Yakuza 6: The Song of Life | Review

Posted on April 23, 2018 by Broken Joysticks

In addition, there are the side stories, which are small events around the towns that give modest rewards of their own, but mostly help lighten the tone of the game. Some may unlock minigames, such as the spearfishing side story in Onomichi, but generally they’re one-offs. The cat café alluded to earlier is one such story and provides a heartwarming look at the sort of person that Kiryu is underneath the chiseled exterior. They also often serve to introduce Kiryu himself to modern concepts such as drones and phone scammers, problems which he solves in the only way he knows – hitting large men who don’t realize what they’ve gotten themselves into very hard. 

The interconnected world of 2016 has all sorts of new things for Kiryu, including yet another form of side content, the random events he can discover through the cellphone app Troublr! Through notifications on his phone, our protagonist can find more people to punch, or just folks who are in a jam and need something picked up from the store before it’s too late. These again provide experience and while the number of Troublr notifications can get annoying, generally they aren’t too difficult to handle once you learn your way around the city. 

With so much to do it can be a little overwhelming despite the game’s relatively linear nature. If you have a completionist’s compulsion, you may find yourself getting hung up looking around alleys and corners for more side stories or items to find, players for your baseball team, or members to add to your clan of young ruffians that fight against IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and his gang called JUSTIS. 

Besides the major flaws with its treatment of women, and the possibility of being overwhelming, there are a few minor nitpicks to make. Sometimes combat can occur in situations where it’s easy to get stuck for a few moments without a way to defend yourself, and that can be souring. There are QTE prompts as well, and they can be a bit on the fast side. These never seemed to be a major bother to me personally, but they can make the experience less satisfying overall. 

And overall the experience of Yakuza 6 is a satisfying one. Its combat and narrative are outstanding, and there is enough side content to fill a whole additional game. There’s even a baseball management and a mini-RTS game just added in to the mix to engage with as little or as much as you want. You can undertake a personal training side mission to get “big gains” (not that Kiryu needs it), though you need some knowledge of Japanese cuisine to make sure you eat the recommended foods during each training session. 

Yakuza 6 is so far one of my favourite games of 2018, and fans of the series should absolutely play The Song of Haruto’s Grand-Dad. There are enough flashbacks and reminders given that people who aren’t familiar with Yakuza as a whole can still play and have a great time with the game. The content will, understandably, put some people off, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. I highly recommend the game for those who aren’t put off, as it’s another stellar entry into an already stellar series. 

Jeb Wrench has a lot of prior experience with the Yakuza series – you can find their review of 2017’s Yakuza: Kiwami right here. Jeb can also be found on The DLC Podcast. SEGA provided a digital review code for Yakuza 6: The Song of Life prior to the game’s release for our consideration. This code is valued at $59.99 USD.

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