Review: Yakuza 0

January is a really busy month for fans of Japanese games on PlayStation 4. In fact the last two weeks in particular have multiple big name games releasing within days or even on the same day as each other. Yakuza 0 from SEGA is the first PlayStation 4 entry in the franchise to be released in English and it is already a game of the year contender for me in January. I gushed about it already in my preview that covered the first few chapters but having completed it, I now can safely call this an essential purchase for any PlayStation 4 owner.

Yakuza 0 takes place in the late 80s and the recreation of Tokyo is great. Both Kamurocho and Sotenbori are colourful, dense, and bustling with people and activities for you. There are various aspects about the game that really make you appreciate the attention to detail from SEGA at capturing the late 80s mood. This is seen in mini-games and attire.

There are two protagonists in Yakuza 0 and you get to experience parts of their stories in groups of two chapters before automatically switching to the other protagonist. I absolutely love how the narrative comes together when you realise how both tales are intertwined together and how the story concludes. Speaking of the conclusion, beginning the last few chapters at midnight was not a good idea because it took until nearly 5 am when the credits finished rolling and I’m still blown away by the quality remaining consistent. One thing Yakuza 0 has done for sure is cement the fact that Goro Majima is SEGA’s best protagonist. Everything from the first appearance he makes to his side stories build up an amazing character. Kiryu is awesome but Majima definitely stole the spotlight for me.

I’m going to avoid any story spoilers but I will say that Yakuza 0 is one of the few games with side quests/stories that actually makes you care about NPCs. The side stories are genuinely funny and unique. I still can’t get over the one where you get whipped in a public park wondering what you are doing with your life. The main story involves betrayal, death, brotherhood, becoming a man (I’m not even kidding), extortion, and more. There are characters you will get attached to and the voice acting is sublime in all types of cutscenes. Yes, there are multiple types of cutscenes here. The luxury gangster feel has been captured brilliantly. While Mafia III has been criticised for repetitive gameplay and performance, the story is great. Yakuza 0 is like an improvement even in that department with everything else remaining compelling enough to keep you wanting to play more. I like how they have shown just how far some people are willing to go to rise to the top by using or killing anything in their paths.

The core gameplay loop involves you exploring the small town completing missions. There will be random-esque encounters on the street with yakuza, hooligans, bikers, or even a huge man who will beat you up and take your money away if you aren’t careful. I’m not a fan of the save system being tied to save points in telephone booths because this isn’t the 90s. We should be able to save anywhere. I’m not a fan of the few escort missions this game throws at you. While they are manageable, escort missions have always felt like lazy design to me.

There’s a lot of combat in Yakuza 0. It often feels like an open world brawler given how much you end up beating people up. Both Kiryu and Majima have multiple fighting styles. Each style has its own unlocks on a skill tree and its own theme which makes fights feel fresh. The skill tree lets you unlock various abilities and stat boosts with money. You earn money only when you beat up people and when you complete chapters early on. Later on, mini-games unlock letting you gamble, invest, run a cabaret, and more. Safe to say, if you spend time doing a few side stories and mini-games once in a while, there will be no shortage of money at all. Investing money into health boosts will really help early on though so I recommend doing that.

Exploration is a lot of fun and useful. It leads to new sub stories, helps you find new items, and even sometimes results in helping out a person in need only to be rewarded with a rare piece of equipment. As you progress and complete certain requirements, you unlock completion points or CP. These can be exchanged at the shrine to unlock some useful abilities or items for both Kiryu and Majima. One accessory beeps when you’re near a phone card and this will be handy for a certain trophy. I will not mention more about said phone cards because reasons. The map system could be better with some modern conveniences like fast travel from anywhere (it is restricted to certain spots only) or a proper waypoint system but these are small problems.

Some of the mini-games here are so well done that I feel like SEGA could easily release mobile ports of things like Cabaret club manager or Real Estate management. The disco and karaoke mini games on the other hand deserve full releases as well but you all know how much I love SEGA rhythm games already.

Once you finish the main story, there’s a wealth of extra content. You can even access some of it from the start like 2 player mini-games or online mini-games against the CPU and other people. The Premium Story mode lets you load your clear save and get access to all your unlocks to just explore the world. Thankfully Yakuza 0 also has an event viewer that lets you re watch story cutscenes. If you want to test your battle skills, climax battles will rough you up in a variety of sitations that require different battle techniques.

Visually Yakuza 0 runs at 1080p and 60fps and looks great. The neon lights and signage looks superb and doesn’t get old. There are some instances of screen tearing that occur in certain areas of the game. Nothing major but that’s the only visual and performance flaw I faced in my near 50 hours in Yakuza 0. There are multiple cutscenes types with some involving in engine dialogue, others being pre rendered, and some sepia styled dramatic cutscenes with just subtitles and voice with no animation.

Speaking of voices, the voice acting is all in Japanese. A Yakuza game hasn’t seen a dub since Yakuza 1 on PS2 and the Japanese voice acting is magnificent. Every NPC is voiced well and the main antagonists and import characters have distinct and memorable voices in their performances. Some cutscenes are fairly long and you really get sucked into the drama on screen thanks to the performances. My only complaint with the audio side of things is the lack of the original Japanese intro audio. The audio was changed for licensing restrictions.

The localisation in Yakuza 0 is really good. SEGA even translated the Shogi (mini-game) pieces. I appreciate the little things like this and how the controller light responds to your combat and when enemies spot you. Yakuza 0 is a perfect entry point into the franchise. It also helps that the game is priced nearly 40% lower than AAA games in India. It is an easy recommendation with the quality and amount of content offered.

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  34. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    Jewish Rabbis have publicly announced that their Messiah will be revealed in the coming years who will be a leader and spiritual guide to all nations, gathering all religions under the worship of one God.

    Biblical prophecy tells us that this Jewish Messiah who will take the stage will be the antichrist “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). For a time he will bring about a false peace, but “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it. Revelation 13:11-18 tells us that a false prophet will arise on the world scene doing miracles before men, deceiving them to receive this Mark. Do not be deceived! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    Visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see proof for these things and why the Bible truly is the word of God!

    If you haven’t already, it is time to seek God with all your heart. Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. He wants to have a relationship with you and redeem you from your sins. Turn to Him and repent while there is still hope! This is forever…God bless!

    “EITHER HUMAN INTELLIGENCE ULTIMATELY OWES ITS ORIGIN TO MINDLESS MATTER OR THERE IS A CREATOR…” – JOHN LENNOX

    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the website listed below with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus came to pay a debt that we could not; to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. For sin is the transgression of the law. We must walk in the Spirit so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our own desires that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness through faith (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow the rituals and traditions of man but to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

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