Yakuza 0 is the first attempt at a western release on the prequel to the beloved and critically acclaimed Yakuza series from the PS2. Not only does the game offer a nice introduction to the series long-runner good guys Kazuma Kiryu & Goro Majima, but it fleshes together an experience that is filled to the brim with great writing, witty humor, activities to complete and one of the best RPG games of the year.
For starters, Yakuza 0 isn't your average fighter/RPG. You play as either of 2 protagonists, switching from Kiryu to Majima. As you progress through the games intricate story, you will slowly gain fame and make your mark on the world that is 1980's Tokyo, Japan. You are most of the time free to explore the 2 towns of Kamurocho (Kiryu's town) and Sotenbori (Goro's town) without warrant. The story prevents you from doing some things early on but as you begin to progress towards the climax, more and more becomes available.
The activities alone would make a huge existence as a game world. You can do a wide number of normal activities such as go to a batting center, dance battle in a disco arena, gamble in a casino, bowl with a friend, play darts, shoot pool, play shogi, I mean the list goes on and on. Not only are these activities each presented in their own unique format but they for the most part live up to the real life standards. You of course will mostly have to pay for leisure activities, but with the huge reward system this game has to offer, you have much more to gain than lose.
The combat system is a fresh take on the RPG/fighter genre and costs money or yen to further develop. You will unlock different fighting stances with their own list of abilities and moves for each character. As you progress, you will unlock more and more powerful game changing abilities, some allowing you more health while others serve a more distinct purpose. It can be expensive but well worth the investment. Its never been any more fun to beat ass up and down the sidewalk than in Yakuza 0.
Bringing more RPG elements to the table than ever before, Yakuza 0 also has some interesting and amusing Sub-Stories that will task players with completing them all, and all offer up some nice rewards that can make your life much easier than intended. Not only is it fun to do each of these sub quests, but the game's presentation on completion and completing all tasks is way too addictive and will have the most role playing adventurer of all eager for more even after its finished.
The bottom line is this- yakuza 0 is the perfect entry point into the series for any, newcomers or veterans, and offers plenty of game play time and activities that are sure to please any and all RPG/fighter fans. Sega blew the lid off the franchise with this one and I cannot wait to see how Yakuza Kiwami, the next mainline Yakuza remaster title, is gonna pan out!!