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Yakuza (PlayStation 2)

77
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Unrivaled. MAT (74432) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Do you want to be the Dragon of the Dojima Family? Caynreth (8) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description MobyScore
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.9
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.2
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.2
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.2
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.0
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 4.2
Overall MobyScore (21 votes) 4.1


The Press Says

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
94
Game Over Online
Despite a few flaws, Yakuza is the most enjoyable game I've played all year. It's got a deep plot that keeps you guessing and features a deeper cast of fleshed-out characters than any other game I can recall. I came into this game expecting to just love the gameplay, and if the plot was good, fine. I left it loving the gameplay nearly as much as I'd hoped, and being blown away by the depth in the story. Sega invested $21 million into this game, and it was worth it. Yakuza oozes polish in nearly every area, and I hope that the sequel fixes the camera, targeting, and loading problems that prevent it from reaching its full potential. As it is, it's “just� the most immersive game released all year.
94
Gamebrink
If you needed a single word to describe Sega's latest 20 million dollar blockbuster production headed by staff from Jet Set Radio, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and other hit Sega titles, that word would be "Satisfying". Though not "satisfying" in the way that means a game is just ok but rather "satisfying" as in that feeling you get in your gut that makes you just want to jump up and shout "oh yeah!" That's the kind of satisfaction you get over and over again while playing through Ryu Ga Gotoku.
93
Shin Force
If you are even remotely interested in supporting the Sega we thought died with the Dreamcast, or in the very least, wish to support the creation of more games that fuse old-school gameplay with casual gamer-friendly easy accessibility (this is the only way forward for the likes of Sega whose roots are still thick in the arcades), then I implore you to buy this game. All the media outlets who underrated this game either because of out of date or "repetitive" gameplay (which is what the masses want anyway like in all those hack 'n' action/"RPGs" people eat up, so Sega is/are damned if they do and damned if they don't again) can go to hell. Just try to forget the fact that this old-school bliss was made for a console made by a company that makes batteries that explode. Keep your fingers crossed for a translation of the forthcoming sequel...
91
Gaming Age
Yakuza presents a pretty large storyline, and quite a few lengthy cut scenes. The story is generally straight forward, and most of the “twists” are predictable, but it’s still very enjoyable to work your way thru. I definitely suggest picking this one up, the main game sans side stories will put you somewhere around the 12-hour mark, but finding and doing everything will definitely propel you much further. Most places seem to be carrying the title at $40, and I’d say that’s a pretty good price for the amount of gameplay and fun you’ll have with this one.
90
SEGA-Mag (Objectif-SEGA)
Il y a tant à dire sur ce jeu de SEGA... ce qu'il faut retenir, c'est que Yakuza possède une ambiance superbe pour une expérience vidéoludique inoubliable ! On peut le classer sans aucun souci parmi les plus beaux joyaux que le géant d'Haneda possède dans son trésor. Bien évidemment, certains défauts font tâche, comme les micro-chargements d'une rue à l'autre... mais le jeu possède tellement de qualités que ses petits défauts sont tolérés. D'abord l'histoire qui est fantastique, le personnage principal Kazuma Kiryû est tout simplement l'un des plus beaux et l'un des plus charismatiques de SEGA (Avec Ryo Hazuki (Shenmue), Ôgami Ichiro (Sakura Taisen), Akira (Virtua Fighter), ensuite il y a les cinématiques dignes d'un film, les mini-quêtes qui sont un grand plus et j'en passe... puis le petit côté coquin qui est fort sympathique.
90
Gamezine
Yakuza est un jeu ambitieux comme l’avait été Shenmue en son temps, mais il est beaucoup plus violent que ce dernier. Espérons que le succès soit au rendez-vous cette fois-ci, contrairement aux hits de Yu Suzuki. Le jeu le mérite amplement en tout cas, que ce soit au niveau artistique ou des thèmes développés, très forts.
