Tag Archives: yakuza 0

I Am Way Too Addicted to Yakuza’s Hostess Club Minigame

Since starting the newer prequel to the entire series, Yakuza Zero, I’ve become very addicted to the series as I slowly play my way through, now currently at Yakuza Kiwami 2, a full remake of Yakuza 2.

However, while I love the series as a whole, there’s a particular minigame in the series I’m admittedly enjoying a little too much and spending way too much time in. The hostess club.

The Yakuza games are chalk full of minigames and sidequests to divert your attention away from the main story. You can play darts, go bowling, play mahjong and shogi, hit the batting cages and the driving range, play poker and blackjack, take pictures of Gravure models as they do sexy poses. Hm…I guess one of those things isn’t quite like the rest. Yep! Bowling isn’t in Yakuza Kiwami 2.

But the hostess club has to be the minigame that I spend way too much time in, in fact more like an absurd amount of time in. Now there’s legitimate reasons to start with, as you can make a massive amount of money early on in the game doing this. Hell, running through the entire minigame until it forces you out, it gave me enough money to easily buy all the workers I needed for the future Majima Construction sidequest, which if I remember correctly was around 50 million yen.

At this currently point, I’m in Chapter 9, so I know I will soon be returning to Sotenbori and the remainder of the hostess club story will unlock. But as of this point, I’m pretty sure that at least 5 hours out of the 30-35 I’ve put into the entire game has been spent at Four Shine, the hostess club you manage. It’s a minigame that for someone who thrives on organizing things and finding little efficiencies in everything, it works extremely well for me.

It’s also cool how this version of the minigame is a “sequel” to Yakuza Zero’s version, as the owner of Four Shine in Yakuza Kiwami 2 is actually one of the highest-tier girls you have on your roster in Yakuza Zero’s version of the club. It immediately grabbed my attention and confirmed that I was going to be spending a lot of time again at Four Shine, not that I needed any convincing, I already had plenty of evidence from the hours I put into Yakuza Zero doing the same thing.

Otherwise, there’s just a lot of little things I enjoy about the minigame. I do enjoy customizing the Platinum-tier girls, in the same way I enjoy making characters in The Sims games. I am admittedly disappointed you can’t do anything with the massive amount of girls that aren’t in that tier, I would love to truly make every hostess on my roster my own, but alas I cannot.

The absurdity of the minigame is also great, coupled with the ridiculous storyline that runs through the minigame, full of conspiracies, kidnapping and constant monologuing from the villain making this club business more like an intense action movie.

And honestly, I just love the vibrant atmosphere of the minigame. Sure, it satisfies my desire to make things run perfectly, but it’s just such a happy-natured distraction, which is sometimes necessary in a series that has a pretty intense and serious main story, like Yakuza. It’s a minigame that doesn’t demand too much of you, but just enough to keep your brain active and in the meantime, it’s just as silly as can be, so by the time I’m done, I feel accomplished and I’m smiling from ear to ear.

But seriously, I’m really mad that I can’t customize the special hostess who has an orange fruit mask on. If there was ANYONE who should’ve been Platinum tier…

REVIEW: Yakuza 0

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I have never played a Yakuza game before until now. A lot of it has to do with not knowing about the series when it was on PlayStation 2, but it mostly had to do with not owning a PlayStation 3 when people were really talking about the series. Now the first one has come out on PlayStation 4, the original one is getting remade and released later this year and the 6th one, which I’m really excited about because many wrestlers from New Japan Pro Wrestling are in the game, that’s coming next year!

Having never played a Yakuza game before, I was hesitant at first in grabbing it early on. I know that it was almost like the Japanese version of the Grand Theft Auto games, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will come with the same quality, right? Now after seeing YouTube personality Angry Joe show off a few of the silly stuff you can do in the game, I was sold. After all, it’s no surprise to anyone who’s been reading my stuff for just a little while that I’m into stupid silly Japanese shit. There’s a phone sex minigame in this game?! There’s an almost DOA-like catfight minigame?! I’M IN!!!

And as it turned out, Japan can actually do some things better in gaming than the West…

Right off the bat, the opening track that plays when the game starts up really sets the tone. A badass guitar playing in the background, I’m already sold and ready to go. Granted, there’s a lot of stuff that they show that will happen in the story, so I spent a lot of the game wondering when this person would die, when this specific event would happen, those kinds of things. I only wish they’d limited what they show, so not to spoil any potential events.

Now I agree with what most are saying, in that the first couple hours of the game is a little slow. They’re not necessarily wrong and perhaps to anyone who’s played other games in the series, this might be more correct to them rather than a first-time player like myself. I was enamored with the game from the get-go, especially with the incredible dialogue and voice acting that this game offers. Even though I don’t know much Japanese, the voice acting in this game is phenomenal! Characters that are supposed to be badass sound badass, characters that are a little cheesy sound cheesy, the voices match the characters and really there’s no character that ever really bothered me whenever they spoke. I’ll give bonus points to Kuze, who really sold me whenever he spoke, I felt threatened listening to this character speak.

Story-wise, it’s incredible with how cheesy the game can become that the story is perhaps one of the best written and legitimately surprising stories I’ve played through in a long time. There’s really no point in the game that I was taken out of the story once I was actually playing through it and any twists and turns that happened in the game I never saw coming, beyond a certain character being killed by a car bomb, which anyone who’s watched anything could’ve seen coming. But the big twists of the story, like the owner of the “Empty Lot” for example, they actually got a “Oh shit…” reaction from me.

