Binary Domain is the Yakuza team’s attempt to make a third-person shooter. After the dismal OF THE END and the first trailer of Binary Domain, showing off awful English voice acting, I went into the BD demo not expecting much. From watching others play while waiting in line, I was rather impressed with it’s visuals. The environments look great and and the frame rate was fast and smooth. The end demo scorecard showcases the stereotypical Japanese idea of what foreigners, especially black people, look like. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Sega after the black people they put into Ryu ga Gotoku 3 and 4.
Silicon Knights making an X-Men game is news to me, but it’s something I can get behind. I love Eternal Darkness, and I’m hoping that this new X-Men game will bring us a dead Psylocke in a bathtub and Cyclops hanging next to a piano.
I was scared when I heard rumblings about the next Ryu game being a zombie shooter. Then I saw the video of a Kamuro-cho reduced to rubble and overrun with the undead. I couldn’t figure out how you were going to be able to go to hostess bars and get into the usual trouble.
From the presentation at TGS it appears that either you’ll be able to go outside the wall holding the zombies in and visit an non-infested area or you’ll be able to switch modes to a normal Kamuro-cho. It wasn’t entirely clear from what Sega was showing. Somehow though, you’ll still be able to play pachinko and talk to hostesses.
The story is being told from four viewpoints again like in 4. You’ll be playing as Kiryu, Akiyama, Majima and Goda from 2. Each has his own gun of choice. They’ll be able to use tanks and jeeps, and the game will be a third-person shooter instead of a brawler.
While I was worried about what the game might be before, I have faith in Nagoshi’s team and I’m sure OF THE END will be a blast to play.
Did you guys get your Yakuza 3 copies yet? No? That’s too bad. But hey, I happened to play a Yakuza demo today. Yakuza 4. Did ya see that? That was not a typo. I typed ‘4’. And while you guys in America are playing the neutered version of 3 that Sega of America is bestowing upon you, I’ll be playing number 4, and getting more store-bought titties than my little hands can handle. And before you get all, “But Brandon, I’m an adult. I don’t need fake videogame boobies.” I want you to remember that you’re also not getting AnswerxAnswer, Sega’s quiz game that you can play in the game. Not enough, well fuck you, maybe you’re not the weaboo I thought you were.
Anyway, I did actually play Ryu ga Gotoku 4’s demo this afternoon at Joshin in Osu. It seems to be the same demo that’s going to be put up on PSN on March 5th, but getting it a few days earlier is pretty nice. The official Sega staff people guys were letting us play the 4 person battle demo. Since Ryu 4 has four different characters you can play as this time around, it was nice to see how different they are. And they’re just different enough that you might actually notice you’re using someone different, but the usual fighting style isn’t so different that it’s gonna throw you off. Ryu 4 is just more 3. And that’s a good thing. The battle system remains unchanged from 3, as far as I can tell. The fights loaded faster than before, and the movement felt tighter, but it’s essentially the same. And that’s fine by me. I love the Ryu ga Gotoku fighting system. It’s improved a lot since the first PS2 game, and they keep upgrading mostly with more special moves. Most importantly, with all the new environmental finishers and weapons, there are more ways than ever to bash in the skull or skewer the insides of street punks littering Tokyo’s neon streets.
Kiryu Kazuma still plays the same. If you’ve played 3, you’ll surely remember the special move where he rips out a 17 year old bosozoku’s colon, eats it, and washes it down with a bottle of Nacchan. Of the three new characters, my favorite is Tanimura Masayoshi. He’s the detective in the story. The coolest thing he can do is his grapple. When he grabs someone, he puts them in an arm bar and has very different combos he can pull off. He’s slightly more athletic in his takedowns than either Kiryu or former yakuza, Saejima Taiga, but not as much as former homeless guy turned loan shark, Akiyama Shun. Also, Tanimura’s secret best finishing move, he cuffs the perp. Which seemed odd that he’d bother arresting someone when he had just stabbed that guy’s buddy in the fucking stomach 30 seconds before.
Saejima Taiga used to be a yakuza. He’s kinda on the outs with them now, seeing as he murdered 18 of them in a restaurant a while back. Now he runs around in his coat that I think he borrowed from Alex, and in the fight I used him in at least, beats people to death with trash cans. He’s the slowest of the four available characters, and he seems to pack the meanest punch. Kiryu really needs to clean this guy up a bit though. And lastly theres Akiyama Shun. He was homeless until that little explosion that Kiryu was involved in back in the PS2 days. He grabbed a whole bunch of cash that came falling from the sky, and used it to start a money lending operation, aptly-titled, “Sky Finance.” He’s so clever. His fighting style is pretty acrobatic. He flips and farts circles around the overweight and balding bad guys of Tokyo, and employs lots of prancing and dancing around in his finishers. He feels a bit all over the place. He’s to Ryu ga Gotoku as Maxi is to Soulcaliber. If you like feeling a little out of control, you’ll like him.
I’ll write up the story mode of the demo when it’s available for download on March 5th. But sleep easy, knowing that in 2011 (or maybe never), when Sega releases a shoddily localized version in America, that even if you can’t talk to the sluts at the hostess bar, you can at least beat people to death in style. If that’s not the American way, I don’t know what else is.
Wanna pre-order the Japanese release of Yakuza 4? Get it here.
I’m getting excited for the holiday game season. And what I’m excited the most about are handheld games. I’ve compiled a list of my five most anticipated games for handhelds that ship before the end of the year.
5. Phantasy Star Portable 2
I never played more than the demo of PS Portable, but I’m kinda looking forward to giving the sequel a try. The game looks good and now supports infrustructure mode. I’d like to see if this portable version of PSO can capture me in the way that PSO captured Alex and so many others before. It also helps that Sega has gone bat-shit crazy, and is including every insane partnership they can foster in the game. It’s already got Fanta and Pizza Hut in there. And I can’t wait to stand side-by-side, in-game with Cheese-kun.
4. Assasin’s Creed: Bloodlines
I’m an AC superfan, and a fully-realized portable title that has connectivity with the PS3 version gives me a nerd boner. It’ll take you back into the story of Altair, after the events if the first game, and help explain the weird family tree of Desmond’s. Should be pretty and will be satisfying to stealth kill on the train in the mornings.
3. Four Warriors of Light: Final Fantasy Gaiden
To me, RPG means Final Fantasy. The first RPGs I ever played were FF games, and they continue to hold a special place in my heart. Sadly, I got into them in college, and a lot of the magic they would’ve had on me as a child never happened. FFG however, goes to cutesy J-RPG extremes with its storybook graphics, and might cast a spell over me this fall.
2. Professor Layton and the Demon’s Flute
I love Layton, and have played all three games thus far. The fourth looks to be more of the same challenging puzzles, accompanied by stellar voice-acting and charming animation. If the demo I played from TGS is indicative of the quality of this new trilogy, I shan’t be disappointed.
1. The Legend o Zelda: Spirit Tracks
I bet you forgot about this one. The coverage of the new DS Zelda has been light lately, but I loved Phantom Hourglass a lot, and I’m looking forward to more of that style of Link action. It hasn’t been confirmed, but the if there’s a chance of Spirit Tracks being DSi enhanced, it could be even better than the first DS offering.