90
GotNext
So it might not have the adventure of Shenmue, nor the open-endedness, guns, and cars of GTA. Yeah, it doesn't really let you live out your gangster fantasies. But it's hard to complain about such a damned fine brawler, with a top-notch story to back it up. It's more of a River City Ransom meets Miller's Crossing than anything appearances might lead you to believe, but it's a remarkably polished game that does its thing quite well. It might, even still, fall short of being the return to Sega's glory days that some have hoped, but it's their best game in a couple of years, and a must-buy for anyone that knows what they're getting into.
90
GamePro (US)
Overall, Yakuza is a fun game with a pretty decent game engine and an engrossing storyline on par with the Japanese cult classic movie series Yakuza Papers. If you're into crime noir action games, then Yakuza won't disappoint you. The gameplay may be a little convulsive but Yakuza more than makes up for that through engrossing story and attention to details.
85
Gamernode
Yakuza is an odd mix of brilliant story-telling with a few slight technical flaws, mostly with the camera. You,ll find yourself immersed in the characters, and if this were a book, it would qualify as a page turner. But, the game also has its share of defects. Gamers may become frustrated at the time it takes to travel throughout the city, framerates are jittery at times, and save areas are sometimes too far and too few. In spite of these shortcomings, the tremendous work on the plot of the game is where this title shines. Along with the involving story comes a fighting system may be a little too rudimentary for some, but still adds a good touch to the overall experience of the game. Upon coming against a foe, Kazuma utters, "It,s your bad luck that you ran into me." However, if you,re a gamer on the hunt for a great story and lots of free roaming and exploration, your luck will definitely be good if you run into Yakuza.
85
Deeko
With all that said, I still enjoyed this game, for the character development and good storyline kept things interesting. I enjoyed the battles too, though they could have used some variety. It's almost too linear in its presentation, which makes it feel like 95 percent of the game falls under the "beat the hell out of thugs and go from point A to point B" scenario. A good game to tide me over until the next game of this genre comes along (which will hopefully be Shenmue 3). With great presentation and direction, I would recommend checking out this import. Oh and random fact for you: In Japan, if you have a tattoo, you are not allowed into any of the public baths or hot springs. In other words, Yakuza aren't allowed.
85
GameZone
Diving into the Japanese criminal underground in Yakuza makes for an interesting, violent and stylish adventure that blends fighting and exploring a living world a complete joy. While the game’s fighting elements pale in comparison to Shenmue - Sega’s similar action-adventure game - the story will not fail to hook you.
85
Futuregamez.net
Yakuza is a kick-ass game. It's not perfect, it certainly could have been polished off in a couple of areas, but it shows more potential for an ongoing series then 99% of the other games being released today (indeed a sequel is coming out in Japan by the end of this year!). Sega must be applauded for a deep and engaging storyline and gameplay which will keep you hooked from start to finish. Definitely worth checking out, if not purchasing right now!
85
Game Vortex
Yakuza combines a fairly unique mix of Japanese crime society, frenzied melee combat, streamlined RPG elements, and slick visuals and sounds. Any fan of Japanese culture, most notably the Yakuza elements, should definitely check this title out. Furthermore, any gamer who just wants a solid beat ‘em up should take this one for a spin too.
85
1UP
As a myriad of publishers get up to speed with the Grand Theft Auto formula in an attempt to cash in on the seemingly limitless contemporary desire for urban sandbox violence, Sega stealthily slips into contention with something altogether different. Despite the inevitable comparisons, Yakuza is neither as open-ended and free-roaming as GTA, nor as meandering or self-indulgent as Shenmue. Heavily driven by its narrative, Yakuza is a tightly focused, action-heavy crime saga that offers plenty of variety without excess.
83
SegaFan.com
Yakuza, sin ser ni mucho menos perfecto, ha abierto un interesante camino dentro de su género, está por ver si creará escuela o caerá en el olvido cuando la saga de los Kiryu coja el retiro. Sería una auténtica lástima.
