Yakuza 5 - Analysis
Of course, for some reasons or others that we are not going to assess, the Yakuza franchise has always been unfairly reviled in the West. Its distribution in our territory has been, at least, complicated. To show a button, since Yakuza 5 arrives three years later. And that is not the worst, since we are talking about a game that is only available in digital format , at a price of 39.99 euros and without any subtitles in Spanish . The fully English localization of the title makes the product more damaging than it should for those who do not master Shakespeare's language perfectly, since the game contains an infinite number of dialogues with, in addition, not at all easy to follow language.
A deal that we are unfortunately used to with this magnificent saga and that we hope will change in the coming times, since it is a shame that a brand of such quality does not receive greater support for markets other than Asia. The formula offered by Yakuza is exquisite and has pull due to its great variety of situations and the action that each of its deliveries offers. However, it is better to leave the resignations aside and enjoy the jewel that Toshihiro Nagoshi , the father of the brand, offers us. It is a peculiar mix between conversations, exploration and combat, with large doses of freedom of movement. To a certain extent, it could be considered a distant cousin (or heir) of the Shenmue formula, even if it has its own identity marks.
The plot plot stands as one of the strongest points of Yakuza 5 , thanks to its particularity when it comes to breaking it down, contemplating the same story from different points of view. Its development is interesting and the characters and situations that we will live are credible at all times. Its final part ends up being perhaps too slow, but as soon as we immerse ourselves in its argument we will not mind too much. If you have never approached the saga, do not worry, since it is not necessary to have played the previous titles to understand what is happening . Although obviously, the work has many reminiscences, winks and characters from other iterations. But that is not an obstacle for you to cut yourself in trying it for its numerical attribute.
The five protagonists of the adventure are Kazuma Kiryu, Taiga Saejima, Haruka Sawamura, Tatsuo Shinada and Shun Akiyama . Each with their concerns and their purposes within the plot of Yakuza 5 , but all complementary to chisel an exciting plot that will become one of the reasons to keep us hooked on command. The most peculiar character is Haruka, who instead of making his way with a punch, does so with his particular story in which duels are decided based on dances (with their own mechanics, of course). A good example of the surprises and twists that await us in Yakuza 5.
Obviously, each of the protagonists has their own abilities, which are reflected especially when fighting, with very different elements that help us live an adventure of the most varied that never gets boring . All of them must be mastered as well as possible, since we will have to face massive battles that are not easy to discern. Without forgetting the more than interesting and original confrontations against final bosses , which pose a real challenge.
In addition, the personalization component is very present at all times. As we successfully complete missions and secondary objectives, we obtain soul points with which to improve the parameters of the characters and obtain new abilities. An addition that provides versatility and depth to a fairly complete proposal in itself. A set of possibilities that brings us closer to what would be at this time the titles of the almost extinct genre beat'em'up, so glorious a few decades ago. Sometimes it seems that the progression of characters is somewhat restricted, and that it does not matter what we choose, although this does not affect the development of the game as much as the replayability and feeling of freedom that we have.
In those cities, most of which can only be visited with a certain character, we must explore for clues and events that advance the plot. The general tone is that of a sandbox, but with a very personal style , in which cars cannot be driven and where what stands out most are battles, which embrace an almost extinct genre, such as that of beat'em up. There are small developments in this regard, such as that the entry into the fighting is faster and more fluid, although they can be avoided if we flee from the rowdy people we see on the street. And sometimes we want to avoid them, because they can become too constant and massive, especially when we want to focus on exploration. This fact reveals one of the most important problems of Yakuza 5, its rhythm. There will be times when we spend a lot of time watching cinematics and, on the contrary, too many endless battles. This does not tarnish the final result, but it does become uncomfortable.
Although the freedom in the different cities that we have at our disposal is relative, since many of them we can only visit with one of the characters, they are spacious enough to fulfill their numerous tasks in a most peculiar sandbox in which we will always have to walk, thus reinforcing the street context of the plot. On the other hand, in Yakuza 5 there is much, much added content that we won't have to see and play if we don't want to. A good example is taxi racing, ancillary beyond a few tests in the Fukuoka part. This is just an example, but there are a large number of details and secrets to discover, up to a total of about 120 mini-games in which we even found a Virtua Fighter 2 arcade, with online game included, fishing, a rhythm game with drums, hunting, bowling, billiards ... Shall we continue?
Yakuza 5 is obviously an oriental cut title, and we already know how 'special' they are in those parts. For this reason, there is no shortage of the most striking elements from that culture, which manage to provide a touch of characteristic humor to get away for a few moments from its plot sobriety. Surprises that it is better that you discover yourselves, since the multitude of tasks that we can carry out - karaoke included - will get you more than a laugh.