#692 Yakuza 2

Posted: 15th August 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

534th played so far


Genre: Action/Adventure
Platform: Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2006
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega

Going into this, I have seen Yakuza 2 listed as an open world action game – an eastern Grand Theft Auto, like Sleeping Dogs. Perhaps with less of an open world, but a similar mission structure and world set up.

And I mean, a member of the mob out for revenge and establishing control of the area. It starts as a known quantity. I should probably play it.

Our Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Yakuza 2. It started off somewhat slowly, with a lot of exposition in cutscenes (mostly, I believe, to summarize the first game), but once it got going, it cleared up. Having the game fully focused on hand to hand combat made it easier to grasp. There’s depth to the systems, but it’s not overwhelming like a lot of fighting games. I picked it up easily and felt like I did quite well.

Beyond that, there’s more to the story as well. As I said, the game summarizes the first, and while it has some predictable twists and turns, it also gives you a great amount of backstory that immediately ups the stakes. You can skip this – for replays – but it is all set up well. This also extends to later in the game. While there are random battles, they all have a short backstory to explain them, and the main fights have more interesting introductions as well.

One of the things that was especially interesting – especially when compared to Sleeping Dogs, which also heavily favoured melee combat – is the interaction with the environment. In most action/adventures – in most games, really – the environment is fairly static. There might be one or two programmed in interactions, but it then feels like it has one or two set pieces. Yakuza 2, while often having a constrained area, has loads of interactions – any wall, any placed item, anything you can get close to will allow you to make some move while you hold them. There are some specific side pieces – an early memorable battle allows you to throw a group of people over a balcony – but there are so many that there are often a bunch to enjoy.

This isn’t as much of an open world – unlike the other games – which might be another reason why there are more designed options. They’re larger than Zeno Clash‘s setup, partially because there is a lot more exploration involved, but it feels explorable for specific encounters and side quests. No need for too much randomness.

Final Thoughts

The initial long cut scenes, which I felt I had to see to get the context, made me worry a bit about the game, but by the time I reached Osaka, I was sold. There is a lot of interesting exploration and the combat feels great to play through.

In fact, as much as I was looking forward to playing it, I probably enjoyed it more than I was expecting. Possibly the best of its type that I have played so far.

  1. […] Warriors probably feels closer to Yakuza 2 than anything else. Both have some amount of open world action with a focus on close combat […]