« | Main | »

Yakuza 5 Review Posted (Well, Not Here… But Still!)

By Heath | March 1, 2015 at 8:16 am

I played and finished Yakuza 5 this winter. I finished up in February and wrote this Yakuza 5 review.

The best part:

“Walking around any office building, shop, or apartment is an astounding display of careful thought. These are painstakingly realistic in their layouts and contents. More than once, I looked at something and said, “Hey I have that _______,” or “Hey those are my ________.” The team’s hard work pays off by creating an ideal setting.

-snip snip-

“I’ve always loved how Yakuza was kind of a spirit brother to the Shenmue series. If you miss Shenmue but haven’t played Yakuza, you’re missing out. Exploration is a huge highlight, as is the arcade game hub Sega World and a thousand other little details portraying daily life in Japan. Go to Japan, come back, then play a Yakuza game if you want to have your mind blown.

-snip snip-

“Over time, with the course it takes, [Haruka’s story] fits into the Yakuza formula. Surprisingly, the Haruka/Akiyama section was 5‘s highest moment.”

The worst part:

“Seriously, when people start talkin’, strap in, because you might be sitting for 10-30 minutes. The developers try to disguise these long segments, by having the player run 10 feet in the middle of the discussion, but it doesn’t help. You’ll have, for example, a five-minute cutscene that uses the game engine, followed by a three-minute CG cinema, but then be asked “Oh, Saejima, can you walk over there?” and then you take 10 steps only to kick in another eight-minute game engine scene which leads into another three-minute CG cinema. So you’ll end up with 20 minutes of play time, but only one minute in which you had control; and worse, that control was seriously just walking from Point A to Point B, without any way to diverge.

“The reverse happens as well, with some battle sequences going too long (with no ability to save). This is especially bad when you’re trying to take advantage of Yakuza‘s patented exploration, but can’t because you’re running down narrow paths and getting jumped more often than you’d like. Right after a big string of fights, that doesn’t feel good. You gotta take these things and mix them up.
“And this happens all the time in Yakuza 5. Long story sequences can be alright, long battles can be okay, but Yakuza 5 went back to that well too many times. It’s like you ordered a salad, but had to eat a bowl of straight iceberg lettuce first, and then all of the broccoli, and then croutons, and then drink down unaccompanied dressing. Ew.”

You can read the whole thing over here.

Topics: Reviews, Sega, Yakuza 5