For lovers of creativity of the studio Ryu Ga Gotoku, each of its games is a holiday. Whether it’s the endless Yakuza series or the incipient Judgment, you always know what to expect: a long and exciting storyline, tons of extra fun, and an emotional swing. It doesn’t matter that they use the same locations, the characters leave and come back, and the gameplay does not change much – somehow the developers manage to do so in such a way that you don’t pay attention to it. And if the authors of Yakuza started experimenting with an RPG system and turn-based battles, then Lost Judgment, like its predecessor, is an action game with real-time fights.
We are re-run by Takayuki Yagami, a retired lawyer who started his own detective agency and is engaged in private investigations. Although his office is located in Kamuro-cho, he travels to Isezaki Ijincho (a city from Yakuza: Like a Dragon) and meets old friends who have agreed to help the headmaster of the local school. He wants to somehow solve the problem of bullying among students. At the same time, a man accused of sexual harassment appears before the court in Kamuro-cho, and he suddenly reports the murder of a long-lost person.
Everything is as usual
I will not specify who this person is, in what order everything is clarified and how these cases are connected with each other – there is such a twisted story in Lost Judgment that it is much more interesting to unravel this tangle yourself. Up to a certain point it seems that the writers tried to mix too much of everything: the school, and harassment, and murder, and the past of some teachers, and even the yakuza, from which there is no escape. But over time, the puzzle develops, and the serial structure (with the obligatory cliffhanger at the end of the episode and a summary of the previous episodes in the next chapter) is perfect for such a plot.
The tone of the main story in Lost Judgment is much darker than in the previous chapter or in the Yakuza. Of course, there is enough humor, but the further you move along the plot, the more serious it becomes. The characters die, the main character finds himself in unpleasant situations, and his friends too. As always, at any moment you can be distracted by side entertainment, but here the story becomes so exciting that there is no desire to interrupt it. You can even say that the storylines of some numbered parts of Yakuza pale against its background.
Hooligans, as always, don’t know who they are messing with
True, just as a detective puzzle, the game remains very superficial – as if it is afraid that you will get stuck somewhere, and often leads you by the handle or does not allow you to make a mistake. The character says that he guessed before solving, and you are offered four options for an answer – you can poke at random and someday you will hit. You need to explore the location and find interesting items – no difficulties will arise. The ill-fated missions with pursuits and pursuits returned – fortunately, there are few of them in the plot, but in the side missions they are too much. They have changed insignificantly – now, during the pursuit, you can pretend to tie your shoelaces if there is no shelter nearby and you will not be noticed. But that doesn’t make the process any more fun.
You need to understand that Lost Judgment is not trying to pretend to be Danganronpa or Ace Attorney – first of all it is an action adventure. In fact, the same Yakuza, but with some gameplay “tricks” that are more suitable for a former lawyer than a former member of the Yakuza. No riddles, puzzles and long thoughts – the local “investigations” simply dilute the gameplay so that it does not turn into a series of videos and fights.
Sometimes it’s too obvious what to find in exploration mode
By the way, about fights. In the review of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, I complained that in the new city there are hooligans at every turn and you get a little tired from random battles on the streets to the finale. There are noticeably fewer enemies here, but the developers have come up with another funny “trick”: now the character can move on a skateboard, and the gopniks seem not to notice him, even if they zip next to them. So unnecessary skirmishes can be almost completely avoided – however, in this case, I advise you to quickly buy a skill that gives an increased amount of experience for fights in order to pump at least with the help of plot fights.
In Lost Judgment, the old fighting styles of the crane (suitable against groups of enemies) and tiger (good against lonely) returned, and another one was added – the style of the snake. First of all, it is designed for fights with armed opponents, but in fact it is suitable in any situation, since it is based on interceptions and parries. As soon as someone swings to strike, you can quickly press the block button, and the character will deftly dodge, and if immediately after that you press the “triangle”, then make a powerful attack using the accumulated energy.
It’s a pity, they don’t allow to fight with a dog.
Over time, more and more techniques for this style are revealed, but it is interesting that the style of the snake literally scares opponents – after all these tricks, the enemies can fall to the ground in horror and beg for mercy. If at such moments you click on the “triangle” next to them, then Yagami will perform the same techniques, only he will hit next, and not at the target – and they will immediately run away. That is, a kind of pacifist regime, quite suitable for this game, since here you will have to fight with school students more than once – and punishing teenagers with broken noses is still not very humane.
Outside of the main story, everything is the same here, but with some changes. Dozens of side quests are still available – you have to catch the next hunter for women’s underwear, then walk the dog and look for clues. Yagami’s arsenal now has gadgets – for example, you will need to look for sources of sound, including to find some collectibles. Slot machines have not gone anywhere, and now there is an opponent in the “tabletop” in virtual reality. Drone flights, casinos, mahjong, shogi – everything is so familiar on the spot.
Whatever the hero does, he likes everything
But there is something else, and that is school stories. This is probably the first time Ryu Ga Gotoku has decided to tie together a bunch of side entertainment and add a narrative element to them. Shortly after the start of the game, Yagami joins the school’s detective club and uses his skills to solve mysteries related to the school staff and students. To do this, he has to infiltrate other clubs, from dance to boxing. The more often he participates in mini-games, the better the others treat him, and therefore it becomes easier to fish out information and get to the truth.
Obviously, this component of Lost Judgment did not spend as large a budget as the main story – there are no videos here, and almost all the dialogues are not voiced. That does not prevent these stories from being interesting, although not all mini-games will appeal to everyone. For example, in a robotics club, you need to participate in matches, controlling robots and capturing territories on a small map, and the rules there are not entirely fair, which is why some matches are difficult and require several restarts. But in general, the idea is brilliant – I would not be surprised if such attempts to plot the plot to combine the entertainment available in the game will continue to be undertaken.
In July, rumors surfaced that Sega might say goodbye to the Judgment series because of the agency representing the actor who is starring in it. They say that it is for this reason that the games in the series have not yet been released on the PC. It will be a shame if this is really the case, the series has just started to accelerate and it seems that further it will be steeper and steeper. While the chases and chases are still annoying, everything else evokes extremely positive emotions – both the plot and the innovations associated with side entertainment.
an exciting story at first seems too confusing, but as it develops, it fascinates more and more;
school stories perfectly connected a variety of mini-games with each other;
as usual, tons of entertainment outside of the main plot;
the new fighting style is good in all situations and makes fights very fun.
missions with pursuits and chases are still boring – it’s good that there are few of them in the main plot.
Not a series that should surprise with graphics, but the game looks solid – both the videos are beautiful, and it’s nice to ride around the city.
This time, for the first time, I decided to play the game exclusively with English dubbing, and the impressions were no worse than those of the original with Japanese voices – the quality of dubbing grows with each release.
Single player game
A famously twisted story, funny school stories and mini-games under the “dome” of a common plot, a ton of additional entertainment – like the last part (and like all Yakuza), the novelty will give dozens of hours of pleasure.
An excellent continuation of the series, even if some of the shortcomings of the first part have not been fixed. It is a pity if this is indeed the last Judgment.
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