Once again, it takes another jump forward in all the right places.
As you've probably guessed, this game is good -amazing infact- it takes everything that made the last game so sucessful and gives you more.
Of course, those that weren't fond of the game mechanics of the series won't be converted here either. But for those that love it, there is just so much more to take from this game.
The most noticable feature of this game is that you don't just play as Kazuma Kiryu, no, you play as 3 other protagonists. Most games that try to introduce new playable characters fail miserebly; even legendary games series like Metal Gear Solid and Tomb Raider have failed to get a good reception from a new protagonist. Fear not though, as Sega have cracked it, in a big way. I was a little anxious to play as the other characters, due to kazuma being such a likable character threw-out the other 3 games, but every single character is very charismatic; maybe even more so. They all have there own gripping storylines, that will have you itching to find out what happens next. Not only that, but their fighting styles are drastically different from each other; Sejima for instance moves like a tank, big, heavy punches, that require you to work out a completely new tactic to how you would go about fighting with Kazuma.
Gameplay wise, well as I said, if your not a fan of the series, there isn't alot to find here this time round either. But in my eyes -and other fans- if it isn't broke, don't fix it. So instead of messing with what they have, they've added stuff on top. One thing I have always loved is that after 4 games, the city hasn't changed; the layout is still exactly the same. It gives it that nostalgic feeling. But the twist is that with every new game that comes out you can explore more.
During the story you'll come across more varied missions, all different depending on the character you are. This time round there is insane amounts to explore: they've added underground shopping areas, sewers and even round on top of rooftops. The city is bigger and better than it's been before.
Combat has been given even more cool cinematic, bone crunching moves, and the well recieved 'revelation' photo taking moves are back and as hilarious as ever.
Graphics: Absolutely stunnig. Purched amoung the other top dogs of eye candy. 9.5
Sound: Another great soundtrack, and while voice-acting is in Japanese, it's still bloody good. 9
Gameplay: Bigger and better in everyway. Nuff said. 9.5
Sh*te Box: Rarely, but some of the little missions can be a chore. That you can't play as Kazuma till you've played as the other 3 characters. :(
Overall: Another sucess! Yakuza is well known for their highly engrossing storylines, and this one is no exception. So with that behind it's belt, it's bigger map, deeper missions and side-missions and 4 amazingly charismatic protagonists, it's hard not to give this anything less than a 9.5. Essential and a contender for GOTY in my book.