I’m Kinglink and it’s time for a look back at 2022, which is a bit of a disappointing year for me. No, not because of any specific release, though there were a lack of major titles, but I feel like I failed as a gamer.
2022 for me was a year that I played over 300 games, which is an insane amount, I covered both Game Pass for the PC and Humble Choice so there’s a massive amount of variety in the games I covered… and yet I only completed about 25 of those titles, almost all of them short affairs like Pupperazzi or games I finished without realizing it, like Peppa freaking Pig…
Normally I like to talk about the best game I played over the previous year or the game I most recommend, but with most of these games already in videos, I’ve talked about that. There’s a bigger issue for me. I struggle to call games I haven’t finished this year the best. Can I call a game the best of the year if I only played a quarter of it?
I’ve played everything that has been released in the Yakuza/Like a Dragon series from RGG Studio and enjoyed each one of them. There were amazing games like Yakuza 0, weaker games like Yakuza 3, and different games like Yakuza: Like A Dragon (the most confusingly named one).
Judgment isn’t technically part of that franchise, but it is from RGG Studio and is counted as a “Yakuza game” by most fans. It’s the same universe, same city, and has similar interactions with the same Tojo Clan, even if only a side story character crosses over between the two games. The engine the games run on and the style of the games is very similar.
In Judgment, you control Yagami, a former lawyer who is now a private investigator. A simple early case, which involves you trying to assist in the defense of a Tojo Yakuza Captain named Hamura, pulls Yagami into a series of events at the core of the story. Judgment’s main focus is telling a complex and intricate narrative that evolves throughout the story, though since unraveling is such a central part of the game, I’ll avoid mentioning much more about it.
I’m Kinglink And it’s time for the Game Pass July 2022 Review.
There are 19 titles this month to talk about, and I’ll cover most of them, you’ll understand when we get there. However, this is a month that has some titles in unique categories, and some titles for the younger gamers. Yeah, there’s Peppa Pig that the internet is making jokes about.
At the same time, I actually found some unique games, including the one on the screen, and this is absolutely a month for people who want something different than the typical big-budget shooter that is laden with microtransactions, though don’t worry though, we have one of those as well.
Like always, I played each game for a night and now I’m here to tell you what worked, and what you can skip. Let’s get started with…
I’m Kinglink and it’s time for the Humble Choice July 2021 Review.
Once again I’m back after playing each game for an hour, and I should be able to tell you who is going to enjoy each title, and who might want to skip them. It’s a strange month so let’s just get to the games and talk about them. Starting with a major franchise…
Yakuza 3 Remastered. If you’ve been a Humble Choice member for a while, you’ve probably already seen Yakuza 0, Kiwami, and Kiwami 2, which was the first trilogy of Yakuza games for the PC. It appears that trend is continuing, with Yakuza 3 Remastered this time.
I’m Kinglink and let’s talk about the Yakuza Franchise, particularly the Kiryu games, which I lovingly call the Kiryu Saga.
Though I’d like to explain this concept of this series quickly. The quick backstory is after finishing both Yakuza 3 and 4 I wanted to make a video but hadn’t finished the entire series, there was a lot to talk about such as the Tojo Clan’s place in the series, or Kamurocho’s evolution, but I couldn’t talk about the entire franchise.
I also often get questions about where to start the series on any of my Yakuza videos so I figured this might be a good topic.
So my time with Yakuza finally ends. After 8 games on PC, I’m caught up and ready for wherever the series will take the player in the future. While Judgement and now Lost Judgement is hopefully coming to PC, for the moment I’ve arrived at the temporary end of the journey.
And Yakuza 6 ends what I consider the main arc of the franchise, ending the games that star Kiryu Kazuma in one final epic tale, at least that was the hope.
Yakuza 6 is probably not what fans expected, and unfortunately may not be what fans want, but many issues with Yakuza 6 come from this potentially being the final time players take on the role of Kiryu Kazuma in the franchise.
Yakuza 5 takes what Yakuza 4 accomplished and amplifies everything in it to create a brand new experience that is bigger and better than before. It is the most jam-packed Yakuza title yet, the longest-running in the Kiryu saga, and contains the most playable characters.
But it also is a case where it becomes too much of a good thing that finally reaches the series’ breaking point, and causes some issues for the franchise.
Yakuza 5 has returning characters from the previous game with Kiryu, Saejima, and Akiyama, but adds in two new playable characters, an ex-baseball player, Tatsuo Shinada, and for the first time in the series, Haruka Sawamura, Kiryu’s adopted daughter. Each of these characters gets their own section of the story, with Haruka and Akiyama sharing their portion, giving players four distinct parts of the game, with a rather large finale at the end.
After three games in the series, Yakuza 4 had some big shoes to fill, now with the addition of two remakes in the form of Kiwami and Kiwami 2, and the prequel Yakuza 0, Yakuza 4’s task is bigger than ever.
Yakuza 4 delivers a different game than fans might expect, but also one that changes the formula of the series and creates something fresh.
Yakuza 4’s heavily on previous titles and creates issues for new players. I originally played Yakuza 4 in 2016 as my first entry into the series, and while the game was good at the time, without having already played the three previous titles the game talked about many characters who got no development, and thus the story suffered for it. I wondered why did the game focus on characters it didn’t take the time to introduce?
After playing the previous titles, and falling in love with the series, a return to this game in its remastered form creates a more interesting experience. While Yakuza 4 begins with the assumption of the large history of the series, it expands the world in new ways and creates an interesting take on the series.
Yakuza 3 is finally on PC, and it’s the fourth game in the Yakuza franchise chronologically. However, it is now the most dated for the franchise. Where Yakuza 0 was released in 2015 for the Playstation 4, and Yakuza Kiwami and Kiwami 2 were remade in 2016, and 2017 and also released for the Playstation 4, Yakuza 3 was originally released in 2009 and for the Playstation 3.
The version on PC, Ps4, and Xbox One is the remastered version, which has all sorts of bells and whistles fans would expect. There is a higher graphic fidelity and more standardized 1080p resolution. There is also content that was cut from the original English version that has been restored, and a retranslation that removes important mistranslations.
I bring this up not to just enumerate the changes, but to dive into the big issue with Yakuza 3. Yakuza 3 is a remaster. While it has a large amount of additional content and gameplay, this is ultimately a PS3 game with a slight graphical upgrade. Where the previous Yakuza games are beautiful, Yakuza 3 is dated by the simple fact that this game originally was made for the PS3.
I’m Kinglink and this week we’re doing another Head to Head. In this corner, we have Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and in the opposing corner. Well, this is different. We have not one, not two, but three Yakuza games starring Kiryu Kazuma.
So this week we’re going to be talking a lot about Yakuza but this is an interesting match up. I wanted to look at how the all-new Yakuza: Like a Dragon compares to the first three Yakuza games, 0, Kiwami, and Kiwami 2, also known as what’s currently available on PC. Sega… fix that.
Yeah, that line didn’t age well, I wrote this script before Sega announced the news. It sounds like EVERY mainline Yakuza game will be on PC by March 25th next year and on Xbox One as well. This doesn’t invalidate anything I say in this video and technically, there are only four Yakuza games on PC as I wrote this.