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  • Game Review: 龍が如く OF THE END (Yakuza: Dead Souls) on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 8:08 PM

    I don't really write game reviews, especially since the game came out one year ago in the US. I originally did not want to buy this game when it first released in the US because I am not too much into shooting games BUT I didn't want to keep playing Yakuza 3 and 4 AND it was $13 on Amazon.  But since I'm (not so) patiently waiting for the localization of 龍が如く5 and I feel that this series is very under appreciated so I decided to write a quick review. The Yakuza franchise is one of my favorite game series ever (after Assassin's Creed) mainly because it is both serious and ridiculous at the same time. I love their open world system because there is so much you can do in this game.

    If you are not familiar with the Yakuza franchise, the games' main setting is in Kamurocho, a fictional rendition of Tokyo's red light district, Kabukicho. The games revolve around an ex-yakuza named Kiryu Kazuma, nicknamed the "Dragon of Dojima."   He was the forth chairman of the Tojo clan, the largest yakuza organization in the Kanto area (even though it was only for less than a day). After adopting the daughter of his childhood love, he moves to Okinawa with her to take care of an orphanage. However, even though he is no longer part of the underground world, he is occasionally dragged back to Kamurocho to deal to Tojo matters.

    That leads us to the events of Yakuza: Dead Souls, which is a spinoff game after Yakuza 4. Even though it is not canon, it is a ridiculously fun game because for the first time you are able to play as Majima Goro, the patriarch of the Majima Family. You also play as Akiyama Shun (a loan shark), Goda Ryuji (an ex-yakuza expelled from the Omi Alliance, an organization from Osaka) and of course, Kiryu Kazuma. But Majima is my favorite character in the whole franchise due to the fact that he's absolutely crazy and also you get to sing karaoke as him:

    Plot: Dead Souls was a lot more simple than the rest of the plots in the other games. Sometimes I do not understand all of the story in the other games because of all the PLOT TWISTS. But for a zombie apocalypse game, a simple plot is perfect. There is a zombie outbreak in Kamurocho. Kiryu receives a call from his adopted daughter, Haruka, telling him that she has been kidnapped in Kamurocho and that the city is filled with zombies. 

    Setting: One of the main things I like so much about the series is the attention to detail in the locations. Though I've never specifically been to Kabukicho, I have been to Tokyo and they really have the environment and atmosphere down to a t. There is so much to explore in Kamurocho; there are stores, restaurants, hostess clubs, and the list goes on!

    Gameplay: I do have to admit that the gameplay got a bit repetitive and tedious, having to go in and out of the quarantine zone between missions. It was fun killing zombies for the first couple dozen of times but then it started to be a bit of a task especially when the mutant zombies started showing up. 

    Side missions: A lot of the side missions in the Yakuza series are lighthearted and hilarious to get you away from the main story and Dead Souls is no different. You get to convince the current chairman of the Tojo clan to dress up in drag so you can lure zombies out.
    OR you can hang out with zombie hostesses (dressed in a ridiculous outfit).

    All in all, Yakuza: Dead Souls is a really fun game with a lot of hours of gameplay (even more so if you decide to do all the side missions, spec-ops, hostess missions, etc.). Obviously I prefer the main series for more depth and the fighting styles but for a spinoff I really enjoyed it. Hopefully Sega releases Yakuza 5 really soon because after I'm completely done with this game, I'll be going through a Yakuza withdrawal. And now that Sega announced a new game (龍が如く Ishin), I'm pretty sure that won't get localized just like 龍が如く Kenzan...


    I would rate Yakuza: Dead Souls 8 out of 10.
    I definitely recommend this game and also the rest of the games in the series, especially to people who enjoy open world games. I think this series is really underrated and more people should play it.

    And finally I will leave you with a trailer for the game:

    Majority of the gifs were taken from: majimagoro.com

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