I finished Yakuza 0 recently. It was a pretty good Japanese learning experience. I got quite a lot better at reading. There are times I can out-read the voice acting. Which makes me feel badass. Anyways. First a review of the game followed by an in-depth plot/translation/analysis by me. Of course the plot part will be pure spoilers.
Gameplay wise… it’s pretty much same series. The thing that I really didn’t enjoy was the fetch quests for homeless people and protecting the retard. There’s this part of the game where you need information from the homeless… and they all have esoteric alcoholic tastes. You can’t buy all the booze from the same place. And there isn’t a minimap guide for where to buy the booze. You basically gotta remember what each homeless person wanted and search the town for shops that sell it. Since I’m illiterate… that was extra hard. Cause kanji all look so similar. The other part that I really didn’t like was protecting the retard quest. I mean. I get the protect quest… but if you were being attacked by yakuza… you wouldn’t stand in the fucking middle of the room. At least hide in the fucking corner. Blargh. That pissed me off so much.
The thing that I did like is that they fused the money/skill upgrade system into one. Basically, you upgrade your skills with money and you buy shit with money. This made me much less hesitant to spend my money. Since I could buy all the healing items in the world… or upgrade 5% of skill. The battle system introduced uh… 3 fight styles per character. I basically only stuck to the initial style. Since… I feel that the initial style is probably the most balanced / best. It feels like the 3 styles were basically speed/power/balance. And of course balance is best. I couldn’t read all the skills I was getting… so I mostly just got health upgrades and went through the game unupgraded. No biggie.
|Another complaint is… fucking guns. Especially towards the end. You basically have to fight people with guns. And it’s fucking retarded. They shoot you… you lose a shit ton of life… AND you got stunned for 1 second. Which is an eternity. The other thing about the combat system that I didn’t like is that you get knocked down way to quickly. Small fry knock you down in like 3 hits. Sigh. That’s just annoying. Whenever you get knocked down. Overall though… I’d say this game is… the usual Yakuza experience. I need to work on my Japanese so that I can enjoy the hostess parts of the game though. =|
You know what’s weird though? I always thought the English translation was bad… or subpar. Because the boss fights would be like. Yeah. I’ll beat the shit outta you. Or… If you beat me up I’ll tell you whatever you want. And… that’s like… the actual literal Japanese from the original game. Like… you meet this guy… and it’s like… tell me the info. Nope. Let’s fight. Okay then. If you beat the shit outta me… I promise I’ll tell only the truth. Now…. let’s fight yo. O.O”””. Just weird…. it’s so literal.
Now… it’s time for the Alan plot translation. I may have misinterpreted the plot… but whatever. Deal with it.
Major Spoilers Below~
The game starts with Kiryu beating the shit outta some guy and then taking money that was owed. He brings it to some rich guy in a limo and the guy’s like. Keep the money. Take some extra. I only made you do it to uphold my reputation. Then… the next day… the guy is dead. Kiryu is now wanted for murder. He brings shame to his yakuza family.
So he quits the gang. He’s sad and alone when suddenly some guy approaches him. Tachibana. Tachibana said his adopted father referred him to the job. So then he becomes a company man. The company is after a piece of land. It’ll be the centerpiece of the new Kamiurcho? Shit… I should know how to prounouce the city. Tachibana tells him about this piece of land. Kiryu researches it and ends up meeting Tachibana again. Tachibana tells Kiryu the referral and the link between them. Kiryu’s step/yakuza father recommended him for the job. So Kiryu becomes a salaryman and works for Tachibana. Cut to… Majima.
Majima Goro… my favorite character in the series. He’s the manager of the grand. Which is a nightclub. He’s the king of the night. He was banished by the gang for betraying his boss because he wanted to protect his brother. Now he’s just working as a slave as a night club owner. But… there’s a chance for him to rejoint the gang. All he has to do is kill Makimura Makoto. Easy peasy.
Goes to the massage place. No one is there. Meets a cute blind girl. Hmmmm… doesn’t look yakuza. Gets a massage. The tencho comes back and a fight ensues. Gangsters come looking for Makimura Makoto… turns out the girl is Makoto. O.O. Majima ends up saving the girl instead of killing her.