82
Original Gamer
With a play time of 10-15 hours, you're not getting a game that will last forever. No online play and no real reason for playing through again keeps this game from being replayed unless you're one of those gamers that wants to collect every object a game can offer. What you have though is a great cinematic game that provides a funny gameplay to go along with it.
82
IGN
Yakuza tells a good story. Not only that, it backs it up with a satisfying combat system and one of the most atmospheric gameworlds so far this year. It takes something as traditional as third person brawling and blends it with a lengthy adventure filled with interesting characters, side-quests and a great sense of style. Fighting can get tedious at times, but furthering the story and uncovering the city's secrets make it worth the effort.
81
PSX Extreme
All that being said, Yakuza remains a wholly enjoyable experience. The biggest appeal lies in its story, which for action games like this, is almost second-to-none. You'll likely get absorbed into the plot, and while some of the street battles can get a little repetitive, the intensity and fun-factor of the fighting won't ever become boring. The environment is immersive enough, the pacing works well, and as established, the technicals are borderline excellent. Lastly, you've got a main character in Kazuma Kiryu who is a deep-voiced bad-ass of the highest order, and that alone makes this game worth playing.
81
Jolt (UK)
Even though the storytelling doesn’t quite live up to its potential, constant loading delays frustrate and the simplistic combat holds the game back, it’s a violent, cinematic and mature experience that will keep you hooked, even if the characters do use the word ‘fuck’ like they’re in a Tarantino film.Even though the storytelling doesn’t quite live up to its potential, constant loading delays frustrate and the simplistic combat holds the game back, Sega’s 2.4 billion yen Yakuza project is a rare action-adventure title that hasn’t latched on to any recent gameplay fads, gives you an agreeable amount of freedom and gives you more than a few hours of entertainment to occupy an afternoon. It’s a violent, cinematic and mature experience that will keep you hooked, even if the characters do use the word ‘fuck’ like they’re in a Tarantino film.
80
SEGA-Portal.de
Yakuza hat also eindrucksvoll bestätigt, dass es weder Shenmue noch GTA ist und seinen eigenen Weg geht. Dieser Weg ist unterhaltsam und macht Spaß, Yakuza zählt zweifellos zu einem der besten Spiele, die der mittlerweile in die Jahre gekommenen PS2 noch einen Besuch abstatten. Wer gut erzählte Geschichten in Spielen mag und auch vor längeren Zwischensequenzen nicht abgeschreckt wird, kann bedenkenlos zugreifen.
80
VicioJuegos.com
Poco nos queda por comentar de la nueva gran creación de SEGA. Han conseguido hacer un notable juego con reminiscencias a dos de sus mejores obras pasadas, y eso es garantía de tener delante un producto de calidad que ningun fan de ambos juegos debería dejar pasar. Yakuza se convierte por méritos propios en una nueva franquicia de SEGA que puede dar muchas alegrías a sus seguidores y a los que quieran descubrir la magia de esta gran compañía. Esperemos que SEGA se decida a traer sin demora su segunda parte, ya a la venta en Japón desde hace unos meses.
80
Gamestyle
What we have in Yakuza is a highly effective Japanese gangster story crammed into a PS2 game, and a visually impressive one at that. Taking on the groups of enemies is a joy; you very rarely tire of smashing them to bits, as you really feel they are the scum of the earth, and often want to keep kicking them even when they are out cold. Sega may not have brought a new entry into the Shenmue series but rather the first truly effective update of titles such as Final Fight or Double Dragon. For that, as well as many other reasons, every PS2 owner should go out and get hold of a copy. Unfortunately it seems destined to be ignored by the public - a travesty, as this truly is one of the last great PS2 games.
80
EmpireOnline.com
The gangland saga’s set-up is familiar crime novel territory; you are a devout lieutenant who’s taken the rap and a ten-year jail term for his boss, only to be released into a full-scale power struggle. The main draw is its dazzling vision of Tokyo’s sprawling red-light Kabukicho district (although it’s a pity the game’s world doesn’t spread further). Throbbing with life and awash with garish neon, it provides a thoroughly convincing backdrop for the martial arts action, and the chance to earn points to develop your hero’s fighting skills means you’ll soon become inextricably wound into this digital drama.
