Yakuza Kiwami impressions

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#1 Edited by odinsmana (837 posts) -

I finished Kiwami today and I assume a lot of people who got the game on launch have played enough to form an opinion by now, so I wanted to hear what you guys thought of the game!

Personally the game was mostly what I expected. The story holds up and is still good. The pacing and storytelling is a bit rough around the edges and not as deliberate as later other entries in the series. It`s understandable though considering almost all the cutscenes are just the cutscenes from the ps2 games with nicer graphics. The presentation is still good, but not as great as the other entries in the series and the character work is also for the most part not quite as good. The new Nishki scenes are great though and do a great job of fleshing out the character. It`s also great to have Haruka back and every scene she is in is great.

The substories were not as wacky as they have become in recent entries. A lot of the ones that were from the original game were also fairly samey and simple. There were some good ones from that original bunch though and a lot of the ones they added in Kiwami were pretty good though. I thought there was some pretty fun follow ups/ callbacks to substories from Yakuza 0.

The combat I actually liked more than in Yakuza 0 (for the most part). I liked most of the small tweaks they did to the system and I think all the styles are a lot fun to use. The difficulty being higher in this game also means I couldn`t just mash my way through the game and boss fights were both more fun and more satisfying (in general). While some bosses are good there are some of the bosses and combat encounters, especially near the end of the game, are kinda weak and make certain sections not as exiting as they should be. The last boss is very good though and ends the game on a high note which is nice. The kiwami/extreme heat actions are fun the first few times, but after that get dull and annoying. They are not a huge problem, but they are the one change in the combat from 0 I did no like.

The Majima Everywhere system was a lot of fun. The fights are a lot more fun then Mr. Shakedown and the reward are more exciting. There is also some really funny stuff there and it does some good character building for Majima. His personality in Majima everywhere is more similar to how he is in other games in the series, but it does clash with the story cutscenes that are unchanged from the original game where he acts very differently. It`s pretty weird and jarring, but is not that big of a deal and I am really happy with Majima Everywhere.

The minigames are for the most part what you would expect, but the hostess clubs actually surprised me. In previous games I found the hostess club dating stuff to be a grind and kinda dull, but I actually enjoyed it a lot in this game. I don`t know it`s just better writing or changes they have made to how you interact with the hostesses, but I actually really enjoyed it and thought the conversations were interesting.

So to sum up: While it is a bit rough around the edges I think Kiwami is still very good and the lower price more than makes up for it`s shortcomings. It`s not the best Yakuza game, but it`s a good one and it has a really good price.

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#2 Posted by Efesell (2876 posts) -

It's about what I expected, it's a much better version of my least favorite Yakuza game.

I'll be curious if they bring the remake of 2 over, cause that is still my favorite.

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#3 Edited by Cerberus3Dog (866 posts) -

A lot of the things I didn't think would age well were removed. So really, they have updated and streamlined a ton here. I was expecting the old combat system actually, even the terribly slow transition between street fights. In addition to the original Dragon style Kiryu has, all the styles from 0 are present here. As far as adventuring goes, it's basically Yakuza 0-lite; the mini-games, the fighting rock paper scissors game, the side stories. Not the main reason I'm here for Yakuza, but they are fine additions.

A lot of the time, I'm confused if the cut scene I'm watching was added to Kiwami. I believe some were added to make Nishiki's transformation more detailed. Spoilers for the first couple hours: I don't remember Nishiki having a sister or Reina being in love with Nishiki? Though, this is the first time I'm hearing the Japanese subtitled version so maybe the original Yakuza with english VO I played back then was altered.

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#4 Edited by odinsmana (837 posts) -

@cerberus3dog said:

A lot of the things I didn't think would age well were removed. So really, they have updated and streamlined a ton here. I was expecting the old combat system actually, even the terribly slow transition between street fights. In addition to the original Dragon style Kiryu has, all the styles from 0 are present here. As far as adventuring goes, it's basically Yakuza 0-lite; the mini-games, the fighting rock paper scissors game, the side stories. Not the main reason I'm here for Yakuza, but they are fine additions.

A lot of the time, I'm confused if the cut scene I'm watching was added to Kiwami. I believe some were added to make Nishiki's transformation more detailed. Spoilers for the first couple hours: I don't remember Nishiki having a sister or Reina being in love with Nishiki? Though, this is the first time I'm hearing the Japanese subtitled version so maybe the original Yakuza with english VO I played back then was altered.

