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Hero-of-Time

Yakuza 7 (PS4 2020)

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I reached the point of no return this afternoon but haven't bothered to fight the last boss yet. I instead went and done a few side missions and done some gear and level grinding. Everyone is kitted out with the Dragon helmet, chest armour and boots, as well as being level 70. Had a quick look online and people say that gear is more than good enough for the last fight.

I'm tempted to do a bit more level grinding just to make sure I bring home the win. I don't want to get through the dungeon only to get stuck at the end.

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Spent the past hour or so grinding what is the equivalent of Metal Slimes. Unlike Dragon Quest, these enemies spawn at the same place which makes farming exp quite easy. I've now got my party up to level 81. 

It's getting late but I may have a crack at the final dungeon/last boss. Hopefully my level is more than enough to blitz through the area, especially as I'm well stocked up with healing and MP restoring items.

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This has to have been a FFVII reference.

Spoiler

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They knew exactly what they were doing. :D 

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It is done.

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It's fitting that the first game I completed in 2021 was this. The first game I finished on my PS4 in 2020 was Yakuza Kiwami 2. Crazy to think that I ploughed through the rest of them (3-7) in November and December.

My grinding turned out to be a massive payoff. I stormed through the final area with little to no resistance. The final fight was a pushover as well. I had over 1000HP and the damage that could be done to me at any one time was 25. I didn't have to heal once. Love it when a plan comes together. This is exactly how I like to play my JRPGs.

Fantastic and emotional ending to what was an amazing game. I guess certain events that played out have set up a sequel. When's the next one arrive? :p 

I'll give my full thoughts on the game once I've had some sleep. :) 

 

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Some times when a developer decides to mix things up with an established franchise there is the danger of losing something and the change comes at the expense of what made the games popular in the first place. That isn't the case here. 

The change to a standard JRPG battle system has allowed the Yakuza team to go wild with their imaginations and come up with crazy set pieces, job types and special moves. Every special move that you pull off comes with a speculator and yet hilarious scene. It's these instances where development team are really allowed to shine. Because of this, I think this is the craziest/funniest Yakuza game they've made so far.

Bringing a new protagonist to a long running franchise is always a tricky thing. You want to try something new but you need to keep fans on board. Enter Ichiban. He's such a likeable guy. He has the same kind of morals that Kiryu has but I feel he has more personality. Where Kiryu is more reserved, Ichiban wears his emotions on his sleeve. He wins you over with his charm and humour almost instantly.

The story in this game is something pretty special and it saddens me that the game hasn't been talked about when it comes to dishing out awards for best narrative of the year. I imagine most outlets just dismissed this game. Having played both this and The Last of Us Part II, I can honestly say that this had by far the better narrative. What's on offer here is a story with many twists and turns, where dark subjects are touched upon but at the core of it all it still has heart and soul. Those last 2 things are what was sorely missing in TLOU2.

Playing both these games pretty much back to back, I couldn't help but make comparisons between the two of them.

Spoiler

There are sections in both of these games where you need to fight the protagonist from the previous game. When you take on Kiryu the whole fight is exciting and it's a great fight that ends in an honorable way.

In TLOU2 when you take on Ellie the whole thing is uncomfortable and I hated having to fight her. This was because I didn't care for who I was being forced to play as. This comes back to my earlier point, the switching of well loved protagonist can go either way and whilst it worked for Yakuza 7, for me, it didn't for TLOU2. 

With Yakuza 7, once again the development team show that they understand how to tell a compelling story with a variety of characters BUT also know how to wrap it all up in a package that is full of fantastic gameplay experiences. Karaoke, classic Sega games, karting, personality tests, cinema trips, bar conversations...the list goes on.

I do think that the Yakuza team are some of the best in the business. The fact that they've been to continue to put out these games, each with different stories and gameplay experiences, at a stupidly fast pace, but without a drop in quality, speaks volumes about their processes and passion for the series.

Hell of a team. Hell of game. Hell of a series.

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Very well said @Hero-of-Time:bowdown:

As for your comparison with TLOU2, I couldn’t agree more.