So the piece of land that Kiryu is working with Tachibana to get is worth a lot of money. The big doujima gang wants it in order to rule the city. Basically it’s a power struggle within the gang and everyone wants the land. And so… since Kiryu is working with Tachibana… he gets threatened and then basically the gang is out to get him. Some stranger randomly helps him into a underground tunnel…. but it turns out to be a trap! Lol. Too obvious. What’s funny is that… the gangster has a motorcycle… in the sewers. So it’s like… pitch black with water in the sewers… and some guy in a fucking motorcycle. He drives the bike into Kiryu and whacks him with a metal pole… and then he just falls and spins into the sewers. Dafaq. You bought a motorcycle just for one whack and then you fall off the damn bike. What a waste of a motorcycle. But I guess it’s a video game.
Everyone wants Kiryu to help them yo. He’s the main character… that’s why. Nishiki… his sworn brother drives him off and there’s a dramatic scene where he tries to kill Kiryu. The reason is… since the gang is out for Kiryu… his life is over and it’ll suck. He’ll get tortured and then his corpse will be mutilated beyond belief and that’ll be sad and whatever. So he’ll spare Kiryu the suffering by killing him. sigh. dafaq. What a failed yakuza. Anyways… he can’t do it cause their brothers after all. Then Kiryu tells him that they are no longer brothers blah blah blah and they go their separate ways. I feel like that scene was drama for the sake of drama. =_=””
Lee… Makoto’s boss / ex yakuza / caretaker suggests a way to fix the situation and make makoto safe. Easy. Let’s kill someone else and use the body as Makoto’s. He finds… a kurosagi (marriage swindler) and then tries to get majima to kill her. No dice. Majima leaves the pictures and the replacement outfit in a park garbage. Some random guy picks it up… and does the killing. Lee thought it was Majima… omnious phone call. The guy is at the grand. He’s like. Yo. I killed the fake for you… so hand over Makoto. Nope. More fighting. Followed by running from the gang. Lee dies when he tries to start the getaway car. So dramatic. Then… the gang leader shows up to kill Majima and Makoto. But…. random white suit guy appears and saves Makoto. He also shoots the guy twice and knocks out Majima. Damn. What a badass.
Back to Kiryu. The gang goes after him because he knows the location to Tachibana… and tachibana owns the land. The critical land that the gang wants. Kiryu’s home gets burned down and he’s about to get executed on the streets. Then Tachibana drives in a ferrari in the nick of time. Kiryu is saved… but then poor Tachibana was shot in the process.
So… in order to protect Kiryu. The trio of Kiryu - Tachibana and Oda (Tachibana’s right hand) go to the head of doujima gang. Tachibana pays 1 billion yen for Kiryu’s protection/life. But of course… even with the money… they gotta fight their way out of the gang hq…. since that’s the yakuza way.
Back to Majima. He needs to figure out who the white suit guy is… so he can recover Makoto. So… he tracks down the guy that killed the fake makoto since he’s probably with the white suits guy. I’ll just label him as generic crazy yakuza. Majima meets up with this guy that’s known the generic crazy gangster since he was a kid. Turns out… the kid was a born yakuza. He started killing when he was in high school. But then.. there’s a twist to it. The old man knew him… because his daughter was murdered by a juvie. So the juvie didn’t go to jail… and the generic crazy yakuza enacted justice for the old man by killing the kid. Yep. I understood all that through my limited japanese + chinese reading. Hue. Hue.
Oh yeah. Of course before telling Majima where the crazy gangster was… he brings him to an… underwater (underriver) underground collosseum. Where you gotta beat 3 guys in a row. It wasn’t hard… just annoying. When you go find the generic crazy gangster. He’s living it up in jail… because the safest place is in jail. He got cops buying him cigarettes and alcohol… and he got his underlings protecting him. Of course Majima has to fight him for in order to learn where Makoto is. After the win he figures out where she is. They are about to leave together when…. the cop protecting him betrays him. He kills his uh… let’s just say senior godfather… and then him. He tanks the clip of 6 bullets… and then proceeds to kill the cop before he dies. What a badass. But also so cliche.
Majima rushes over to where Makoto is. The finally meet the white suit guy. And… figure out where Makoto is. Kiryu took her. DUN. DUN. DUN. That’s how…. the Majima plot and the Kiryu plot intertwines. Shit just got real.
Okay. Back to Kiryu. Turns out that Tachibana’s sister… Makimura Makoto is the last resident to own a piece of land in… the priceless development area. So… it’s time for Kiryu to pick her up. Oda comes along (Tachibana’s right hand). They grab the girl and they drive off. On the highway… the get assaulted by a… whatever gang. Doujima gang member. Here you get to play a minigame with Kiryu with a gun driving away from people. You get access to matrix time which is pretty cool. It’s kinda way over the top though. The yakuza has like… at least two helicopters. And they’re armed with fucking bazookas. You gotta shoot the bazooka midair with your fucking handgun in order to not lose a shit ton of hp. It’s a game… so it’s cool. But that’s a bit over the top even for me. Whatever.
