Yakuza is one of very few franchises that perfectly blends strong narrative with open-world exploration, RPG-esque skill progression, dozens of compelling mini-games, social elements, and adrenaline-pumping combat. But what part of that equation keeps bringing you back for more? For me, it's all about immersing myself in the Japanese atmosphere and exploring all of the optional content. I love having the ability to manage a club, chat up the hostesses, then take them for a round of golf. It's just not something you can do in any other video game. Period.
To escape from reality?
Seriously, the Japanese setting and that there is tons to do. You can just spend hours and hours in the cities doing small stuff like playing mini games or just looking at stuff, in my opinion the Yakuza games look great.
You can just spend hours and hours in the cities doing small stuff like playing mini games or just looking at stuff, in my opinion the Yakuza games look great.
It's good to hear someone else say that. It seems like everyone talks about how the graphics are "dated" or the engine is "aging", but the full-body motion capturing and facial expressions are still pretty awesome for cutscenes using the in-game graphics engine. Lighting and realistic design really keep these games looking good, despite the foundation for Kenzan, 3, 4, and Dead Souls all being basically identical.
You forgot the main thing... I love anything involving the yakuza. I've always loved yakuza movies, whether the 1960's Seijun Suzuki, 1990's Takashi Miike, or 1990's Takeshi Kitano. The yakuza are a fantastically interesting group of people.
That and I love the quirky side stories. I could care less about the combat. To me, it's there because it has to be.
Hands down best storyline & Character development ever.
Nagoshi's team made me like Akiyama in the first Cutscene. They treat the characters like people. I'll go with the example of Akiyama 'cause I love the dude. They paid attention to very little details that help radiate his personality. Messy office, facial expression, One hand in pocket, lazy head when walking down the stairs, 5 o'clock shadow on his face, tremendous voice acting, I could go on. Really, I could. As for the story, I don't think I need to say anything. The story is fantastic. I've never skipped a cutscene.
If we are gonna be honest here, to me, this was the game that filled the hole for Shenmue since it took many elements from it. If Shenmue HD does get released, I wonder how the controls will be, remember on the Dreamcast, it only had 1 analog control, with holding "R" button to run. I would prefer Yakuza controls now.
Back on topic, I like the settings, the Kazuma character (he always does what's right, which is a theme lost in the real world), the mini-stuff, side stories, animations of the cut-scenes (really great work), Yakuza 4 rain stages (hopefully 5 has dynamic weather, if possible), awesome heat moves, etc. It's just a great series overall, one I will always support.