Starting Yakuza

  • Since watching Huber talk about Yakuza 0, I've decided to start playing Yakuza and work my way through the series. I'm currently on chapter 5 of the first Yakuza, and I'm loving it! The store is intriguing and it definitely gets you interested right from the start. The combat is okay. Pretty simple, but fun nonetheless. But the best part are the characters. I enjoy watching Kazuma's story unfold and see how he deals with situations that are thrown at him. Also, seeing all the crazy Yakuza families and the personalities of each is really interesting. Can't wait to see what the rest of the series is like.

    For those who have played it, anything I should look out for? Interesting things to do, side quests, tips on playing, etc. And for those who haven't played it, is there anything stopping you?

  • Let me just say thank you for playing this series. The story will become better and better with each game, so no worries there! If you think the combat is fun, then again, nothing to worry about. It doesn't change a whole lot with each entry, but each game adds a little something to keep it from growing too stale.

    The best way to answer that question would be to do everything you possibly can. Most every quest is charming in some way. At the very least, it extends a fun game even just a little! Try to 100%! It is close to impossible because of the minigames, but as long as you stay within reason, it's all good! Just a warning, Yakuza 1 and 2 have miss-able side quests. Nothing too bad unless you are aiming for the all quests bonus at the end of the game. Which isn't super big or important, just a nice little extra. Don't feel bad at all if you don't see it.

  • I finished the first Yakuza game on PS2 and I have been genuinely discouraged in playing it. I am a huge Shenmue fan and it is tough to play the game, knowing that everyone makes a comparison between the two, stating that Shenmue is better. After playing the first, I found nothing to warrant the comparison. I don't think the game was bad, but it is tough to enthuse with folks about a franchise when all it does is evoke derision for my most favorite of game franchises, Shenmue. I gotta give the other games a chance though, as, like I said, I had fun.

  • Yakuza is a dichotomy between this super serious Yakuza family story and the silly sandbox sidequest and minigames. You get the best of both worlds.

    One of your friends gets murdered? Play some pachinko, eat some ramen, knock out some home runs. Life's great. And Haruka is there to cheer for you.

    Definitely do all the sidequests. They will usually stick out like a sore thumb if you explore the city.

  • So I haver never played the Yakuza series, but hearing Ben and Huber talk about, really makes me hyped. Is there a good entry point? I own Yakuza 4 since it was a playstation plus game.
    Yakuza 3 seems doable to get a hold of cheap, so does a used version of Yakuza 1 for ps2. Yakuza 2 for ps2 seems really expensive, and not something I would want to invest in.

    What would be a good place to start?

  • Man, I think I might need to give this series another shot. I got Yakuza 4 and tried to play it but got tired of how little I actually got to PLAY in the like first two or three hours. I don't think I gave it a fair shake though. I look forward to zero though, since it seems like a good place to jump in.

  • First congrats for getting into the series, although personally I think you should have started with 2 (has a 90 odd minute long recap of the first game) but honestly all I can say is sit back an enjoy the crazy ride. Also take note of the odd occurrence of how the best in the series take place around Christmas. Also don't be afraid to import Kenzan or Isshin, while they will never come westward (supposedly because the Western name being "Yakuza" whereas the Japanese title is "Like a Dragon") they are still awesome entries, and there are plenty of translation/walkthru guides for both online.)

  • @Inustar
    Actually 0 is in this odd spot where it is the best and worst entry to jump into the series with, mostly due to a few key plot related characters never showing up or being mentioned in later entries, however if Kiwamis existence is a sign of anything it's that we will probably see remakes of other entries at some point (this fixing the issue I brought up) also a remake of Yakuza 2 using 6's engine, just the thought alone is loosening the money from my wallet.
    Although it should be stated that 0 is the best playing in the series (along with Isshin), and it's just so much fun. I should mention that playing 0 and Kiwami back to back is probably the best way to enter the series at this point

  • Get ready for all the next games to be in Japanese with subtitles (better that way since that dub is pretty bad).
    Side quest: you should just do what you want to do since most aren't worth it.
    Don't play the spin-off dead souls it's filler

  • @MonsTruz You can really start any where. However if you really like the story, you'll probably want to go back and replay everything, by which time the stories will be ruined. Since you said you can get them for cheap, get Yakuza 1 and 3. Skipping 2 seems acceptable. You can watch the flashbacks of it in Yakuza 3. 4 and 5 are on PSN, so much easier to find. But really, it is okay to start anywhere.

  • @MonsTruz I have also just started playing Yakuza 1, just like OP, and it holds up extremely well. If you have a way to play it, go with the first game.

  • UPDATE: I finished the first Yakuza tonight. So happy that I started this series. I am now officially invested. Looking forward to starting Yakuza 2 soon. Excited to see any changes with gameplay or see where to story goes from here. Even though I still have a ways to go to catch up with the series, I'm so excited for the journey.

  • @parasitepaladin
    Just today I found Yakuza 3 for around 10 bucks at local store, so I'm just gonna start with 3. That way I don't have to hook up my ps2 system again.

  • @MonsTruz Good plan. 3 is one of the widely agreed upon best places to start. Enjoy!

    @RiceEater22 Congrats! Have fun with the wild ride.

  • I just watched the two recap videos of the first two games, and holy s*** that was hype! High stakes and so intense. I'm so ready to dive into the third game now.

  • I only played and beat the first one. Rented it and was so engaged beat it within the few day rental period. I own the rest with exception to 5. I havent dug into them because of time and backlog. I feel the need to replay 1 as a refresher. Great game. For me it was a spiritual successor to Shenmue. Great japanese narrative. I love them both.