Recently, I wrote an article about Yakuza Online for PC. In it I suggested that Yakuza Online is the best free to play MMORPG for PC. Unfortunately, even with all the positive feedback from readers, there are still those who disagree. In this article I’m going to explore why I believe that Yakuza Online needs to be adapted to fit the needs of those users outside of Japan who want to play this online game.
Talking to USgamer at Gamescom recently in Germany, Yakuza creator Daisuke Sato explained that Yakuza Online will not be available in the west because it is based in Japan. However, he did state that they have no plans to release Yakuza Online in the west. This goes to show that regardless of what engine is used to create the game, localization is critical for a successful franchise like Yakuza. As a result, I would suggest checking out Yakuza Online: PS Vita if you live in the USA, UK or Australia and you want to play this popular free to play video game.
The combat in Yakuza Online is similar to that in previous yakuza games. Attacks can be performed by pressing a button on the bottom controller, and combos are determined by executing two moves together. The player also has the option to switch between first-person view and third-person view during battle. The screen is divided into a top view showing the action on the Yakuzaiosor screen, and a bottom view using the PS Vita’s rear touch panel. There is also a mini-map located in the bottom right corner of the screen which shows which side of the map the enemies are on.
The downloadable content in Yakuza Online is not too big nor too small. You will get an entire career, all eight original episodes, nine new tracks and three battle arenas for you to enjoy. The season pass allows unlimited downloads of the whole game, but there is a down side; you cannot transfer your trophies to the new console. The price for this is about the same as purchasing the physical version of Yakuza: The Last Chapter.
The story of Yakuza Online
The story of Yakuza Online follows the story of five brothers, who must save their dying father’s business, while struggling with the greedy and ambitious Shozaburo who wants to control the family business. The first episode features the game’s opening scenes, and takes players through the smooth transition from the earlier, arcade style “choose your own adventure” format to the turn-based battles and missions.
Fight Boss Battles
Each level takes you deeper into the game’s world as you discover hidden items and fight boss battles. The Japanese and English versions of Yakuza Online feature the same “select all” system where you have the option to switch between the two languages (although some of the in-game menus are only in Japanese).
The Yakuza Online japanese and english translation patches have been cleaned up by several professional translators, so they should be perfectly readable. Unfortunately, however, many amateur translators also try their hand at translating the japanese script, which results in some rather silly mistakes. The biggest problem with this is that the internet has no way of getting rid of these silly mistakes.
When this happens, the result is a poor translation, which translates as “you idiot!” Fortunately, however, all the problems with the japanese version of Yakuza Online can be fixed with a simple download of the “JPEG Text Converter”, which will fix any problems with the japanese script.
Yakuza Online retains many of the addictive aspects of the previous games in the series, where you’re free to roam the streets of Tokyo while fighting criminals and earning cash to buy the things you need. In addition, you’ll find a few brand new characters to meet, like the underground Shinjiro Amagami, and an old favourite, Kazuma Aoba, who’s back from the dead! Together with his new friend Mio Akiyama, you’ll be able to take control of the city and help it improve, earning more money and XP in the process.
The combat system has also been improved, so you can feel a sense of real involvement when playing Yakuza Online, and it’s now possible to chain together attacks to cause more damage and stun opponents.
The decision to release Yakuza Online for the western market was undoubtedly made in response to the success of Hatsune Miku’s Yakuza: City of Saints. Both games are very popular in Japan, but they have had a relatively low global sales when compared to the original PlayStation versions. The western release of Yakuza Online has definitely helped the game gain a huge fan base, however, with the unique online-style control scheme and online communities that many Yakuza players enjoy (Twitter and Facebook). If you love Japanese games and online strategy games, then you’ll love Yakuza Online, and if not, you’ll at least give it a try because it’s free!