Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Mar 022020

So in the middle of the romance month, I also finished another game: Yakuza Kiwami 2!

I started it around Christmas, because Yakuza technically counts as a Christmas game, sort of, and finished it last month. Like Kiwami, which is a remake of the original Yakuza, Kiwami 2 is a remake of Yakuza 2 and follows Kiryu shortly after the events of the first game.

When I played Kiwami, I found the side content to be disappointing, but it’s in top form again in Kiwami 2.

A lot of the substories are pretty funny, there are fun mini-games, and it features the return of cabaret club management, and also a tower-defense-style activity that’s worth it for its theme song if nothing else. The game runs on the new engine like Judgment did, and it’s pretty enjoyable to play.

(The cabaret club story is also basically a sequel to Yakuza 0’s cabaret club story, which is awesome.)

Now, I liked the story a lot. It’s not as good as the story in Yakuza 0 or Judgment, but it’s still pretty good, dealing with the trouble that arises when Ryuji Goda of the Omi Alliance begins trying to start a war with the Tojo Clan, as well as a sinister plot linked to events from many years earlier. There are some great new characters introduced here, although I never liked Sayama quite as much as I wanted to.

The returning characters are also great, of course, and in particular I found Majima to be much more lovable than he was in Kiwami.

There are some things I didn’t enjoy, however. In addition to some aspects of Sayama’s character not coming across well, I also disliked certain parts of the ending. One twist, while I liked it in the context of the scene, raised a lot of questions after for me after-the-fact, and a few of Kiryu’s decisions annoyed me.

Click for major Yakuza Kiwami 2 spoilers
Since Terada defused the bomb before the confrontation, it makes me question just what he was trying to do in that scene… lure out Takashima? It feels odd in retrospect, like it was set up more for the sake of the twist than anything else.

But what really bugged me was Kiryu’s decision to fight Ryuji again instead of escaping the building while they still had time… and then him and Sayama talking about how they let Haruka down but she’d understand.

Ah yes, the little girl is smart, so she’ll understand why her father-figure is going to die because he chose to fight someone instead of escaping while he could. Of course. Even if he suspected he could trust Terada, Sayama still seemed too casual about how Haruka would react.

That whole conversation just bothered me.

Kiwami 2 also has a new short section starring Majima, but the Majima Saga is… kind of disappointing. It doesn’t have substories or leveling, and Majima only has two heat moves, so there’s not much to it in terms of gameplay. The story starts out interesting, but ends up feeling more like an excuse plot to put Majima in position for some Yakuza 0 closure.

That aspect is handled well, though, so I was happy I played it.

Anyway, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is an epic game overall. It had a few disappointments at the end, but not enough to overshadow how much fun the rest of the game is.

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  4 Responses to “Yakuza Kiwami 2 is Both Epic and Flawed”

  1. And now that romance month is done, you get to go back to what you truly love… Yakuza games!

  2. […] referenced Yakuza being a Christmas series in my Yakuza Kiwami 2 review earlier this year, and now that the holiday season is upon us again, let’s take a closer […]

  3. […] the Ryuji spin-off is real, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I loved Yakuza Kiwami 2 and thought Ryuji was a pretty cool character, so the idea of a Ryuji game is neat. I’ve also […]

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