GAME ON: Yakuza Zero


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Check out this game to pass your time in quarantine.

Jordan Irvin, Staff Writer

In this time of crisis, with everyone getting sick, hospitals are overflowing, and everyone needs toilet paper, we need a distraction from all this misery around us. So come to Japan and watch a man karaoke like his life depended on it. 

In Yakuza Zero, you play as Kazuma Kiryu, a yakuza thug that gets framed for murder because he brutally beat someone to an inch of their life. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the family friendly part in a second. After showing the guy that you should pay your debts, he goes to hangout with his friend, Nishiki. And this is when you realize how beautiful this game is, because while Kiyru may not know it yet, he “killed” someone and directly afterwards decides to sing some karaoke. 

Not to catch you up on story beats, cause they should be learned yourself, the main thing you’ll be doing in this game is fighting, like a lot of fighting, like thirty guys to one. So you have your standard punch, and then finishing blows in a combo that deal big damage, but while you punch people, you’ll build up heat. They are three tiers of heat. At heat 1, you are calm and deal little damage, heat 2, you now have access to heat actions. What are heat actions you ask? Well, if you ever wanted to see the most brutal things you ever watched, look up “Yakuza 0 heat actions.” if you’re to lazy to do that, you can dislocate someone’s arms and throw the guy onto to the pavement. And heat 3 is just capping out the heat so you don’t fall down to heat 1 after a heat action.

Words can’t do justice on how fun the combat is, but what’s more fun are the styles, because just like Devil May Cry, each of them do their own little separate thing. From dodging every punch to chucking motorcycles at people, you can do it all. 

Final thing about combat, for now, you’ll come across these hulking monsters of man that call themselves Mr. Shakedown. They do a lot of damage and have a lot of health, if you beat him, you get his money, which can be a lot. But if you lose, you lose all of your money, and have to beat him the next time to get it back. 

Now for the family friendly stuff, as Kiryu, you can ignore everything else that the game gives you and do all the other entertainment areas, like pool, bowling, darts, disco dancing, real estate that brings in the big bucks, arcades of actual Sega games, and the aforementioned karaoke. These all have their own special rewards like a chicken that can manage real estate and is named nugget. 

Now take all of this, all of this content and an easy 40 hours if you’re invested, and throw all to another character, Goro Majima.

Goro Majima is a cabaret manager of the top cabaret in Sotenbori. He is also, an ex-yakuza that got kicked out after his sworn brother took on an entire other clan on his own. Now I’m not going to go in depth explaining his stuff, because it’s farther in the story, but just now that he can run a cabaret club, a side business thug makes good money, and all the other activities you can do as Kiyru. He also has three fun styles that are insane, like break dancing. 

There are also sub-stories for each character that are each interesting in their own ways. 

So after all of this content and fun you can have in a game, what are some of the negatives of this game? Well, you face the same boss 4 times in the main story, leveling up is a pain, and I don’t like mahjong, I don’t want to do it, but I have to for that 100%.

So, whole there are flaws that I just can’t put a word on to, what do I rate this game as? I would say a 7/10, yes I hyped up this game, and there is a lot of stuff my feeble mind just can’t explain. But the subtitles might turn people off and the story isn’t that interesting to me. But apparently real life Yakuza actually played the game and said its mostly accurate, so that’s cool.