Sunday, July 31, 2022

Open World Action RPG Review - Yakuza Kiwami 2: Majima Saga

Included with Yakuza Kiwami 2 was a short side story about Goro Majima. It was quick, but it was fun and it surprisingly added content to the main game while tying things back to the excellent Yakuza 0.

The three chapters of the Majima Saga are unlocked while progressing through the story of the main game. There is also an option to send cash to Kiryu for the main game in a much easier way than Yakuza 0. This time you just simply send the cash through any ATM. Defeating enemies here doesn't actually yield cash, though the stronger enemies will give Majima silver, gold, or platinum plates. These can be sold in the pawn shops for cash, which can then be sent to Kiryu or spent on items or food.

In the Majima Saga, it is better to stock up on health items rather than food, since it is impossible to eat beyond your stomach gauge. Majima is also limited to one move set here, although it's a doozy. You get full access to Majima's Mad Dog move set from Yakuza 0, as Majima doesn't gain experience. This is plenty, as Majima uses his knife with lightning-quick speed.

The combat is satisfying, but the main draw of the Majima Saga is its side story. It fills in the blanks within the story as to why Majima left the Tojo Clan. It's also the perfect game to have a Majima side story within it, since Ryu Ga Gotaku Studio, and Japanese culture in general, features romanticized yakuza that have morals and have left the yakuza life behind them. This is true of Kiryu and Ichiban Kasuga, and it is also true of Majima in Yakuza 0. Since Yakuza 2 is the only mainline Yakuza game where Majima is working as the head of Majima Construction rather than running a Tojo family, a Majima sidequest is a perfect fit.

The parts of the Majima Saga that showed the forming of Majima Construction were fun and were actually laugh-out funny at parts. However, the best parts are the scenes that tie the game into Yakuza 0. I wasn't expecting an emotional story out of this, so it definitely surprised me, in a good way. Hidenari Ugaki is always excellent as Majima, and he really pulled out the stops to give Majima the full range of emotions here.

Majima Saga is short, but sweet. It's a story that fills in the blanks of not only Yakuza 2, but Yakuza 0 as well. Any fan of the Yakuza franchise should check out, as its content more than makes up for its short length. It isn't the main reason to play Yakuza Kiwami 2, of course. However, if you do have Yakuza Kiwami 2, or you are planning to pick it up, you owe it to yourself to play the Majima Saga

Final verdict:

4 out of 5

Yakuza (Kiwami) 2 reviewYakuza 3 review coming soon

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