Excerpt: Yakuza 4 aims for realism almost the whole way through, which often makes it come across as a sterile experience. It fails to impress visually, but given the gameplay experience, I'm not sure the developers were really trying for that. This game didn't exactly fall out of the ugly tree or anything; it just doesn't sport a creative look.
Excerpt: SEGA’s Yakuza series is one that has changed very little since the release of the first game back in 2005. Even the stories of the previous two games shared similarities with the original: big hearted ex-Yakuza Kazuma Kiryu is constantly being dragged back into the criminal underworld that he thought he had left behind. Yakuza 4 remains very much a part of the series, although there are some significant changes, making this the freshest game in the series yet.
Excerpt: Yakuza 4 is a PlayStation 3 exclusive that continues the story established by the first three Yakuza titles. Unique and massive, it’s a game that draws you in with its compelling depiction of a sprawling pleasure district in Toyko, Japan. The story is full of pathos and melodrama like its predecessors, but this time round it’s told in a much more clever and interesting way thanks to the intertwining narratives of the game’s four playable protagonists.
Excerpt: Based in the fictional city of Kamurocho, Yakuza 4 returns gamers to the intricate criminal underworld of Japan as gamers take control of four playable characters in this action adventure that is reminiscent of the previous Yakuza game and that of Shenmue! The story of Yakuza 4 takes place almost one year after the events of Yakuza 3 where the leader of the Tojo Clan is found dead.
Excerpt: The Yakuza series may just be the most ambitious and successful thing coming out of Sega these days. The fourth installment returns to the colorful den of vice known as the Kamurocho district, and the criminal drama is dialed-up to the same over-the-top level as its sensational street violence. Does it decisively dominate its turf, or is the series lingering too long in familiar territory?
Summary: Yakuza 4 is the thinking man's brawler. Grab a drink, preferably in a very large glass, settle down and immerse yourself in the violent neon-lit streets of Kamurocho. Give it a chance and you'll find it hard to put down.
Pros: The engrossing storyline and brilliant character building, The chance to play as four different characters, which adds combat variety and replay value, The immersive game world that charms with its odd side-quests, mini-games and brutal combat.
Cons: The familiar backdrop of Kamurocho is starting to look a little stale, Lots of combat animations taken straight from Yakuza 3