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|2D Platformer Games, Side Scroller Games, Stealth Action, Espionage Games, Base Building Games, Ninja Games, Yakuza Series
If there has been one culture that has produced games that could never be replicated, it’s the Japanese gaming industry. The world of the JRPG has provided some of the most bizarre gaming formats, genre combinations, wacky characters and gaming moments that just about no other conventional game could ever pull off. One such series is the Yakuza series that marry the world of the seedy underbelly of Asian gang culture and the over the top craziness of Japanese TV game shows. It sounds impossible to put together but for some reason it works. Yakuza Empire is the next instalment in the series and it looks just as insane as the last.
Yakuza Empire plays rather like other zany JRPG titles out there such as the Persona series, Final Fantasy, Sleeping Dogs, Shemune and Grand Theft Auto V as well. This game aims to continue the usual madness while offering a plethora of new mini games and a compelling story. So we want to discuss how this one will fair against its predecessors. So here is our preview of Yakuza Empire.
A Change of Perspective
Can you imagine a Yakuza game without a weird karaoke mini-game? It’s difficult, right? Well, this game not only does away with the usual weird design decisions and instead opts for a much more serious tone. The player will have the familiar role of running the yakuza but without all the levity that is usually in abundance. The game will focus on resource management, will provide JRPG style turn based combat and you will also have life simulator aspects to this game too. Picture it like Persona without the calendar format.
Then if that wasn’t different enough for you, you’ll also navigate this would in a 2.5D perspective. You’ll visit the various shops and facilities available and grow your character throughout, you’ll fight enemies in a turn based Streets of Rage sort of format. In short, it’s a very new look and feel for the series but thankfully, we will still have some minigames included according to reports, we just don’t think it will be quite as over the top as we usually get from this series.
Then with the visuals, we have to admit, we are limited in terms of gameplay, trailers and screenshots. However, from what we have seen, the visuals do look sharp. The quality visuals and the unique world of Yakuza doesn’t seem to have been lost due to the new perspective and everything on offer still screams Yakuza. It’s pleasing to see and will perhaps help players bed in when tackling this new title.
Overall, Yakuza Empire is a change to the usual format and we haven’t decided if that’s a good thing yet. Since Yakuza: Like a Dragon arrived we have seen that maybe this format has been milked for all it’s worth. Yet at the same time, changing this very unique format will perhaps anger the fans and undoubtedly, it’s a risk.
We hope that this change can breathe new life into this series and we hope that this change in tone can give this franchise more longevity. We can’t help but be sceptical, but we are hopeful.
- Visually, this game weathers the transition to 2.5D very well
- This change comes at a good time for the series
- The change in tone could offer something new for fans
- Minigames aren’t totally gone
- This new format and tonal shift is a huge risk
- The title will lose a lot of it’s weird and zany gameplay