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

Avatar image for riostarwind

More so than any other Yakuza game this one felt like I was revisiting old scenarios again.

No Caption Provided

Over the top crime drama is still on point. All of it is voiced now too.
Over the top crime drama is still on point. All of it is voiced now too.

With this release being noted as the swan song for the character that has been the constant protagonist for over 10 years it has a lot to live up to. Kazuma Kiryu has once again been pulled into the world of the Yakuza. After getting thrown in jail again for 3 years he gets out and hopes to go back and take care of the orphanage he founded. Yet all is not well since Hakura vanished around the same time he was in jail. He isn’t going to just let his adopted daughter vanish into the ether so he begins to search for her that takes him into the dark underbelly of Kamurocho once again.

Seeing what would happen next in the next tale of Kiryu is certainly one reason I keep coming back to this series. Never knowing what the next big scheme our hero will uncover is certainly amusing. The fact that they go off into some absurd but somewhat plausible areas is fun to see. Although in this case some of the more unique characters get put on the side to put more focus on Kiryu and some new friends. The what makes a good dad angle is the general new thing even if it felt like some points were just rehashed moments from older games.

Brawling with foes feels great visually even it is a bit slower.
Brawling with foes feels great visually even it is a bit slower.

Brawling with foes has also gotten a rewrite that feels like they were going back to the basics with one fighting style. It is quite similar to what Kiryu had back in the first Yakuza game with a few added touches like a parry. Giving some weight to his punches seems to have been their goal since it really does look like it hurts whenever someone gets knocked out. The addition of ragdoll physics is also a highlight since it can make some enemies move in some crazy ways. Less of a focus on heat actions is notable as well. Keeping the action flowing more instead of stopping for a mini cutscene is fine but I did miss some of the more amusing heat moves that could not be pulled off anymore.

I really wish the cat cafe quest line was more than just collecting random cats on the side of the road.
I really wish the cat cafe quest line was more than just collecting random cats on the side of the road.

Bashing skulls is needed for a good Yakuza game but the bevy of side content also awaits everyone that decides to check this game out. A lot of it feels like either checking things off on a list or it just simple enough that it got boring quick. But it does have some highlights like the bar side quest that ends up just being about talking about whatever problems each customer has each day. Which is much more amusing than that line might make it out to be. Also the most prominent one that has Kiryu manage his own clan of punks is alright. Would have been nice if it had a bit more strategy other than send everyone out quickly to overwhelm the enemy but at least the side story was compelling enough to get me to finish it. These two are just small parts in a bunch of things you could mess around with. Between the hilarious live chat and a assortment of classic Sega titles you’ll never run out of things to see on the side whenever you need a break from the drama in the main narrative

Overall I enjoyed my time with Yakuza 6. Most of what they put in the game is good but it really feels like I've been in these situations before. Sure the focus on different types of Dad’s throughout the game is a neat flourish but I kept thinking that certain aspects felt a lot like the previous games. Leaving me with the impression that Kiryu’s final game is a bit of a low point to end on. But it still has the solid mix of silly moments mixed with a serious story that has worked quite well in the past. This isn’t the Yakuza game to first get into the series but if your a fan of the series I expect you’ll still enjoy it.

Other reviews for Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PlayStation 4)

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.