Kiryu, Makoto and Oda are hiding out in a warehouse after the highway chase. Makoto is like… yo Kiryu. I gotta tell you something about Oda. Then Oda is like… oh shit. I thought you figured it out. Turns out… Oda used to be part of some korean gang doing human trafficking. He was basically responsible for making Makoto blind or whatever. He doesn’t want to betray Tachibana… or want Tachibana to find out… so instead he’s planning on killing Kiryu and Makoto. Uh. I don’t think that’s the proper way to redeem yourself. Or fix the situation. The past is the past… you’re just making it worse.
But anyways.. Makoto suddenly does the most badass - well. She’s blind and useless and I was so pissed I had to protect her like… 5x with BOTH Kiryu and Majima. Anyways, she stabs Oda and then Kiryu disarms her. Oh shit. I got the order wrong. Kiryu disarms him then he confesses why he was trying to kill them. Makoto is all nice and forgiving… and all of a sudden Oda makes the right choice and redeems himself. He’s like… I’ll hold them off yo. So Kiryu gives him the gun. It’s weird… he disarms the guy that was gonna kill him then gives him the gun. Within a 5 minute span. /shrug. /drama.
Oda holds them off and Kiryu escapes with Makoto. Oda is bleeding and dying on the floor. Turns out he leaked Makoto’s location to the gang that’s gonna kill him. Since he wanted the gang to do the dirty work. The gang is also responsible for killing the crazy gangster in jail. And Oda is dead. Makoto is being sad and emo with Kiryu… then she’s like. I really wanna see my brother… and then they go back to Kamiurcho.
Kiryu meets up with Tachibana in chinatown. But then… gangsters show up. The number one chinese hitman - lao gui (old ghost) shows up and shoots Kiryu twice. Tachibana follows old ghost in order to save Kiryu. Cut to Tachibana being tortured… but he’s tough. He decides to talk shit… since he’s so tough… and so he meets an untimely sledgehammer to the face. Kiryu shows up and beats the shit outta everyone and Nishiki grabs Makoto to see her brother. Unfortunately… Tachibana dies before Makoto arrives. Sad scene. She can’t even see her brother.
Majima meets up with his… father. Turns out his father knew he wasn’t gonna kill her since he was a softie. He wanted him to protect her and become her lover. It makes him feel tooled and like a… piero (clown). He’s sad and walking around the streets, and he lets himself get his ass kicked by 3 random guys on the streeet… in order to live up to the clown moniker. He goes to search for Makoto in the gang hq. There is a fight between him and Nishiki since he’s searching for Makoto… it’s pretty jokes. The dialog. Basically… he’s like. I’m here to protect Makoto but you won’t believe me right. So he beats up Nishiki.. and suddenly he believes him. Or maybe he has to tell the truth since that’s the gokudo way.
Majima finds Makoto who is slowly regaining her vision. They go eat takoyaki. She asked him to get revenge for her brother. He’s like nah. You don’t wanna enter the path of darkness. She leaves and decides to go talk to the boss to sell her land. So… the next scene is like crazy stupid. But it’s a game. She goes to sell her land for like… 100 x 100 million yen. which would be 10 billion yen or 10 million usd. but she’s negotiating something else. she doesn’t care about the money. she wants the 3 lieutenants head on a silver platter. not gonna happen. the gang leaders like… actually we already started construction. it doesn’t matter because only complains would matter. and you’re the last person alive capable of complaining. dun. dun. dun. of course she gets shot.
cut to majima after losing her. he’s pissed. he’s actually gonna try and assassinate doujima. he runs into the 3 guys who beat him up… and their like all arrogant. then they get the shit beaten outta them. that was satisfying. majima gets to enter just to see makoto die. oh yeah… white suits guy. sera… arrives to save makoto. dude. he’s the badass of the game.
everyone is trying to kill makoto who is on a boat with the nikkyuren which is i’m guess an organization… like akatsuki. kiryu tries to protect makoto. while majima is assassinating doujima. majima gets to fight lao gui as the last boss. i wanted to him up as kiryu. oh well. after all the battles are won… blah blah blah. go watch the ending.