HIGH Some of the best writing and character work in video games, ever.
LOW The technical side could really use a revamp.
WTF I have to go out and aimlessly "enjoy the city" again?!?
Haven't had a whole heck of a lot of time to game this week, but what little time I did have was devoted to Sega's Yakuza 2.
This guy is one seriously badass motherf*cker
I'm not going to talk a lot about it right now because I feel an ethical responsibility to review it and I want to save some ammo for that future piece, but I will say that I think it's great. For those who don't know, the game is basically a real-time brawler with some light RPG elements bound together by an extremely well-written crime drama storyline — and in this case, i do mean well-written. It's not a parody or a caricature of a story twisted around and made to fit all sorts of absurdly contrived game nonsense… it's a real, honest-to-goodness, straight-up serious crime drama.
Simply put, the game is fantastically entertaining. I had doubts as to whether or not a brawler could keep my interest for any length of time, but Yakuza not only went the distance, it had me coming back post-completion and smacking down fools after the credits rolled—something I rarely ever feel compelled to do.
There are three conventions that a game for the Wii ought to follow. First, it shouldn't be a rushed port from another system with a new control scheme shoehorned in for its own sake. Second, it ought to present a new method of gameplay, and have it work. Third, and most importantly, it shouldn't hurt.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Cartoon Violence
In this age of cynical disillusionment, the Yakuza is perhaps the only international crime organization that North Americans can still look on with any kind of nostalgia. The once mysterious tongs are now thought of as little more than drug running slave traffickers. The Mafia’s suave counterculture image replaced by balding men with four fourth-grade educations clad in track suits, partially because they're too fat to wear anything else and but mostly because they just don't care about their personal appearance.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Violence, Strong Language, Alcohol use
To be fair, once the initial disappointment dissipates, Shining Force Neo is a damn good game—it's just hard for an old guy like me to get past the whole Shining Force not being a strategy RPG thing. Why call it Shining Force? Why must Sega continually toy with my emotions? What's next? A Nights RPG? A Phantasy Star card battle game…oh, wait, they actually did that. My bad.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes
F-Zero GX is a game that only my father could love. No, the man has never played a videogame in his life (except for one extremely brief and humiliating game of Ms. Pac-man in the entrance to a K-mart many years ago), but F-Zero GX would probably appeal to him nonetheless.