Official Score - 90%
If you haven't gotten into the Yakuza series, I don't know what you are waiting for. Yakuza Kiwami 2 adds new features and perfects old ones, making it one of the most exciting games on the market today.
After the success of Yakuza Kiwami, it was only a matter of time before the Dragon returned in Yakuza Kiwami 2. After an onslaught of Yakuza games, is it worth going through Yakuza Kiwami 2? Check out our review and find out what we thought.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review
After the events of the original Yakuza, Kazuma Kiryu has been looking over Haruka after her mother died. He has been trying to live a normal life away from all the Yakuza business, but this is tossed out the window when the Fifth Chairman is killed while chatting with him. The death of the Fifth Chairman brings Kazuma back into the Tojo Clan, as he attempts to prevent an all-out war between the Tojo and Omi factions. To do this, he needs to find Daigo Dojima and convince him to take his rightful spot within the Tojo Clan.
Admittedly the story might not be enough to keep people playing long term, but Yakuza has never really been about the main story. Rather, it has always been more about the characters, the side content, and the over-the-top combat. I thought the last game was the peak, but they somehow managed to get even more insane with the fighting in Kiwami 2. Battling is like a typical brawler where you are one against many, except for boss fights. However, in Yakuza, you can use the environment and various weapons to destroy your opponents. Bats, bikes, guns, drug syringes, grenades, hotplates, and dozens of other random items can be used to brutalize your victims.
Even just roaming the streets of Kamurocho you will get into battles with thugs and other Yakuza. I’d say on an average run through you will fight 300+ times. That might sound like a bit much, but the combat is so good you won’t even notice. There is weight behind your attacks, and there are enough weapons to keep things fresh for a long while. There are now charge attacks as well; you can charge up a basic attack or kick to make it even more powerful. The kick attack is fantastic; you just run an do a dropkick and follow it up with an axe kick. Even in the deeper chapters, I found myself saying “wow” to some of the finishers I was pulling off.
When you are ready to take a break from all the frantic fighting, you can take part in one of the many side activities in the game. The Sega Arcade has Virtua Fighter 2, On Rush 2, a crane game, and darts. Karaoke returns, and this time you can sing with Majima if you want to put yourself through that. Baseball and golf can eat up hours of your time if you plan to beat all the challenges there. Underground gambling, arena fights, and a toilet pissing game are also available. These aren’t even the main mini-games in Kiwami 2 either. The Clan Creator, new Bouncer missions, and the Cabaret Club are almost full games within themselves.
The Clan Creator from Yakuza 6 returns, but this time Majima is running it from a construction site. You recruit employees and then set them up to defend Majima’s construction equipment from waves of enemies. The Cabaret Club comes back from Yakuza 0, and this time Kiryu is running things. There are four brackets to beat and a couple of dozen hostesses to recruit. For Bouncer missions, players are warped to a specific spot on a map and must fight their way to a boss. If you beat the boss in the allotted time, you can then return for a reward. Completionists beware though; you will easily put in over 100 hours to get all of this done.
Even with all of this content, you will still have plenty of side quests to pursue. Some of these consist of beating up guys and nothing more. However, some of the side quests in Yakuza Kiwami 2 are among some of the best in the series. I never beat the second game before this, so I have no idea how many of these made the transition and how many are new. There is one where you do various poses such as the cute maid pose and the sumo pose, only to fight a beefcake in a Speedo. Another one has you doing a mission for a high classes businessmen, only to complete it and find out they like to dress up as babies in their spare time. These types of quests have always been the high point of the Yakuza series, and they do not disappoint in Kiwami 2.
I generally like to nitpick things towards the end, but I don’t have much to complain about here. I guess the biggest thing is the number of street fights you get into. It’d be nice if you could round up two groups at a time and deal with them together. Sometimes you finish a fight while another group is waiting to attack you right after. That being said I love grabbing a bike and slamming it into five thugs who think they stand a chance against the Dragon.
If you haven’t gotten into the Yakuza series, I don’t know what you are waiting for. Yakuza Kiwami 2 adds new features and perfects old ones, making it one of the most exciting games on the market today.