Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review – PC
I just need to say that Yakuza is becoming one of my most favorite game series. I feel terrible that I haven’t touched a single one upon their original release and started with Yakuza 0. Now with the remakes titled Yakuza Kiwami, then their respective number, you get to play them in glorious HD and of course minor fixes. If you’ve played a Yakuza game before, expect the same amazing over-the-top fighting and dialog.
Right off the bat, the game jumps in right after the original Yakuza (or Yakuza Kiwami) ended. The game even gives you an option to watch some sweet cutscenes to ‘remember’ how the last story ended. These are in fact skippable if you just prefer to get to the game. I hate ruining stories of games for people, especially since these games do such a fun job with the storylines they are presenting. BUT, I will tell you this. Yakuza Kiwami 2 has one of the best storylines out of 0, 1, and 2. I really enjoyed it. Now if you’re a Yakuza fan you’ll know that there’s a ton more to these games than just story.
Let’s talk some Yakuza Kiwami 2 gameplay. Let’s face it, depending on how you play the game (or what mini-game you get stuck playing), you’re going to need to do some fighting. Fighting is very similar to the previous Yakuza games, but this one seems to be more focused on weapon fighting. You’ll get three slots to have weapons quick slotted and be able to swap in and out depending on your style and who you are fighting. Not only will you have weapons on you, but there will also always be items to pick up to smash some punk’s face in. Bicycles, road cones, signs, you name it, you can probably interact with it and do some damage. The finishers come back and they are glorious. Lots of weapons have their own finisher, which will cause extra damage if your bar is high enough, but also the environment can have their own finishers as well. For example, I was able to launch a dude off of a balcony because we were close enough and damn it, if that didn’t make me feel like a badass doing so.
Leveling up your stats happens the more you fight but there is also a hunger system built in. The more you run around and fight, the hungrier you will be. You’ll have to pop in and eat some food to fill your stomach and gain some sweet XP for your different levels. You have a choice on how you want to level your character. You can level up your core stats, such as health, defense, etc. Or you can also level up abilities, such as getting a lunge attack, expanded combos, or even drop bonuses.
The most fun way to level up? Side quests. Of and if those side quests aren’t everywhere and usually over the top as the rest of the game. Such as playing the claw game to help a guy impress his girlfriend, or helping a man from getting beat up who becomes an ally later in the game. All the side quests are worth doing to get the most out of the game as well as to make things go a little easier towards the end game. Another time-wasting element? The damn mini-games. You can golf, karaoke, crane games, poker, blackjack, photo shoots, batting cages, urinal games, and even Virtual Fighter 2 and Virtual-On. There are a few more traditional Japanese games such as mahjong as well. Are these just to distract you from the story and to break up the constant run around completing quests routine? Most likely, but damn are they good. They put some time into getting these mini-games cleaned up and smooth, and it shows. Even Virtual Fighter 2 and Virtual-On were basically 1-to-1 copies of the originals!
The soundtrack and visuals are spot on. Though I never have stepped foot in Japan, it is how I picture it, close streets, bright lights, tons of people and little shops everywhere. It just fell like you were in that world, again, I could be way off in that though. The graphics are cleaned up on PC and can get to 4K resolutions, so those who can handle it, let those GPUs go crazy and watch how gorgeous this game is.
Existing Yakuza fans most likely already know that this is a must buy if you’re on the Kiwami train. As for new players looking to jump in, You can go in order, but the game does a good recap of what you missed in the early minutes of the game. Either way, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a damn good game worthy of your time.
+ Over the top Yakuza style...never goes out of style
+ One of the best Yakuza stories to playthrough
+ If your PC can handle it, go all out in 4K
+ If you're a completist, you'll have hours of extra gameplay
- If all you want is the story, you may get bored with repetitive fighting
- Camera angles during fighting are extremely frustrating at times to figure out