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Lost Judgment

Posted: Wed May 18, 2022 8:04 am
by Diadu
So I finally got around to playing it and I have mixed feelings about it. The game itself is just like Judgment or other, pre-7, Yakuza games so it isn't all bad obviously. I'm not going to dive into spoilers, otherwise Elec might ooga booga around.

The new combat styles Snake and Boxing are pretty cool and add some new variety to combat. Snake is cool because it adds autograbs that you can use to deal with those auto block enemies. Boxing is fairly straight forward but is related to the boxing school story - meaning if you don't unlock the moves in that story, the boxing combat style will remain crippled. The school stories add some new things for you to do in the game like skateboarding or having road rash like motorcycle battles. And the dog and new gadgets in general expand on your detective work. Another nice thing is that these emergency missions are no more and that mortal wounds - the thing that reduced your max HP - are a thing of the past and no longer exist.

Unfortunately, the game isn't all rainbow and sunshine otherwise it wouldn't be Sega.

Starting with combat, while they added these cool new styles, there's still a glaring flaw in the system - Enemies are completely immune to your grabs while they are attacking but you on the other hand are open for grabs no matter what you're doing and this can make the Snake style with auto grabs a bit annoying to use.

Tutorial pop ups everywhere. I get that they want to teach new players the ropes but without offering oldtimers the option to turn these things off, they're often just interrupting your game especially when they try to teach you things that you have already picked up earlier in the game like skateboarding.

Stop & Go approach. I'm in chapter 6 now and the game is still doing this. The game won't really leave you to your devices for a long time. So you do the MSQ but then the game throws the School Stories in your face so you do these but then they just stop because you need progress in the MSQ so you do 2 minutes of MSQ and then get the next thing thrown at you with it's own side story but then you can't finish that either because it requires MSQ progression so you do some MSQ again only to be interrupted by some other thing again and this keeps happening. Basically, the game never really lets you enjoy something to the fullest by constantly throwing another distraction your way which really disrupts the flow of the entire story.

I'd say it's still a good game but it is very "all over the place" which is really surprising because it wasn't this bad in previous titles.

Re: Lost Judgment

Posted: Fri May 20, 2022 12:56 pm
by Diadu
I finished the game last night and I guess I'll wrap things up.

What bugged me the most was already present in the first game
which is that Judgment tries too hard to avoid any mention of the events or characters from the Yakuza franchise. In the first game it wasn't that much of a bad thing - most of the events in the Yakuza games up to 6 were pretty much on the down low. Yakuza 7 was a bit different in that regard, Ichiban and his friends were pretty "public" in 7 so it's really weird that the events aren't mentioned at all and out of all the characters, only Zhao receives a short non speaking role. I just found that pretty weird.
The story in itself is fairly nice but halfway through it you get the feeling that
the big twist was just tacked on because they realized that this is part of the Yakuza franchise and thus they need a quick twist.
but other than that it was nice enough. I still think the first story was a lot better and more spectacular, additionally, as previously mentioned, the game is bogged down by a weird stop&go approach. At times the game also feels like it's just wasting your time by sending you to places for no real reason. One example would be
>Return to the Detective Agency
>Arrive, get phone call with story
>Go to new place

Another nice example is
>"Oh I need some time to prepare"
>Go outside and take a few steps
>"Hey I'm calling to tell you I'm ready"

And that the game sends you to these filler locations happens quite frequently and it does start to stand out.

I should also specify those mortal attacks. While they no longer reduce your maximum HP, they are still in the game and deal pretty big damage. The game gives you the option to dodge and counter them. Don't worry, enemies won't spam these attacks - they use them pretty sparingly but it does get problematic when you are fighting multiple boss-like enemies at once. Another very annoying problem with these attacks is that enemies can't be killed while they perform them. In general I have to say the combat feels a lot more loose this time around - enemies that attack you are immune to grabs, targeting is sometimes off and I think the Dragon Engine just isn't meant to work with Beast Mode (It's one of Kaito's fighting styles) or just not ready for it as Kaito often fails to pick up a weapon and just flails his fists around instead.

The VR game is back as well but this time around you are competing against CPU opponents. I didn't really like this mini game in the first game so I won't really be doing a whole lot with it this time either.