In our little community here certain games are very popular. You'll stroll into the quick posts after a game release that everyone here has been looking forward to and you find people gushing about the new game. This qpost gushing has often led me to try games that I wouldn't have otherwise. I wasn't planning on getting 2018's God of War, but the qposts convinced me. Same for DOOM and the topic of today's blog: Yakuza Kiwami.
It's a little strange that it took the qposts here to convince me to finally play a Yakuza game. Normally I'm all over the more weeby games, and Yakuza fits the bill entirely. So why did I wait to try it out? Why did it take the qposts gushing about it before I finally caved? To put it simply, Yakuza looked way too violent for my tastes.
All the marketing I saw for Yakuza emphasized its combat. Yakuza's combat is hand to hand and over the top. Series protagonist Kiryu mainly fights with punches and kicks, but can also pick up objects scattered about the environment. Depending on which fighting style Kiryu is using, he will sometimes just pick up an item as he is swinging away at a dude, going from punching them to smashing them over the head with a motorcycle that happened to be lying nearby. Along with picking up random objects, Kiryu also has a heat meter, and when it's full, he can perform heat actions. The heat actions are what pushed me away from the series for as long as it did.
Kiryu's heat actions are incredibly violent and most of them could easily kill a person, if not cripple them for life. Sometimes Kiryu will pick a guy up, turn him upside down, and then throw him to the ground head first onto the concrete. I don't care how tough the goon is that Kiryu is throwing down with, that dude's neck just snapped. Other times if you are holding an object, Kiryu will use it in the heat action. Kiryu will knock a foe down with a motorcycle and then hit them with it while they are down, breaking the motorcycle into peices. Any time heat actions are involved, so is a lot of blood. I thought that the entire game was like this. I thought Yakuza Kiwami was a game about killing people violently, so I didn't bother with the game.
Now violence in a game isn't enough alone to turn me off, after all, DOOM is a game I enjoy and it's loads more violent than Yakuza, but DOOM has more to it that ripping and tearing, just like Yakuza Kiwami has more to it than heat actions. In DOOM's case, there is a lot of exploration and hidden secrets, and those drew me in and helped me enjoy the violent parts of the game. In Yakuza Kiwami's case, the heat actions are actually a pretty minor part of the game, but for some reason they were all I heard about.
Now obviously the heat actions aren't the only things that the game marketed, or that people even talked about. The Yakuza series is absoultely nuts, and there are so many facets of the game to enjoy. For some reason though, I saw the heat actions and decided that the games weren't for me and then proceeded to ignore everything else about them.
Around the time Yakuza Kiwami 2 came out, qtoid was all abuzz with talk of the game, as is tradition. Since I had been stubborn about not buying the games I didn't pay much attention to this until I saw that Yakuza Kiwami was on sale for maybe 20 bucks. I still thought that the game probably wasn't for me, but at such a discount and with how popular the games were on the qposts I thought maybe I should give it a try. So I started paying more attention to what people were saying about the games, and saw all sorts of goofy clips. These games has so much more to them then the combat. So I finally bit the bullet and bought Yakuza Kiwami.
Kiwami was a bigger game than what I was expecting. Sure there are violent heat actions that make me clentch by butthole any time I see them, but there's also karaoke, mahjong, mini car racing, loads of goofy side stories about all sorts of topics, Majima everywhere, and most importantly, a story about Kiryu becoming an unexpected father figure of a little girl that he suddenly has to take care of. After I decided to buy the game I saw that there was all sorts of goofy side content, but I wasn't expecting a serious and engaging story to go along with it all.
I was not expecting to love the game as much as I do, and now that the Yakuza Remastered Collection is out physically, I have every Yakuza game physically on PS4, and that was not something I thought would have happened a few years ago. I can't wait to dig into the rest of Kiryu's story and experience all of these games.
So basically, thanks for raving about these games so much, I never would have tried them if you degenerates hadn't kept talking about them.