80
Thunderbolt Games
Yakuza is a superb game and a deft combination of genres and styles which evades pigeonholing. It is like a wonderful mixture of a JRPG and Shenmue; a title which on paper sounds a little hackneyed and elaborate, but in reality works very well thanks to endearing characterisation, a wonderful setting and excellent combat. If you like your games mature, your protagonists tough and your plotlines complex, you would be very wise to seek out this overlooked little gem.
80
Gamereactor (Sweden)
Om man bortser från en del kameraproblem och långa laddningstider mellan striderna är Yakuza ett utmärkt äventyr med massor av action. Liksom Shenmue har det sina brister som kanske kan störa en del. Men det övergripande intrycket är ett otroligt påkostat spel som måste upplevas.
80
UOL Jogos
O ponto alto de "Yakuza" é fazer o jogador mergulhar no fascinante submundo do crime e da cultura urbana no Japão. Isso é feito através de personagens bem delineados e fortes, uma história intrigante e ótimas cenas de combate, ainda que repetitivo em certos momentos. Além disso, reproduz com extrema fidelidade um dos principais cenários japoneses, o dos bairros de entretenimento. Tudo isso compensa as missões simples, o mapa pequeno e combates que podem acontecer em número excessivo, sem se preocupar em perder o dedo caso não tenha sucesso numa missão.
80
Retrogaming History
Pur non eccellendo in nessuno di quei generi da cui trae ampiamente ispirazione, Yakuza si rivela un’esperienza di altissimo livello qualitativo. Le evidenti carenze tecniche e di gameplay sono infatti egregiamente bilanciate da una storia di primissimo livello e da delle atmosfere capaci di catturare la vera essenza della capitale nipponica.
80
Playzone
Im Kern ist Yakuza nur ein Beat 'em Up, das durch das Missionssystem auf Action-Adventure getrimmt wurde und in spielerischer Hinsicht keine Bäume ausreißt. Es ist ein Beweis für die Qualität der Inszenierung und der Geschichte, dass ich die knapp 15 Stunden Spielzeit trotzdem genossen habe. Die Zwischensequenzen sind hervorragend, und trotz des Umfangs und unzähliger Charaktere bleibt die Story erfreulich überschaubar und hat nur wenige Längen. So machen interaktive Filme Spaß!
80
JagoGame.com
Sesuai dengan judulnya, game ini menceritakan seluk beluk kehidupan dalam dunia Yakuza, organisasi kejahatan di Jepang. Berbeda dengan sindikat kejahatan lain seperti Mafia, sampai saat ini masih jarang game tentang Yakuza, jadi mungkin ini bisa memberikan sedikit gambaran tentang dunia mereka. Sebagaimana gambaran umum yang kita miliki tentang Yakuza, game ini juga menampilkan cerita tentang kesetiaan, hukuman potong jari, tubuh yang penuh tato dan pertarungan yang keras. Dilihat dari modal ini, tampaknya Sega memiliki kesempatan untuk membuat sebuah game yang benar-benar menarik.
80
Eurogamer.net (UK)
Given a bit of time though, Yakuza's solid combat and ambitious plotting pay out, as quirks like squirming analogue movement and some camera problems become less noticeable and what feels like repetition in combat gives way to appreciation of the satisfyingly meaty animations, and interest in the whereabouts of Yumi, the decline of Nishiki, the price that Kazuma's friends are made to pay for their relationship, and ultimately how Kazuma's going to sort everything out. It can be a bit clichéd, and you wouldn't mention it in the same breath as something like Deus Ex or Planescape Torment, but, a relative lack of puzzles aside, a comparison with fellow Japanese action games like Onimusha wouldn't be unfair - and it's certainly a game I felt like seeing through to the end. Definitely more than the sum of its parts, and a rare case of a game getting there before Hollywood.
