PS3 Previews: Yakuza: Of The End Preview

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Yakuza: Of The End Preview

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It’s one of the lesser known quality franchises out there, primarily because it’s heavily Japanese in nature and North America is typically a year behind (it takes quite a while for a new entry to make it to US shores). Therefore, we’re already talking about what appears to be the final installment before the last, Yakuza 4, is even available in this country. But that’s okay, because we often like to catch glimpses of the future…even if it happens to be a relatively distant future. Besides, it’s hard not to talk about the seemingly drastic gameplay change applied to Yakuza: Of The End: rather than a focus on standard melee battles – ala Double Dragon or Fighting Force – Sega is implementing third-person gun combat. They’re also tossing in hordes of zombies. Now, this may turn off avid Yakuza followers, but we’ll certainly be interested to see the final fresh-feeling result.

Let’s start with the well-known Kamurocho district, which has been a staple of the series. The entire city has been overrun with the living dead, and the army has engaged a protective barrier around the besieged metropolis; the rest of Japan can be saved but Kamurocho inhabitants are fairly well screwed. This is why four major characters from previous entries will have to spearhead the fight against the zombies: Kazuma Kiryu, the awesome protagonist, Ryuji Goda from Yakuza 2, the evil-looking Goro Majima, and Shun Akiyama from Yakuza 4 (with whom US gamers have yet to become acquainted, as noted above). The first big change is that rather than controlling Kazuma the whole time, all four of those main characters will be playable in Of The End, and each will have a special weaponry skill set. Kazuma gets a high-powered rifle – yeah, I’m thinkin’ sniper time – Ryuji gets a heavy-hitting Gatling Gun, Goro has a powerful shotgun, and Akiyama wields dual pistols. Obviously, certain situations will call for certain weapons, so maybe we’ll be able to switch between all four characters on the fly…? Also remember, all characters will be able to snap up other firearms they happen to find.

Over the years, the zombies in our video games have become faster. They were quicker and more agile than ever in the last Resident Evil, and they’re flying all over the place in the Left 4 Dead games. Therefore, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the nasty undead flesh-eaters in Of The End will be especially speedy. They’ll be super aggressive and probably won’t care at all that they’re running directly into gunfire. On top of which, the four heroes will have to deal with other freakish monsters as well, and if need be, vehicles will be at your disposal. It may prove beneficial to hop in something and start mowing down entire throngs of zombies, and don’t forget about the dynamic environment. We’ll be able to cause explosions that decimate dozens of invaders at once, and we’ll even be able to destroy certain elements of our surroundings that might fall and crush our foes.

And don’t think Sega won’t retain some of the classic elements of the franchise. For instance, the big city allures and mini-games will still be there; everything from table tennis to fishing, mahjong and darts. Oh yes, and those hostesses will be back, too. We’re still not entirely certain if we’ll have hand-to-hand combat as an option to the “gun shot battle” feature, though. That’s what Sega is calling the new firearm feature, by the way; it’s supposedly a little different from the standard third-person shooter mechanic. What we saw at the Tokyo Game Show this year certainly looks promising, and we’re hoping we’ll hear more about Yakuza: Of The End before 2010 disappears. In the meantime, we’ll also keep an eye on the US release status of Yakuza 4.  Here's hoping it shows up soon!

9/28/2010 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (13 posts)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 9:40:06 PM

This is pretty strange to me, and that says a lot.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 9:52:56 PM

I don't think there can ever be a problem with more Yakuza, even if it is a "What if" side story.

Bring it on!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 10:58:44 PM

I really hope this is actually the end for Ryƫ ga Gotoku and I say this because I would really like to see Nagoshi once again making sports arcade games, a new Beach Spikers on RingEdge/Europa-R in particular.

Last edited by A2K78 on 9/28/2010 11:22:43 PM

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:04:29 PM

O.o Sign me up! This looks to be a great one. I just want to know how are we suppose to date the hostess girls with the undead all over the place?/

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:08:53 PM

Can you imagine? Trying to read subs while being mauled by speedy zombies? I don't see that being popular here.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:11:12 PM

this will probably be and look better than dead rising 2.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 11:14:33 AM

Definitely. Been playing Dead Rising 2 for a bit on the 360 and, while it is good, there are a lot of things that bother me gameplay-wise. Like some of the weapons just fall out of your hands when you jump, combining weapons from scratch doesn't allow you to use the alternate attack, you need the actual combo card. Blah. And why do you get to have an awesome weapon in the very first game play moments only to not get it back until half way through?

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 3:43:57 AM

i was really shocked by this, kinda happy and sad at the same time.
i really liked yakuza 3 besides its constant freaking babysitting which bored me to a inch within my life!
hopefully they will go back to the series after this, 4 should be relasing here in feb i think they said.
just hope they removed that tedious babysitting, i mean the levels where i had to roam around the city looking for one of the kids who wondered off, with no aids what so ever really pissed me off!
why cant they have a bit fat X on the map saying hes over here!!!!!!!
i thought the whole point of playing games was to have fun, no?
ok, so can someone please tell me what part of walking around in circles looking for a kid for 3 freaking hours, can someone please tell me which part of that sounds like fun!!!!?????

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 5:02:50 AM

Definitely keeping an eye on this one and now that I read this, it's time to go back to Highschool of the Dead!!!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 4:53:50 PM

that is an great anime

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 5:06:06 AM

Offtopic: Resistance 3 screenshots

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 3:48:41 PM

Yep, thats just slightly off topic

But they are awesome

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Thursday, September 30, 2010 @ 7:31:20 PM

AWWW, help me, the zombies are everywhere!

They're even invaded MSNBC....

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