I was skimming through Xbox Gamepass and saw that all of the Yakuza games were on display for me to play. While I was looking at what would be the best game, I came across another game the same studio created called, Judgement. And My God I was blown away. Instead of being in the Yakuza, I was them every time I turned the corner in the dangerous city of Kamurocho.
Our protagonist, Yagami, was a legendary lawyer who got a killer off for murder only to have that same convicted man be arrested just days later for murdering his girlfriend and lighting their place on fire. A lot to take in I know. Yagami would then become a detective and open his own agency, recruiting his long-time friend and ex-Yakuza member, Kaito. While you play as Yagami, you investigate the harsh parts of Kamurocho to solve a series of murders whose victim’s eyes are gouged out.
It’s an amazing story and I have some things I want to praise...annnd some things I want to complain about.
Praise: The Story
I loved the story overall. There were so many twists and turns the more you found out about the victims who were murdered. The game is very good at hiding who is good, who is evil, and who is an ally. On top of that, Yagami is not only dealing with murders but is making an enemy out of every Yakuza member that resides in the city which makes the stakes even higher. You also build a connection with multiple characters as Yagami was raised by one of the bigger gangs known as the Matsugane Family. Overall, the story delves so deep that it broke a lot of my expectations as a player and had me rooting to kick ass.
Complain: Tailing Missions
Tailing missions were probably my biggest pet peeve throughout the game. It can be slow, tedious, and overall boring. I got too excited whenever I finished one of those missions as they can carry on for more than 15 minutes. This is made even more irritating when the character you follow just hangs around before they finally move along. Overall, I prayed for it to be over every time and was slouching in my chair with complete boredom.
Praise: The Fighting
The fighting was so very cathartic at times. Every boss battle felt so hyped to me and you could do some ridiculous moves such as beating yakuza members while they’re down or with different objects. These objects ranged from bikes, furniture, to even traffic cones! The ridiculousness of it all had me laughing and enjoying every punch. And if that wasn’t fun then fighting with your partners Kaito and Sugiura were even more enticing. These NPCs would actually deal a great amount of damage to enemies versus sticking more to the sidelines like other games. On top of that, there were many special moves that you could do by yourself, or with Kaito and the others that were just overall awesome and even cinematic at times.
Complain: Side Cases
While I did enjoy playing the game as a whole, some parts could have been cut out and side cases were unfortunately one of them. The game took me over 20 hours to beat and a good portion of that was thanks to side cases that you couldn’t skip. Don’t get me wrong, some side cases were fun and something I would have most likely missed out on if I didn’t pay more attention. But these side stories could take away the player’s attention at the time. You would be very hot on the main case and right when you thought you were going to fin more, you’re then forced to push aside to find someone’s toupe (no I’m not kidding). Overall, it would have been better to keep it on the side.
Praise: The Characters
This goes pretty well without saying, but the characters are so endearing. Yagami and Kaito’s friendship is heartwarming and very comedic at times. The people you become suspicious about are even more malicious than you would have realized. When the moment of truth comes, the emotion behind those scenes is so well done. So kudos to the actors who portrayed these characters as I believe they succeeded. There was never a time where I felt like the characters were flat or phoning it in. There were parts where I even cried because it was acted so well.
Complaints: Game Length
I know I mentioned this earlier, but I’m not kidding when I say that this game was very long. Not even kidding, near the end of the game you will get a warning from the game itself say that the next few chapters are going to be very long and that you should get whatever you want done now because you are not coming back to it for some time. I tried to stream the end of the game because I was at the very cusp of the final chapter… and boy did I severely underestimate how long it would take. It took me six-plus hours to end it. So if you commit, you’ve been warned.
Overall, I really do recommend this game. It was truly enjoyable and didn’t leave a bitter taste in my mouth. The sequel Lost Judgement is out now so feel free to check it out as well!