Yakuza Kiwami: More of the Same

Let’s not waste anytime and get right into this. The short version is that Kiwami is the updated remake of the original Yakuza on PS2 with new cutscenes and functioning off Yakuza 0’s engine down to the gameplay, graphics, combat, sound effects, it’s basically just more Yakuza 0 only that the characters got new looks. Aside from some changes to how upgrading works, Yakuza Kiwami is more or less Yakuza 0.5 with the added Majima Everywhere system.

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Music of the Week #464

Nope, things are too busy

Life got real busy again that I couldn’t even add pictures to get the post out since I keep thinking if I could be getting better visual examples but it should ready this week, if not, then I’m just done for. I will admit the time I could have used to get Kiwami’s post out was taken up by some Fall Guys because I wanted to dress my character up as a hotdog.

This week’s theme is another reprieve for Cold Steel from my anger, and apparently the newest bridge-title in the series is either already out or I’m just mistaken since people are already playing it. I’m all for the series to become great again but the bar is set really high for the series to shake off the weights of Cold Steel that will no doubt get in the way of things. Anyways, CS2 once again does the same main menu gimmick that I liked from the first game, only that it does a lot more this time. Locales change, characters come and go, and adds to the progression of the main plotline where you reunite the cast. It’s appreciated but said characters fall flat, and I’ve said that a million times already. CS2 greatest weakness is recycling the plot structure of Trails in the Sky SC down to a science and it’s with significantly weaker characters and incentives. We’ll talk about how the setting is supposed to be a civil war but it hardly feels like one despite implications that the kids are handling the less violent side of it.

Music of the Week #463

Might get things on time.

The new post is nearly done, it just needs its finishing touches and its pictures were already taken so it won’t take long to finalize. The post after that might take a while since Kiwami 2 is not like Kiwami 1. Things are getting busy again which is why this came out later in the day. Hopefully I can get a tally on everything once the weekend hits.

This week’s theme plays during usually concluding fights of a given chapter where we get to have a mech battle. The experimental fight system that becomes a focal point of the series later on and I’ve harped on about this as a disappointingly boring plot point that took way too long develop. If nothing else, there’s a point to be made about how much I dislike a majority of Uchiyama Kouki’s voice acting and how much the english dub added to Rean’s lack of character with some actual character. It’s something I appreciate with some modern-day voice acting but I think it’s primarily a case about how Uchiyama Kouki should stick to voicing certain characters instead of fiery leads.

Yakuza 0: The Foundation of Legends

After an enjoyable experience with Sleeping Dogs, I felt that the western game developers missed their mark with the GTA formula as I felt that Sleeping Dogs itself, being a part of the True Crime series, felt like a better GTA V than GTA V itself. I was a massive fan of the GTAIII era of GTA and came out of GTA IV with high, especially with the DLC involved, enjoyment but just could not get into GTA V and it’s plot was a lot less compelling than IV’s and its level of satire looped back with itself and felt so mean-spirited without that much merit. When a friend told me that Sleeping Dogs was good but Yakuza was even better, I was skeptical but excited at the prospect for an even better experience, but it would be around a year before I would have the chance to pick up the bundle for Yakuza 0, Kiwami 1, and Kiwami 2. For the longest time, I was one of those people who wrote off the franchise as just the “Japanese GTA” and now I sincerely come to loathe that phrase.

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Music of the Week #462

Call me a liar

So I completely got side-tracked with completing a game that I didn’t get enough pictures to finish up the post that is now a three-parter post that I can probably stay in schedule for now that my vacation nears its end. Not much to say here other than time for me to get more stuff written up to keep myself in schedule.

This week’s theme plays during the snowboarding mini-game Rean can partake in when he’s home at Ymir with the added benefits of being able to win some incredibly useful prizes including late-game accessories as well as late-game quartz. There’s not much to really say about this since it’s a mini-game and it sure as hell beats randomized fishing in the older games but still not as fun as the mini-game in Zero/Ao, although I can admit I didn’t play its mini-game enough to get Wazy’s best Master Quartz.

Music of the Week #461

Just a bit more

One of my larger write-ups only needs some accompanying visuals then it’ll be ready to go and hopefully I can keep up up with a promise that I’ll have a follow-up post ready by the week after it goes up. Aside from the write-ups though, I’m in the middle of a three-way crossroad where I can play two sequels or play something new entirely which is an interesting prospect but it’s not like anyone will find out which one I’ll do until around month later since I’d like to have finished whatever new game I started but also finish up previous game write-ups but consolidate my thoughts on it as well.

Continuing my rants about Cold Steel, this week’s tune once again narrowly dodges my litany of nitpicking about the poisoned well of disappointment Cold Steel presents to the series as a whole as my previous complaints about the bonding events being too shallow compared to natural interactions between characters in story beats. Ymir is the first of two primary hubs for the Class VII and it hosts at least three instances where bonding events can occur between chapters. Unlike a single instance in Cold Steel where you could help Emma find Fie to earn points with both of them, CS2’s bonding events do have successive follow-up moments that further invest into a single character which is at least a step in the right direction for more meaningful interaction but still falls short of other characters interacting with others, even if some characters do start to show up in other interaction moments. The relationship with x character to Rean is not the biggest problem but everyone else not interacting with each other yet acting like they’re the closest RPG group you’ve ever seen.