I just finished Yakuza 5. I marathoned it for about a week. Just to finish the story. I must say… Yazuka is definitely one of my favorite game series of all time. I’ll probably write a thoughts post on the theme of dreams.
The theme of dreams… it’s what ties all the narratives together. You get to play as a few characters. The legendendary Kazuma Kiryu, Akiyama, Haruka, Saejima, and the random baseball guy Tatsuo. The theme of dreams… it’s really hmmm thick and over the top imo. I guess… that’s the reason that video games are an art form. It lets you tell the story such that it fits whatever you want it to. Everyone has a dream supposedly. And those that fail their dreams… want others to succeed them. They want to achieve their dreams through others. I guess… that’s why so many parents force their kids to do things they wanted to do and then say I wish I had the opportunity when I was a kid.
Everyone dreams that they could become like Kazuma Kiryu. After all - he’s legendary. When he’s around… miracles happen. And he rose to the top of the world. I guess in a way everyone dreams to reach the top. The top of the Yakuza world, the top of the money world, the top of the baseball world, and the top of the idol world.
The gameplay is very standard yakuza. The battle system is what you expect. I think it’s overall great. But oh man. Some of the battles are just frustrating because bosses can do retarded shit that you can’t really deal with. I guess… it’s to be expected. You can’t really brute force your way through boss fights… but uh. There was one boss where I had to literally run around and dodge, then just jab, jab. And I would whittle him down… with jab jab. It was painful. Blargh. The other thing is crowds drive me nuts. Because the battle system doesn’t let you target a specific individual. Your character auto-locks on the nearest / random target. Which causes you to turn and then get whailed by the mob when you wanted to hit the mob.
One of the best parts of this game are the minigames. There’s a crazy amount of mini games built into it. You get to play friggin taito drums arcade edition. They probably had to license that shit, but it was so much fun. There are a bunch of sports mini games, there’s even an gran turismo / racing mini game. The racing aspect was actually pretty legit. Except that your car is always shittier than the others which made me sad. I’m pretty sure you can upgrade it… but when you gotta… road hog to win because the other car outmuscles you like 100%… that’s kinda painful and tedious to do. Pool… pool drove me nuts. There was a story arc where you had to beat this guy in pool. Fuck. That pissed me off so much. The pool game… it was so slow. Like between turns… it would take forever. And uh.. it was not intuitive at all. And after losing 3x. I just went fuck it. You could alternatively bribe the guy for 50000 yen. Which was like 45 minutes of grinding. Which I ended up just doing. Because pool made my blood boil.
The haruka part is so much fun. It’s purely a rhythm game. It’s like… ddr on a gamepad. Or any of the other music games. I actually really enjoyed the haruka part because she has no random battles. And music is fun to relax to. Although I still got somewhat stressed because I always wanted a perfect streak.
One of the best parts of the game is that it’s almost as if you’re living in Japan. I didn’t get to experience that part of the game yet since I wanted to complete the story asap. The side quests… are really cool. You get to go to host clubs, hostess clubs, massage parlors and whatever. Oh… and of course eat fancy japanese food.
I think the plot of the story was really quite good. Well… towards the end it got kinda crazy. But overall the story really kept me on the edge and guessing. I’m not gonna spoil the ending… so I’m gonna elect to not talk about it at all.
Wow. My thoughts are totally random and unorganized. Whatever.
tl;dr - yakuza 5 is definitely my game of 2015. story was amazing. gameplay is amazing. it’s like you live in japan