Yakuza 0 - Analysis

Author: Carlos G. Gurpegui
Date: 2020-07-30 23:47:01
On January 24, the last installment of the Yakuza franchise finally arrives on European shores. Paradoxically the latest installment, Yakuza 0, is a prequel to the beloved SEGA saga. The Japanese have been enjoying this little gem for two years on both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 and now it is the turn of the rest of the world joining the wave of releases that will make our January more difficult. For many years that have passed since the first installment Toshihiro Nagoshi, father of the franchise, still has content for his creature. In Japan the sixth installment of the franchise has just seen the light and it would not be unreasonable to have more content in the future.

In 1999 Takashi Miike was directing one of the many films that put him in the international eye. The film opened with four intense minutes that were intended to show the daily life of the Japanese yakuza with that characteristic hyperbolic tone of the director. With music from electric guitars in the background, the frantic montage showed us all kinds of outrages: cold-blooded murders, shootings in restaurants, striptease venues, yakuzas in extravagant suits or dressed in kimonos, drugs and police brutality. All this condensed in just four minutes. When we started Yakuza 0 a montage with the most intense scenes of the Sega title does not jump to the eyes also accompanied by electric guitars. Yakuza 0 seems to work both as a prequel to the huge Yakuza franchise and as an apocryphal sequel to Dead or Alive's Miike movie.

With Yakuza 0 the saga makes the leap to the present generation of consoles and the graphic leap, although not too spectacular, is evident in the representation of the emblematic, and fictitious, neighborhoods of Kamurocho and Sotenbori . The temporary situation of the video game in the decadent eighties makes the regular of both neighborhoods find an extra reason to enter the title. Anyone who has already walked tens of hours around Kamurocho in Yakuza 0 will have the feeling of visiting the neighborhood of his childhood twenty-five years before his birth and will see how many things were already there before his birth.

Sega has once again put all its efforts into creating two neighborhoods full of life . Yakuza 0 as a sandbox can be somewhat scarce in terms of surface to visit or places to visit but we quickly forget the small extension of the neighborhoods as soon as we realize that in every corner there is something to do. The dozens of entertainments typical of the time are already the mark of the house and in this prequel we will not be left without being able to spend entire hours in the arcades of Sega , sing Karaoke with our companions, play bowling or fish quietly while we rest a bit of the intense life of a Yakuza.

Many of these activities will have repercussions in some secondary missions and even on occasion we will be "forced" to have fun due to the demands of the script itself. Strolling through Kamurocho or Sotembori looking for something to do will be one of the things we do the most in Yakuza 0.