For those who haven’t played the game, the gist of the story is that you play Kazuma Kiryu, a young upstart yakuza member, very low rank. He gets used as a pawn in a much larger game and ends up having to fight pretty much on his own in order to stay alive and out of prison. The entire game revolves around the story caused by his framing, though through this story we also lead into the beginnings of Goro Majima, a former yakuza who after a year of torture survives and is “imprisoned” in a small town working in a cabaret club to generate money for the yakuza family he once worked with. The first half of the game both characters are pretty much running their own separate stories, while the second half does an incredible job of intertwining their stories together and yet the two never see each other at any point in the game. It’s so well-written, to the point I truly do consider this one of the best written stories I’ve ever played through.

But what really makes the game so enjoyable for me at least, is the fact that even though this game has such a deep, dark, violent and downright super-serious story, I got exposed to just how incredible this team is at making a game that can have that level of seriousness and yet mix in some of the most cheesy shit I’ve ever seen in a video game and still not take me out of the game’s story in any way. Yes, I’m more than able to hang in there with the danger that Kiryu or Goro are in and yet I have no problem taking a break to have phone sex with various women, play pocket racing with a bunch of kids, run a cabaret club and give all my best girls makeovers and recruit a freaking chicken as a business partner. All this is legitimate, it happens in the game and all of that still doesn’t take away from the game.

There’s so much to do in this game, I finished with just over 90 hours of gameplay and I only completely around 65% of the game. There’s countless mini-games, ranging from more normal things like bowling, mahjong, shogi and arcade games like Super Hang On and Space Harrier, to over-the-top insane shit like the aforementioned phone sex and catfight games, along with a video store you can watch softcore Japanese porn, which is actually just girls in skimpy bikinis looking pretty, nothing more. All of these mini-games for the most part play very well, all the real-life games are fun to play, especially bowling and pool. The only one that’s a little tough to go through is the catfight game, which is only really a problem for those who want to 100% the game, because let’s be honest, if you’re playing this mini-game, you’re either a completionist, or you want to see pretty girls in skimpy outfits fighting each other.

Overall, this game is without a shadow of a doubt a fantastic way for me to be exposed to the Yakuza series for the first time and with the original game getting a HD remake released here later this year, it only makes it even better now knowing more about Kiryu and Goro before the become more prominent characters in the series. For anyone who hasn’t played this series yet, Yakuza 0 is a fantastic way to start. The story is incredible, yet it mixes some of the most ridiculous shit you’ll ever play in a video game, proving that censorship truly does rob players of some real funny stuff and ruins a game’s integrity and image. There’s so much to love with this game and now it only makes me sad that I’m going to have to pay a shitload of money to play Yakuza 2-5 because copies of the games are expensive as shit and I’d have to buy a PlayStation 3 as well, because backwards compatibility is really hard…

Yakuza 0 without a doubt is the current holder of Game of the Year in my mind, the real test however will come in the next two months as we see if Mass Effect: Andromeda and Persona 5 can de-throne this GOTY early. I almost feel bad for this game.

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Saturday Morning Rant: Less Games Need To Be Censored

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Yakuza 0 has come out and unlike pretty much 99.9% of all Japanese games when released in the West, it hasn’t actually been censored. At all. Like nothing has been taken away. Not the phone sex minigame, not the catfight minigame, none of it. It’s all still there in its glory. Hell I got the “Business Edition” of the game which came with a fancy business card case and it had a card with five sexy hostesses on it. That’s some fun shit!

What this game has done is remind me of the ridiculousness when it comes to censorship here in the West, it continues to mystify me how the most offensive thing right now is Donald Trump and then the second most offensive thing is someone who isn’t attracted to a transsexual AND THEN the third most offensive thing is probably a piece of fictional media with a woman looking sexy in it. Once again, it’s a case where I have to point out how absolutely immature and overly fragile society is right now that a girl in a swimsuit fighting a girl in a nurse outfit (ALL WHO ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE!!!) is extremely offensive and shouldn’t exist here. It’s okay to have games where thousands of people are killed by the character we play as, but a single pair of titties is just too much!

Fire Emblem: Awakening had to alter a picture of Tharja in the Summer of Bonds DLC where she was trying on a swimsuit so it would be “acceptable” in the West. A girl in a swimsuit needed to be censored. A single fictional girl in a bikini was too much for a Western video game release, but murder after murder after murder, that’s okay. Same goes for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, they had swimsuit costumes for the characters and those were censored here as well. Why is death okay, but a girl in a bikini not okay?

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The longer I’ve been writing post on this page, the longer I’ve taken issue with the censorship of sexual content in various forms of media, the bashing of anime and video games for engaging in such content, the endless barrage of articles, tweets, comments and whatever else from people who are so unbelievably easily offended that it really makes me wonder if they’re actually offended or if this is the battle they just decided to pick and are just fighting blindly to whatever they see. I don’t understand why this sort of content gets such a nasty response from so many people when there are so many more important things out there to be fighting. I don’t pretend there isn’t a problem with sexual content, as I’ve said before, I firmly believe that games and anime especially could really do everyone a huge favour and stop devoting the extreme majority of sexual content in their media solely to women. There’s nothing wrong with a guy also wearing something a little skimpier than a normal person would wear, there’s nothing wrong with a guy being seeing in the shower. I don’t care about anyone who is homophobic or whatever the fuck else, it’s a fictional guy, you’re not going to turn gay because it’s there.

Instead of censoring everything, why are feminists also pushing for men to be put in more roles that women traditionally are in. Why is there never a conversation about men being sexualized along with women, why aren’t men held captive more often, things like that? Why are the only conversations we hear from feminists (who have some level of prominence and reach) about how games and anime have too many sexy girls in them?

Maybe for once we ought to think about including rather than excluding. Not a bad idea, eh?