25 May 2010 | whatdoes1know
Lone Yakuza and 10 billion Yen Cub.
I am plowing through my second run of the fourth installment of this franchise, yet the first game will always hold a dear place in my heart. This is not Grand Theft Auto. The morality of the protagonist is impeccable, and the worst you could do is refuse to help in a side mission. You play a man who took the fall for his best friend and spent ten years in prison, and since you supposedly killed your own boss, every yakuza hates you. This is unfortunately the most irritating aspect of the first title. Every encounter-able character in the street will pick a fight with you (a problem addressed in the sequels). Go to a convenience store to buy that household item which will turn your weapon into something more, and you'll get into two fights along the way. Try to make your way back to a save point and you'll have to beat the crap out of three new sets of punks. What saves this from becoming entirely unbearable is that your set of moves develops as you smash more faces to the ground, and you rarely run out of environmental weapons or the chance to pull a cinematic special move: you seldom get bored of beating people up. While you're not beating people up, you're running from place to place in town, and unfortunately, this second aspect is equally mortally flawed by slow loads--as many load times as street corners, and space distorting camera angles which will make you run into a street (after a prolonged load time hiccup) and back where you came from (meaning another prolonged load time to put you back where you started) by simply holding the directional stick in the same direction because the fixed camera angle will have done an unexpected 180 on you.
Those are the only two things I can complain about the game, which I still think deserves its 10. Once you beat it, get hold of the sequel which is twice as long and takes place in Osaka half the time. Beat that and buy a Playstation 3 to play the third game (not the swashbuckling spin off), which is half set in Okinawa. The fourth game is entirely set in the original city, with the addition of rooftops and underground levels. I love the series, and every installment. Since the playstation 3 games did away with the fixed camera, I doubt I'll be playing this game again, but I still give it a 10 for hooking me in so bad I did all of the above.