Not played that game myself, but already knew about what goes down in it. And yeah, to say that I have absolutely no desire to play it  would be a serious understatement! :hehe: 

Anyway, glad to see that the Yakuza series has another lifetime fan to help spread the word. :)

By the way, how did you do with the SEGA exams in Like a Dragon? :D I was actually struggling to pass before a Space Channel 5 question showed up. :laughing:

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Oh, I loved the Sega questions! Haha. I thought of you when I seen that question and then thought of @S.C.G when a Panzer Dragoon question popped up. :D 

Did you ever beat the true final dungeon? I had a look at what kind of level you need to be at in order to tackle it and it seems you need to have a bunch of job levels maxed out in order to survive. Doubt I'm going to bother with that. As much as I do love grinding, the methods in the game for levelling aren't fast enough to justify doing it. Apparently takes 20 hours or so of pure experience farming.

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38 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Oh, I loved the Sega questions! Haha. I thought of you when I seen that question and then thought of @S.C.G when a Panzer Dragoon question popped up. :D 

Yeah, I thought of @S.C.G and @Dcubed during my struggles with the SEGA test, and how they would no doubt ace it regardless of the question set! :D 

Spoiler

Still can’t believe the SEGA Pluto is real! :laughing: I learnt something at least. :heh:

43 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Did you ever beat the true final dungeon? I had a look at what kind of level you need to be at in order to tackle it and it seems you need to have a bunch of job levels maxed out in order to survive. Doubt I'm going to bother with that. As much as I do love grinding, the methods in the game for levelling aren't fast enough to justify doing it. Apparently takes 20 hours or so of pure experience farming.

I gave it a bloody good go. Managed to reach the final boss one time but towards the end of the fight he...

Spoiler

...attacks with the orbital laser and instantly wipes out your entire team! :shakehead Meanwhile the clones of the old Yakuza gang are assisting him and well, it’s just an absolute nightmare! :heh: 

Yeah, I don’t think I have the patience to level up anymore, or even just to redo the tower up to that point again, as that takes quite a while too.

Annoying though, because that’s the last achievement I needed for 100% completion. :hehe:
 

Oh BTW, here’s something for you to check out on the English dub if you can be bothered. Go to Survive bar and have a chat with the bartender there... ;)

Spoiler

He’s voiced by David Hayter in the English version. :D 

 

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Haha! Outstanding. Wonder why they got him for such a minor role?

You played the game in English, right? I was wondering...

Spoiler

What did Kiryu sound like?

 

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39 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Haha! Outstanding. Wonder why they got him for such a minor role?

You played the game in English, right? I was wondering...

  Spoilers (Hide contents)

What did Kiryu sound like?

 

Spoiler

Weird. Really weird. :heh: 

Not that it was a bad performance by the actor or anything, it’s just that I’m so accustomed to his Japanese voice from so many hours of listening to it. :hehe: It was the same for Majima and the rest of the returning characters.

Check out this comparison vid: 

They did such amazing work with the lip syncing in this game. :cool:

 

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Thanks for that.

Spoiler

Yeah, it's VERY weird. I think Majima's the worst. I don't think the English VA captures how crazy he is. Saejima's pretty much how I expected him to sound in English.

Agreed about the lip syncing. It's this kind of care and attention that helps draw you into the narrative of the game.

Strange that you mention this because I fired up Xenoblade Chronicles on the Switch this afternoon and instantly noticed how atrocious the lip syncing is on that game. It's like they didn't even bother to try. I knocked it off after 5 mins as it was doing my head in. 

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Do want to play this at some point.  The standard combat Yakuza games bore me to tears, but the RPG gameplay looks pretty solid here!

Will likely end up waiting for it to either come down in price or to hit Gamepass though.

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3 hours ago, Dcubed said:

The standard combat Yakuza games bore me to tears

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3 hours ago, Dcubed said:

but the RPG gameplay looks pretty solid here!

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47 minutes ago, RedShell said:

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Knowing what is in that trash can...his thumbs up always makes me laugh :laughing:

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Spent some more time with this yesterday and progressed through Chapter 5.

