Lost Judgment Review – total action hampered by misjudged story • Eurogamer.net

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15 years in and the streets of Kamurocho and beyond have hosted so many different systems and stories. If Yakuza Like a Dragon’s new turn-based RPG direction last year proved anything, it was how flexible this series can be and how drastic changes can inject a new focus into it all. .

After a first entry that sometimes struggled to find its own place in the series, the Judgment spin-off returns, this time with a greater sense of purpose. With the main series seemingly remaining on its turn-based RPG path, Lost Judgment alone carries the torch of the action, its backbone provided by grueling real-time combat, complemented by a dazzling array of ever-expanding side activities. from the Serie.

And at this point in the show’s lifespan, it’s really an expansive thing. If you judge an open world game by its distractions and it’s easily the best of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, it’s its take on Kamurocho and the Isezaki Ijincho packed with stuff to do. Like Yakuza: Like a dragon before him, it’s the sprawling hustle and bustle of the Yokohama neighborhood that serves as the predominant backdrop, and again, it’s an unrivaled element of digital tourism – something that feels more needed. than ever.

It’s possible to waste entire evenings wandering around the city, walking into late-night bars for a drink or two before hitting the streets for a bite or two with the delinquents patrolling the area, and then going into a Yoshinoya for a quick bowl of beef. Before heading home, why not walk through the sliding doors of the local arcade, where you’ll find convincingly yellowed candy cabinets housing Model 2 classics like Fighting Vipers, knickknacks like Sonic the Fighters, or Jewels. neglected like Motor Raid. There’s even the all-new Hama of the Dead, a schlocky shooter that’s substantial and slick enough to sit alongside existing entries in Sega’s beloved light gun series. Go home and experience a Master System with the built-in title Alex Kidd, or you can pick up the satisfying action puzzle game Penguin Land.

Or you might just want to play Lost Judgment itself. Takayuki Yagami returns in the once again voiced lead role in the likeness of Takuya Kimura, and once again plays a private investigator dancing on the fringes of law, order and enforcement. Perhaps the most relevant to the player, he is quite handy with his fists, and like previous Yakuza games before this, this can be a good brawler, Kimura has equipped this time with a third fighting style that gives the overrated combat even more flexibility with its counters and throws.

There’s even a fourth style of fighting – sort of – through a boxing minigame that offers its own leveling path and just another way to spend half a dozen hours or so. It’s one of the many new, deep and engaging distractions offered in School Stories, new side cases featured in the Seyiro School that are at the heart of Kimura’s investigation. These are rich and bountiful side missions, even though it is in this school – and in the central investigation of Lost Judgment – that things start to unfold.

While extracurricular activities and real-time combat are familiar to former Yakuzas, Kimura’s profession as a private investigator again defines much of the heart of Lost Judgment, and not always for the better. Stealth and tail missions are making a comeback, and while they’re not that common and have had a nip here and there, they still end up falling completely flat, while the isolated detective scenes are nothing short of nothing. more than stupid object hunts. Some add-ons work better than others – there’s a cute shiba inu that can lead you to cases, and to round up the Yokohama sprawl, there’s now a skateboard Kimura can pull out, Poppins-style, out of its back pocket – but in a game where so many elements are familiar from previous entries, it’s disappointing that the new stuff isn’t all of that.

This is another hallmark of Lost Judgment – the darker themes that are placed as the cornerstone of this spin-off’s identity – which are perhaps its biggest failure. It’s a story of sexual assault, suicide and bullying that revolves around a school where much of your investigation takes place. Indeed, if you’ve been craving that Bully remake, well here it is – only this time it’s from the perspective of a 40-year-old sniffing around the school door.

This goofy combo is sometimes played for laughs, until those darker moments that touch upon suicide and sexual assault – often through lingering, looping shots that seem to revel a little too much in the horror it all can do. it all looks like nothing more than a ghoulish window dressing. Video games can and should solve serious problems – I’m just not sure video game with the skateboard sleuth who spends his free time getting drunk, playing arcade games and hunting down thieves. underwear is one that juggles the themes of suicide, bullying and sexual assault. Considering the shift from mad comedy to melodrama and the trial and error that ensued, I’m pretty sure Lost Judgment isn’t that game.

It’s a bit of a shame, because just as often Lost Judgment is a brilliant, generous and extremely entertaining game. Maybe that’s why this friction squeals – I find it hard to live the thrill of skateboarding around town, crushing railings and only stopping to circle around crowds of people. ‘drunks before dropping a few hundred yen on Sonic the Fighters with the gravity that’s involved elsewhere, and if ever one the game didn’t need a dark, austere tale to drag it out, it’s this absurd carnival of one thing.

Away from the stilted melodrama, Lost Judgment still has that special spark – there are cheesy stories in the used game market, missing game directors, held together by bungee fights and skateboarding with a soundtrack that’ll make you feel like it. lets know that Jet Set Radio misses RGG as much as anyone else. And it’s still a fascinating series, because video games are close to the golden age of studio cinema – the same sets being pieced together with different actors, different characters, and directors, and then different mechanics, genres and all those other little details. stupid people who make a video game. Like its predecessors, Lost Judgment offers a sense of place and atmosphere that begs to get drunk – as well as a story that too often leaves an unpleasant taste.


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