The second entry into the Japanese crime drama and Yakuza spin-off series, Judgment, has arrived and so too has our next review.
This latest entry manages to bring back many of the fan favourite characters from the previous game, including the main protagonist Takayuki Yagami. In a new emotional and explosive story, involving school bullying and suicide. However, that is only the start of a much bigger problem that sweeps through the homeland of Japan.
As well as the characters and story, Lost Judgment also manages to bring back many of the well recognized locations of both Kamurocho and Isezaki Ijincho. Which are both recreations of real-life locations in Japan and have now appeared in many of the Yakuza and Judgment games.
The combat is very recognizable from a Yakuza fan perspective, and it manages to feature various different fighting styles. Though they are all quite similar in many ways, that said, each style does come with its own skill tree and set of unlockable abilities. A lot of the abilities can only be performed in the necessary style and thus, you will end up needing to utilize and master each of the given styles in order to fully take advantage of the combat situation.
Though a lot of features from the previous game has made a return, there has also been many new additional features that have also been added to this latest entry.
Including mini-games such as boxing, skateboarding, and even dog walking. As with many of the previous entries, Lost Judgment also comes with new iconic SEGA classic games that are all fully playable too, this time around we see the addition of Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Penguin Land, Enduro Racer and the return of one of our personal favourites, Fantasy Zone.
The various different side quests, or in this case, side cases also makes a strong return and comes with various different stories of their own and each having their own set tone. From opting to either take a much more serious approach or to taking a much more relaxed and humorous side to things instead.
Moving back to the previously mentioned new features, a lot of them come from the new high school setting. Being a school, it obviously includes and features the many school club activities. This is where these new mini-games such as boxing comes into play. Alongside the new mini-games, the game also gives the whole school setting its own set of optional side cases. This usually involves working through these mini-games and solving any issues involving them and their specific clubs. This can be fun to take part in, also for those who enjoy rhythm games, you will be pleased to know that this also comes included as part of the school mini-games. Though, it is not a new feature to this style of game, as it did feature back in Yakuza 5, it is nice to see once again. Sadly we are terrible at rhythm games and it took us quite a while to get used to the quickly timed mechanics, still it was fun and helped get our minds off the main game for a while.
Moving back onto the other before mentioned feature, the dog walking. This comes as one of the many available gadgets within the game. The other gadgets being the ability to detect sound, fly drones, and the ability to detect nearby objects. For the dog walking, the benefits of this one not only comes from being able to walk your adorable virtual companion but the fact that it can sniff out various hidden key items, which will no doubt come in extremely handy, especially during the optional activities that you may find yourself taking part in over the course of the game.
Lost Judgment, we feel, manages to keep all of the various game mechanics and features that fans such as ourselves love and come to expect and adds even more to it. There is a ton of optional side activities to complete, in fact we can’t help but feel that the bulk of the game overall comes from these optional activities. That is not to say the story is lacking in any way but it does feel rather short, especially after the first few chapters.
After those initial chapters, which mainly play as a tutorial to the various mechanics, it just feels like it was a bit rushed after that and much more shorter in comparison.
However, having said that, the game is good and has a very strong story to it. One of the many strong points when it comes to these games is the whole storyboard and writing, again we are not let down. Though the story may seem short after the initial ‘tutorial’ chapters have ended, it does still feel like a complete story and one that you can tell a lot of effort was put into. With the addition of brand new characters, that were easy to have some form of emotional connection to.
The series, for the most part, always seems to feel the same in many ways but we still can’t help but love and want more of it. A lot of this comes from the emotional impact of these stories and the characters that are included within these games.
Also, as previously mentioned, Lost Judgment is the second entry into the Judgment series and therefore it does mention and contain potential spoilers of the previous game. Though, a lot of it is brief, it is there so if you are new to the series, you have been warned. One of these spoilers is the returning characters and companions. The story itself is very much its own thing, and it does not continue on from the previous title.
Overall, Lost Judgment is another great title with a ton of potential. Though, it may come off as basic to some and perhaps to many the odd few changes and added features isn’t enough, what you cannot fault with the game though, is that the effort has been put in. It is up to the player if they want to accept that or not.
- Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios
- Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: September 24th, 2021
Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 5, XBox One, XBox Series X/S
Genre: Action Adventure
Main Story Length: 15-20 Hours
Platinum Trophy Length:
Platform Reviewed On: Playstation 5
- Overall Rating: 4/5