They have added some scenes with Nishiki throughout, but otherwise I think every cutscene in the game is straight out of the ps2 game. The Reina/Nishiki thing I am pretty sure was in the original game.

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#5 Edited by Efesell (2876 posts) -

I definitely remember the sister, not the other thing but I also completely forgot everything about that character so could go either way.

I think the only new stuff with Nishiki is the stuff that is super obvious because it always seems to be a post-chapter cutscene.

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#6 Posted by OMGFather (747 posts) -

It's definitely not as good as 0 but I'm still liking it. I wanted to be using the Dragon of Dojima style rather than the same styles from 0 again, just wish they went that route and let you upgrade it as normal through XP. It just feels like a grind to get it somewhat competent, and likely by that point it's the latter half of the game.

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#7 Posted by Corwag (427 posts) -

I was hesitant to get Kiwami right away after having milked zero dry. I wasn't sure if I was up for another game of that size so soon, but Kiwami is a great smaller game that I didn't mind going through.

I find it weird that Sega is giving part 6 an official release next year, but parts 3, 4 and 5 are still stuck on ps3. I hope between now and then they make them ps4 digital downloads.

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#8 Posted by Chippy180 (194 posts) -

My thoughts are similar in most respects, although I really disliked the combat gating. Although truth be told I'm partly to blame as I forgot about Majima's initial "hide and go seek" text from his friend and spent the majority of the game completely devoid of Dragon abilities. Leaving that aside, however, it still felt like Beast and Rush felt pretty good late game but incredibly weak and unsatisfying to use until the final tier of upgrades were applied to each set. This may have something to do with the original game's skill system but as this was my first Yakuza game since playing a few hours of 3 I can't say for sure.

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#9 Edited by BoOzak (1929 posts) -

Aside from the Legend style being nerfed i'm happy with it. (i've got all but one of the upgrades and it's still not as good as it was in 0 or even 3, 4 & 5) It's obviously not as robust as 0, which breathed some fresh air into franchise with it's styles, setting and management stuff. (some of that was in 2 & 4, and maybe even the japanese version of 3, but it was better in 0) The "Majima Everywhere" system can range from great to a bit tedious but it was fun and it added a bit of levity to the somewhat depressing story of the first game. Ultimately i'm glad to have a modern version of the game without that terrible (but sometimes amusing) dub.

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#10 Posted by The_Nubster (3334 posts) -

I'm really enjoying it at about 20 hours, and it's basically what I thought it would be. It feels a bit smoother and more responsive in combat than 0, and the styles are still fun to use. I'm not a huge fan of the Climax heat actions but that's more of an annoyance than anything. It's pretty obvious that they've gotten better at telling stories though; the pacing in 0 was absolutely fantastic, whereas this game does seem to drag its heels a little bit or jump too quickly from beat to beat, and it doesn't let its characters breathe nearly as much.

My only serious complaint is that the Dragon style is literally useless to me, since it just seems like a less-effective and slower form of Brawler. It almost feels like Brawler was designed to be how they wanted the fighting to feel in the original game, and the Dragon style was just brought over as fanservice like in 0.

For what I wanted out of it, which was just more Yakuza on a slightly smaller scale, I'm very happy. I can't wait to play Kiwami 2 if that comes over, which I hella hope it does.

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#11 Posted by Humanity (16969 posts) -

I think a lot of people that are coming to this game after Zero being their first foray into the Yakuza series will come away with mixed feelings - but it's important to remember that Zero is a fairly new releaae and Kiwami is a remaster of the very first Yakuza that came out back on the PS2 - a game that no one had any real hopes for that blew up real big but only in japan. It's by no means a direct continuation from Zero apart from story.

I only say this because I've seen several people complain that it's not as good as Zero was, and yah that should be no surprise considering it's the barebones template they built this entire series on.

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#12 Edited by odinsmana (837 posts) -

@humanity said:

I think a lot of people that are coming to this game after Zero being their first foray into the Yakuza series will come away with mixed feelings - but it's important to remember that Zero is a fairly new releaae and Kiwami is a remaster of the very first Yakuza that came out back on the PS2 - a game that no one had any real hopes for that blew up real big but only in japan. It's by no means a direct continuation from Zero apart from story.

I only say this because I've seen several people complain that it's not as good as Zero was, and yah that should be no surprise considering it's the barebones template they built this entire series on.

