Monday, April 02, 2012

Yakuza: Dead Souls

Above: You finally get to play as Majima, and this is the best they've got.


I gave Yakuza: Dead Souls a spin for Paste, and did not like what I found. In a month when I spent more time than necessary feeling superior to Mass Effect fanpersons, here was my own chance to flip out in a righteous spasm of jilted fanboy rage. Dead Souls is a piss-poor entry in a series that I love. It's as simple as that.

Even though the zombies were a warning sign, I was willing to roll with it. It's Yakuza! How could it not be clever and surprising? The problem is simply that Dead Souls is predominantly a shooting game, and it is a bad one. There are long stretches where you have to run through corridors strafing zombies, without any sense of connection to your character or to the gun(s) in his hand. Despite the importance of headshots, precision aiming is essentially impossible, and the best way to succeed in the game is to rely on a generous auto-aim, which is less a helping hand from the designers and more a concession to the game's inherent brokenness.

I wouldn't recommend Dead Souls to newcomers or to fans. But! This would be an excellent time to remind everyone that my 2011 game of the year, Yakuza 4, is available for under $20 at Amazon. It is much, much better.

(Also: Yakuza 2 is $80? Damn.)

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