Going into this game, I was completely blind. I have heard of the series, yes, but if you asked me while I was walking down the street what Yakuza was about i’d have trouble giving you an answer. Now after finishing Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life, I can definitively say I would have grabbed the nearest cone, bonked said person repeatedly in the head, and ask them what Yakuza 6 is all about. Yakuza 6 is an amazing experience for beginners and experts of the series with each cutscene being incredibly interesting and a variety of options to play that will keep any fan from being bored within the city of Kamurocho.
Yakuza 6 is the final entry of the Yakuza series for long time protagonist Kazuma Kiryu in which revolves around the theme of parenting. The story very much reflects it in ways that I had not thought possible with intricate turns and some outlandish twists that kept me invested in the story more than most television series’ can dream. Even before you jump into this game it’s worth pointing out to those that are new or just want to catch up that there is an option in the menu that gives you a summary of each game up to present day available to read(minus Yakuza Zero) which I have to say is a fantastic inclusion and very much appreciated. The game starts with Kiryu serving a sentence from previous actions in hopes that those around him will be able to live a much better life. When Kiryu finishes his time in jail, he comes back to find that Haruka, who he considers as his daughter, has disappeared. Over the course of the game you run into interesting and downright lovable characters in the cities of Kamurocho and Onomichi that become larger parts of the puzzle that eventually develops into a story that made even a newcomer to the series, such as myself, weep by the end of the game.
The gameplay of Yakuza 6 has many strengths which lies within the large skill system. There are dozens of moves to learn in game that can come in handie making the ability to take down your opponent feel smooth and rewarding. The crossover with New Japan Pro Wrestling also makes it more exciting bringing over a few wrestling moves to keep anyone down for the 3 count. Something I did not expect when I started playing this was the amount of ways to boost my experience throughout the game. It seemed as though everything in the game was designed to give you some sort of exp whether it was a side quest, a random battle with some thugs, darts, eating, or karaoke. The farther you progressed in the game, the more I felt like a badass when I take down an entire army of men with only my fists.
Yakuza 6 is not only the perfect swan song for the Dragon of Dojima, Kazuma Kiryu, but a perfect entry level game for anyone looking to get into the series. Throughout the span of this game I had done things I never thought I would in a serious type of game such as this one. From the beautiful cinematography of the cutscenes to the unforgettable cast of characters, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life brings a very thoughtful and intriguing story with a very solid battle system and a lot of things to do inside the city of Kamurocho that gives fans, new or old, hours upon hours of exploration. Ones only to wonder what the future of the series will be like now that newcomer Ichiban will serve as the next protagonist(at least in the mobile game Yakuza Online that is) but if there’s any indication from Yakuza 6, the future’s in good hands.
NUKE THE FRIDGE SCORE 9/10