Here's something I hate. Locking bond-progression between characters...
I'm now at the point where I could have a drink talk with Nanba but nooooo, looks like it's locked behind story progression :blank: The consequence is: I tend to avoid anything that increases bonds...even fights...
Now...if somebody tells me the "bond value" (and no this is not something from the James Bond movies...) still increases behind the scenes and will be added after the lock has been lifted...great.
For now: I hate it :p

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3 hours ago, drahkon said:

Here's something I hate. Locking bond-progression between characters...
I'm now at the point where I could have a drink talk with Nanba but nooooo, looks like it's locked behind story progression :blank:
 

Seems like a weird thing to hate, but ok. :hehe: 

I reckon the flow of the game would be messed up if it was possible to keep increasing the bond without any restriction at all, as you could be unlocking the perks associated with higher bond levels too early.

Having the lock also gives you a reason to periodically return to the bar during the main story, which serves as a nice little break as well.

4 hours ago, drahkon said:

The consequence is: I tend to avoid anything that increases bonds...even fights...
Now...if somebody tells me the "bond value" (and no this is not something from the James Bond movies...) still increases behind the scenes and will be added after the lock has been lifted...great.
For now: I hate it :p

It doesn’t increase behind the scenes, but you definitely don’t need to be avoiding anything that increases the bond level, as there are more than enough ways to level it up.

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2 minutes ago, RedShell said:

I reckon the flow of the game would be messed up if it was possible to keep increasing the bond without any restriction at all, as you could be unlocking the perks associated with higher bond levels too early.

I understand the reason for it. I just don't like it... ::shrug:

3 minutes ago, RedShell said:

It doesn’t increase behind the scenes, but you definitely don’t need to be avoiding anything that increases the bond level, as there are more than enough ways to level it up.

That's good to know :)

Think I'm getting close to Chapter 5's end. Really hope the game opens up soon...

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Gotta say...Chapter 6's opening dungeon was boring. Ugly, boring, hallway after hallway and just tedious to go through.

Is this what to expect from Yakuza: Like a Dragon's dungeons? If so, then there's absolutely no way I'll go for the Platinum

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25 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Is this what to expect from Yakuza: Like a Dragon's dungeons? If so, then there's absolutely no way I'll go for the Platinum

Pretty much, yeah. But don’t worry, that wouldn’t be the only thing to stop you going for the platinum! :laughing:

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46 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Gotta say...Chapter 6's opening dungeon was boring. Ugly, boring, hallway after hallway and just tedious to go through.

Is this what to expect from Yakuza: Like a Dragon's dungeons? If so, then there's absolutely no way I'll go for the Platinum

Sadly, that is indeed the case but thankfully there are only a couple of dungeons in the whole game. I think they are just there if you want to grind/level up.

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1 hour ago, RedShell said:

Pretty much, yeah. But don’t worry, that wouldn’t be the only thing to stop you going for the platinum! :laughing:

Pff, you don't know me :p

1 hour ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Sadly, that is indeed the case but thankfully there are only a couple of dungeons in the whole game.

Good to know.

Anyways...the game's starting to really piss me off with the "There's no reason to go that way" messages. Just let me explore the town...if there's an area with high-level enemies, let me get beat up :nono:

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Sooo Chapter 7 is where things get kicked up a notch, it seems :D

After the absolute disappointment that was Chapter 6's dungeon I'm happy to report that I'm not angry at the game anymore.

Also: I'm spending a ridiculous amount of time with the Management side-quest...send help.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, drahkon said:

I'm spending a ridiculous amount of time with the Management side-quest...send help.

Once you build up the business and get the right people on the right property it pretty much does everything it's self. Just spend the money to de-stress the employees and you'll be making 3 mill at a time after every invester meeting. Just be sure to buy air time for TV ads when it's offered and sell the least profitable building and buy another with better proffit growth every time you advance in the stock market rankings.

Edited by martinist
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15 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Sooo Chapter 7 is where things get kicked up a notch, it seems :D

After the absolute disappointment that was Chapter 6's dungeon I'm happy to report that I'm not angry at the game anymore.

Also: I'm spending a ridiculous amount of time with the Management side-quest...send help.

Continue to do that because it's a fantastic way to earn money. I left it until I had beaten the game but I would have been better off if I played around with it earlier.

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