80
Darkstation
It is still such a treat to see games like Yakuza use older hardware and still manage to succeed, proof that old hardware still has a place in this high tech society. For those who have any interest in brawlers or Japanese gangs, then I would highly recommend checking Yakuza out. It is really an interesting and fun experience.
80
GamesAreFun.com (GAF)
All in all though, if you're able to withstand through the arduous beginning and get to where you can enjoy the many fights you will get in, Yakuza offers a solid story that really shouldn't be missed. The story is intriguing enough to warrant multiple playthroughs, just to make sure you catch everything. And with all of the various side quests and mini-games, you may just want to do that.
80
Armchair Empire, The
Nonetheless, Yakuza is a top notch beat ‘em up with enough extras to flesh out the genre, and breath new life into it for a new generation. It is very much a game PS2 owners aught to spend some time with.
80
GamingExcellence
To sum it up, I thoroughly enjoyed Yakuza. The Japanese culture and rich storyline do a lot to draw players in just like an RPG would. The fighting mechanics are extremely fun and breaking a bicycle on some Yakuza guy's head never gets old. But the game does have a few problems. A lot of times during combat, the camera will point to the wrong direction, which may make players a little disoriented. There's also the fact that actually hitting your enemy is difficult as it's very easy to miss a punch due to Kazuma not facing the right way. The game does have a sort of lock-on button that players can use but it doesn't work very well. Even with all of its shortcomings, Yakuza is still a very enjoyable game. It certainly is no cult classic like Shenmue, but in terms of entertainment, it beats its close cousin with a stick. If you're into an action adventure game with some RPG elements thrown in for flavor, Yakuza is definitely a game to check out.
80
Boomtown
Yakuza is a game that many of you will really enjoy as it gets so many things right in relation to how this type of game should be done. It’s involving and carries enough impetus to keep you fighting right to the very end while enjoying how the story progresses. The graphics are on the whole excellent with the neon lights and gritty feel going some way to immersing you into the game. If you hanker after some great fights with an equally good story to carry things along then you really can’t pick a better game and it’s one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played on the Playstation 2 this year.
80
Game Critics
In this age of cynical disillusionment, the Yakuza is perhaps the only international crime organization that North Americans can still look on with any kind of nostalgia. The once mysterious tongs are now thought of as little more than drug running slave traffickers. The Mafia’s suave counterculture image replaced by balding men with four fourth-grade educations clad in track suits, partially because they're too fat to wear anything else and but mostly because they just don't care about their personal appearance.
80
Nuts
Roam Tokyo's brutal underworld unravelling a dangerous plot involving lots of neck-snapping violence.
77
4Players.de
Es ist auch schade, dass die Entwickler nicht noch mehr Situationen erdacht haben, in denen eure Entscheidungen zu unterschiedlichen Ergebnissen führen. Dort, wo es funktioniert, erweitert es den Horizont der Welt enorm. Durch die führt euch immerhin ein straffer roter Faden: Schöne Filmsequenzen, ein packendes Drama mit vielen geliebten Klischees und überraschenden Wendungen sowie das Neonlicht am nächtlichen Schauplatz laden immer wieder zum Erkunden ein. Mit mehr Handlungsmöglichkeiten, einer komfortablen Steuerung sowie weniger Zufallskämpfen wäre Yakuza vielleicht sogar grandios. [..] Das Zusammenspiel von offener Stadt, intensiven Prügeleien und spannender Handlung atmet zwar die Luft eines großen Epos', doch anders als die echten Yakuza, kann Sega das Blatt nie endgültig wenden. Selbst die tolle Inszenierung macht aus ihrem Titel kein Meisterwerk. Gut unterhalten hat es mich trotzdem.
76
Fragland.net
Yakuza is not a bad game at all and certainly not if you like mano-a-mano combat. Also the Japanese atmosphere is present in the surroundings but the characters only have the Japanese looks. The story has the typical Yakuza elements like corruption, family ties, power struggles, ... in short: all good mob elements are present. Definitely a game I would suggest!
