amusing moments too.

It also has to be said that Yakuza 6 also introduced the series new graphic engine known as Dragon Engine which we find to be a rather nice name and perhaps a fitting one for a title such as this.

The engine was a rather nice addition too with much improved graphics managing to make the environments more vibrant and life like.

Though we also found out that Yakuza 6 can only run at 30fps we are not sure if this is due to the new engine or something else, but after a few of the other games prior to this managed to run in 60fps we where quite surprised when we find out that this one did not.

Another dissapointment to add to the game was the fact that quite a lot of the areas in one of the locations who most fans are familiar with by now where simply cut off with no real reason as to why.

We where half expecting these areas to be unlocked later or to at least find out why the areas where not accessible, but unfortunately it never happened and it remained locked, now this wouldn't of been too big of a deal had it not been for the fact that these locked areas housed many of the mini games and side activities that fans of the series have come to enjoy and expect by now.

Having said that the game does feature a vast amount of side activities that thankfully can be enjoyed such as the addition of a Baseball simulation mini game, Clan Battles, Spear-fishing and of course my personal favourite though not technically a mini game instead more of a side activity is the good old Cat Cafe, I mean who doesn't want to sit and have fun with moggies at your feet? all of these said activities and mini games are new to the series and can supply endless hours of fun and enjoyment.

The game also includes the new addition of a brand new area to the series known as Onomichi which is part of Hiroshima and just like a lot of other areas in the series is also based on the real version in Japan.

Though we have never had the luxury of visiting the real version of Onomichi, after playing the game we can safely say we really want to go. The location is very nice and makes for an enjoyable part of the game.

The soundtrack in this one though not bad wasn't as good as say previous ones. As a fan of the series since the release of Yakuza 3 8 years ago now the soundtrack is something we very much look forward to with each entry into the series, with many of the different songs really pleasing to the ear and memorable, sadly though with this game there where next to none that had that much of an impact compared to past ones, which is unfortunate..

​OVERALL:

We are not sure if some of the cut content and slight disappointments where due to the new engine or otherwise and we did manage to enjoy this game despite it all.

However for it being a kind of send off game for main series protagonist Kiryu Kazuma it felt somewhat unappetizing with a lot of stuff being missed opportunities.

PROS:

+ The continuation of includiding characters and areas based on real life counterparts is always a nice addition

+ Spearfishing and Cat Cafe!

+ The addition of the new Dragon Engine is a nice improvement!

CONS:

+ Being unable to play at 60fps whereas in other games prior to this we could easily run in 60fps

+ A lot of the content was cut out, such as mini games and side activities which where available in other games prior to this for no real reason.

+ Many of the fan favourite characters which have been in many of the past games had barely any screen time.

+ The story for being the main protagonist Kiryu Kazuma's last entry into the series felt very underwhelming

Total Story Length: 25-30Hrs

Platinum Trophy Length: 50-60Hrs

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