It’s quarantine time, work’s not going the way you planned it, you can’t travel or visit your loved ones. Overconsumption and the sofa have become your asylum. Even if you don’t suffer from any of these symptoms and you still wish to kill time, what better moment to add a new video game to your library.
I’ve decided to try something different for a change and give Yakuza 0 a go. The game grabbed my attention as the story takes place in the late ’80s, in the fictional districts of Kamurocho and Sotenbori, inspired by Tokyo’s Kabukichō and Osaka’s Dōtonbori areas. I was curious to see how Yakuza society was represented, the way they talk, behave and operate. Of course, many things in the game are strongly exaggerated but I wanted to see how the directors used this elaboration to their advantage to build the main characters and reproduce the proper settings of the time.
Now that I’ve finished the game I couldn’t wait to write about it and tell you “Yes, try it!” but I wouldn’t even know how to describe my experience with it. If you love Japan, Japanese culture and humor, I am sure you will find it absolutely amusing. There is literally a bit of everything: action, violence, drama, kinkiness and many awkward and cheesy moments that somehow complete each other and together make up a great story.
Yakuza 0 Original Characters and Fighting Styles
I am not going to spoil the plot for you, but there are two main characters in the game and you can play with both of them, having your bond time, learning about each character’s past, beliefs and relationships. The guys are actually strong, decisive and charismatic in their own way, so no kawaii business. The plot is complex and well structured so it is not hard to follow. In addition, the secondary characters are also well done, which helps you get into the story and maybe even shed a tear, who knows?
In addition, the game offers a variety of fighting styles for both main characters. Depending on the enemy you face, you can switch between different styles during battle and perform some crazy cool moves with the right button combinations. In general, the controls are easy to use and remember.
Endless Cutscenes and Variety of Minigames
Get ready for constant long cutscenes during the gameplay. Frankly, it felt to me that I was watching a really cool Japanese TV show, as there were constant recaps between chapters and dramatic long scenes. So, when you do the main quests in this game, book the day. Send your kids to their grandma, cook in advance, surround yourself with snacks and sit comfortably because you will need it.
Except for the engaging main plot, you can enjoy the additional minigames and side quests. Unlike most games, Yakuza 0 side quests could be quite funny and exciting, so don’t miss them out!
There are plenty of minigames as well like bowling, phone dating, pool, karaoke, dancing and other kinky ones that you will eventually encounter by yourself, some of them are ridiculous in the most genius way. Dating is also possible, and I’ve recently found out that some of the girls are actual porn actresses… if you are interested. After so many interactions and getting to know each one of them, I admit I couldn’t resist and googled them.
If you are into 80’s music you might enjoy the dancing and singing competitions. I really enjoyed some of the tracks they used in the game, real jewels actually. Especially, after playing for a while, they stuck in your head for good or bad.
Should You Play Yakuza 0?
Overall, the game is a unique experience as many things are exaggerated. It is true that there is brutality in the game. After all, you play as a Yakuza, however, at the same time there is not much blood and gore and on countless occasions, you end up helping people, doing all kinds of bizarre favors for them. The game could be as serious as it could be hilarious. So, If you feel like a movie-action-cheesy-drama game, I think you will appreciate it. And remember: “Real Yakuza use a gamepad!”.