75
Jeuxvideo.com
Même s'il constitue un excellent beat'em all dans le fond, Yakuza risque de laisser sur leur faim ceux qui l'attendaient plutôt comme l'improbable fusion entre Shenmue et GTA. Si le jeu déçoit par le manque de liberté qu'il nous offre, il se rattrape par son ambiance extrêmement soignée, son scénario noir et ses combats jouissifs. Espérons que Yakuza 2 saura aller encore au-delà pour répondre pleinement à nos attentes.
75
Gaming Target
Yakuza’s a thoroughly enjoyable game that carries the burden of the usual flaws. A fighting system hurt by the camera and faulty lock-on, long loading times, and no real innovation. I found myself entertained, but if the game had lasted any longer, boredom may have kicked in. It may not have been able to fully live up to its Japanese namesake of being ‘like a dragon’, but it attempted to be a beat ‘em up detailing the mystery of a 10 billion yen theft and it succeeded. There are tales of honor, loyalty, and family. There are cutthroat gangsters and slimy politics. There are many things to do on a weekend and playing Yakuza might just float your boat.
75
Daily Game
A good story, decent length and immersive gameplay make the game shine, but lots of loading, vague subquests and camera control hold it back somewhat.
74
GameSpot
Yakuza is a commendable effort that doesn't quite coalesce into a completely satisfying experience. In the end, the simple and repetitive action would be easier to enjoy if the game's story were more focused and less contrived. Even so, and in spite of the English voice work, the distinctively Japanese setting and style of the game come across effectively and provocatively more often than not. Don't expect a one-of-a-kind gameplay experience from Yakuza, but the game captures enough cinematic drama and violence surrounding Japan's notorious organized crime families to be worthwhile.
71
Play.tm
Ignoring Yakuza's obvious oversights there's a lot for Sega to be proud of here, and similarly quite a bit for gamers to get their teeth stuck into. The story and setting is unusual in gaming terms and the attempts at mini-games and side quests are fair if not brilliant - there are simple gambling and dating experiences to while away the time. It's just a case of proportions - too much storyline and too much random battling - and if we're going down the route of size comparison, hands and shoulders need attention too. Don't let that put you off, mind you. Yakuza is definitely a title that does more right than it does wrong.
70
Level 7
Det är verkligen bilden av en farlig stadsdel där ingen går säker som målas upp i Yakuza, men illusionen bryts litegrann av att varje slagsmål inleds med en laddningssekvens samtidigt som kameran byter perspektiv. Spelandet följer också en tydlig formel och efter ett tag framträder ett mönster av springande från a till b, mellansekvenser, strider och laddningstider. Spelupplevelsen hackas sönder när den kommer ur rytm på grund av dessa ständiga avbrott och perspektivbyten. Striderna i sig är roliga men snabbt över. Merparten av speltiden går istället åt till att springa runt, kolla på mellansekvenser (som förvisso är bra och relevanta) och stirra på laddningsskärmar. Längre och mer genomtänkta stridssegment hade förmodligen gjort Yakuza till ett toppspel. Nu är det ett spel med massor av stämning och potential som når högt men inte riktigt ända fram.
70
GameSpy
Yakuza wants to take you places, and it's easy enough to just enjoy the ride. Taken for what it is, it's is an enjoyable and well-made action title in a modestly free-roaming framework. The game has its weak points, and there's nothing strikingly original about the gameplay, but it's definitely an interesting experience for action gamers looking for a unique atmosphere and story.
70
Worth Playing
When people ask me whether or not Yakuza's good, I tell them that I like it, but it honestly may not be for everyone. The best audiences for this game, oddly enough, are Japanophiles and RPG players, which is strange considering that this is hard-nosed interactive cinema fused with a beat-'em-up. If you like a good story and aren't spoiled on fighting engines, Yakuza may be good for you. The rest of us can rent it. This game is what the phrase "close, but no cigar" was made for.