I also think Sega signaled this by selling the game for half the price, so people should have set their expectations accordingly.

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#13 Posted by somamilk (33 posts) -

I'm one of those who came into the series by playing Yakuza 0 first and was told not to do that but wait for Kiwami, but went ahead and played through Yakuza 0. I had tons of fun playing through Yakuza kiwami but felt incredibly underwhelmed, the high points of the game and did not reach the highs of Yakuza 0. Personally I strongly will recommend people play through Zero to help get a context of Kiwami as I feel i got a richer story understanding and how the flow of the battles; which can get monotonous and samey after the hundredth time but the Majima Everywhere System really adds a fun element to wandering Kamourocho compared to the Mr.Shakedowns though I will always fondly remember the big lugs . But the stories of the Yakuzies got me hooked and I'm looking forward to Kiwami 2 and hopefully more re-releases?

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#14 Edited by Puchiko (522 posts) -

I was really shocked how Reina went out. She was my favorite character from Zero and surprisingly got younger somehow in this game. The story was super predictable but I enjoyed the ride. Zero is still my favorite though.

Really tempted to import a japanese copy of 6 just to explore the world...

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#16 Posted by sub_o (1008 posts) -

@puchiko: What I like most in Kiwami is that, they are willing to remove any story characters.

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#17 Posted by Bezerker85 (270 posts) -

After getting sidetracked by a bunch of various releases I finally finished up the game tonight. I feel 0 was a much better game & story but I honestly cant fault Kiwami that much considering 0 was a much more recently written storyline and most likely had more hands on deck for its creation.

I'm hoping all the recent success in the US for Yakuza helps amp up the US date for Kiwami 2. It took 19 months for Kiwami to make it to the US, I dont know if I can wait til Mid 2019 for Kiwami 2.

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#18 Posted by Teddie (1818 posts) -

I finished this game last night, and I guess my only complaint is the lack of polish? Y0 had a great flow between cutscene and action (especially the boss fights), but Kiwami always had a fade-to-black that made it feel like the people who did the cutscenes just made a long movie and someone had to cut it up and put gameplay in the middle.

I liked the story a lot still, these games always end strong and this one was made even better by playing Y0. I did watch those recaps they included in Y3 (since that was my first game in the series) and I had a totally different picture of what the story was; it kinda felt like they sold it as "these obvious boss characters all vying for the head of the clan that you'll be gunning for" in the recap, and while that's definitely in there it seemed to take a backseat to just kinda... messing around with the Florist and solving random people's problems. Then suddenly you have your big fight with the bosses and it's not very cathartic or exciting. Even Nishiki felt underused which is weird since they cut to his backstory so often, with his ultimate motive not really having anything to do with what we saw in those flashbacks.

Also, Amazing Grace? Really?!

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#19 Posted by odinsmana (837 posts) -

@teddie said:

I finished this game last night, and I guess my only complaint is the lack of polish? Y0 had a great flow between cutscene and action (especially the boss fights), but Kiwami always had a fade-to-black that made it feel like the people who did the cutscenes just made a long movie and someone had to cut it up and put gameplay in the middle.

I liked the story a lot still, these games always end strong and this one was made even better by playing Y0. I did watch those recaps they included in Y3 (since that was my first game in the series) and I had a totally different picture of what the story was; it kinda felt like they sold it as "these obvious boss characters all vying for the head of the clan that you'll be gunning for" in the recap, and while that's definitely in there it seemed to take a backseat to just kinda... messing around with the Florist and solving random people's problems. Then suddenly you have your big fight with the bosses and it's not very cathartic or exciting. Even Nishiki felt underused which is weird since they cut to his backstory so often, with his ultimate motive not really having anything to do with what we saw in those flashbacks.

Also, Amazing Grace? Really?!

About the Nishiki flashback scenes: While the rest of the cutscenes in the game are straight from the ps2 game just with updated graphics those flashback scenes are actually new and were added in this release to flesh out the characters change. You might also have noticed that those scenes were more similar to the later games in the series in the way the way they were paced and "shot".

The story is in general is a lot rougher than the later entries, but I also think that`s understandable considering it was the first time they tried to make this kind of story and I also think it was the first game the team made and it was made over 10 years ago. Yakuza 2 is the one localized entry in the series I haven`t played, but my understanding is that that game was a big step up and many still consider it the best story in the series, so let`s hope Kiwami 2 gets a western release.

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