68
Cheat Code Central
Yakuza is a good game that never seems in danger of being great. It’s like exploring a slice of life in another culture; you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get but you keep trying to get something. Eventually you will find answers to all the questions raised in the storyline so that everything is all nicely wrapped up when it’s over – never to be played again.
67
Game Shark
But the core mechanics of Yakuza – fighting and futzing around in this collection of city bits – are simply too disjointed to bear up under the fifteen or so hours it takes to reach the payoff. The gameplay wears out its welcome too soon to sustain the story. As a result, Yakuza is a game that manages to fall apart just as it’s getting under way.
60
Game Informer Magazine
Oddly enough, for a game that has been perceived as the “Japanese GTA” (a description that’s far off the mark), the experience of playing Yakuza reminds me most of a somewhat scary evening I spent drinking at Irv’s Bar, one of Minneapolis’ most notoriously tough dives. This might sound like a weird comparison, but in practice, it’s pretty much the same. Most of the time, you’re listening to rambling, incoherent conversations. Then, about every 15 minutes, some weird guy wanders up and tries to start a fight with you for no apparent reason. Basically, this is a poorly made RPG where the battles are determined by brief Streets of Rage-style brawling instead of turn-based battles, plagued by repetitive fighting, boring levels, and nearly zero variety. Please, someone put a hit out on this one before it commits more crimes against gaming.
60
Yahoo! Games
These characters, combined with Yakuza's sweeping mystery, at least make the game worth playing despite its grand failures. Of course, that's hardly a glowing recommendation to join the Yakuza's life of crime.
60
Pro-G
There is fun to be had, usually experienced while creaming six punks with a bench, and at 30 quid, it's decent value, especially when you consider some so-called next-generation games are 20 pounds more and less than half the fun. It's just that while being a competent and perfectly enjoyable pick'n'mix of some of the best games of the last 10 years, Yakuza doesn't excel at any aspect it borrows. It isn't greater than the sum of its parts.
60
AceGamez
As much as I've criticized Yakuza, I honestly can't say that it's a terrible game - I'm just supremely disappointed that it failed to capitalize on its intriguing premise. It does have appealing qualities that make it worth a look, such as its tremendous atmosphere, respectable (if not astounding) combat, lengthy campaign and array of optional content. But for everything the game does right, it gets something else completely wrong, and as such it never quite achieves its ambitious goals. I guess we'll just have to wait for the already confirmed sequel to see if SEGA can bring the promising potential to fruition in its second attempt.
60
G4 TV: X-Play
If you're a sucker for Japanese gangster cinema, you'll likely be able to forgive Yakuza's many flaws long enough to get caught up in the riveting story line and cast of complex characters. But long before the end, you'll be sick of the repetitive combat that takes up far too much of Yakuza's gameplay time. And very, very sick of the word "motherf***er." Even Snakes on a Plane saved it for the end.
50
Bordersdown
With Yakuza, Sega has once again shown the gaming world that, when it comes to establishing new concepts, they aren’t totally out of their element. With a few refinements Yakuza could have proved just as revolutionary as Yu Suzuki’s Dreamcast masterpiece. Sega has confirmed that Ryu ga Gotoku 2 will be receiving a US and European release at some point in 2007, so it’s more a question of when the potential of the franchise will truly be exploited rather than if it will.
42
Game Revolution
The life of a Yakuza seems so cool because of its speed, violence and tattoos. Unfortunately, Sega’s game only gets the tattoos right. Load times slow things down, and long digressive missions and lame mini-games seem to prolong what should be a short, violent romp. With better combat and a snappier pace, Yakuza could have been one of the brightest games of the season. Instead, it’s just big, foreboding, and dull, more like a bouncer than a hitman.
40
WomenGamers.com
The gameplay is frustrating and annoying. It depletes the enjoyment factor down considerably. If you adapt to the blind spots and weirdness of the controls in this game you might enjoy it. However all that adjustment can hardly be called fun. Even still I was compelled to play the whole game to see the ending. This isn't a graphic novel though, it's a video game. I don't play video games to read, I play them to have a good time playing them.