Kamurocho is becoming Hyrule, Skyrim, San Andreas, as they became Comala, Macondo and Poniente for our generation. Much of the "fault" of this is the effort that Sega, its parent company, is putting in the saga Yakuza get a hole in the west. The task is not simple: the videogame saga is based on a Japanese tradition, customs, behaviors and social concerns deeply rooted and alien to the culture of this side of the world. Judgment it can boast of being the most reliable, sincere and effective attempt of all who has perpetrated the franchise starring Kazuma Kiryu and whose base is the criminal underworld of Japan from the eighties onwards.
The protagonist of grim gesture, serious look and honor in the fist's song yields the witness behind Yakuza 6: The song of life, a beautiful closure to the story of redemption and pursuit of happiness by Kazuma Kiryu, to Yagami Takayuki, a lawyer, tormented by the release of a repeat killer, who now directs his life towards the world of private detectives. On this occasion, the saga Yakuza invites us with this spin-off to put ourselves on the side of justice and reflect on it.
A difficult topic to deal with, and more in the video game, where the (necessary) mechanics can get to frivolize some social issues. In Judgment street fighting, side missions with the crazy style are not overlooked made in Japan nor the mini-games and hundreds of details that make up the exploration of a neighborhood that, without existing, is already part of our collective imagination towards the country of the rising sun. And this is fine. But the narration in Judgment acquires nuances that exploit the drama and the sensitivity that they already enjoyed the saga, perhaps as we had never seen it before. A face lift that leaves things almost as they were, but the devil is in the details: a more realistic graphic aspect, with performances by actors close to the yakuza-themed cinema more overwhelming (tapes of Tai Kato, Kinji Fukasaku or Takeshi Kitano). Non-controversial performances, as one of the main actors who plays a member of the Japanese mafia was arrested after the premiere of the title for possession of cocaine. Sega quickly removed the remaining games in distribution and changed the character's face to that of another actor. Little joke with the criminal world he portrays, the saga Yakuza He has never intended to sweeten or revere the criminal activities he portrays. In Judgment, in charge of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and that has the participation of Toshihiro Nagoshi, the action is maintained but leaves room for research. In the skin of Yagami we take sides in the strategy, persecution, interrogation and evidence gathering games, in a style further from GTA (Rockstar) and closer to what was seen in recent works such as the celebrated saga Sherlock Holmes or the superlative The Sinking City, which combines the investigation and the imaginary of Lovecraft, both developed by the study Frogwares. Research in Judgment It represents a real judicial system, surely, unique in the world, where the majority of trials end up in condemnation, but it also focuses on the concept of justice. In the skin of the lawyer who has become a detective, justice becomes an abstract concept, with diffuse limits, blind to the worst consequences. It's nothing that hasn't been seen before, but Judgment It is still a risky title in terms of its staging: use the pause, adapt the rhythm not to the player, but to the story, and that in the era of eSports is a temerity. In addition, it does not skimp on a cinematographic use of audiovisual language, with some cinematics that could join together to give a tape of remarkable invoice. It is played in a market, the video game, increasingly impatient.
Luckily, it is well off the play. Sega has put on its side with a location in Castilian, a milestone in the launch of this saga and this kind of titles, which see how their departure in the West ends up always finding the quagmire of having only the language of Shakespeare And this at best. A translation that does not quite fit well with English voices, although playing this title without the original Japanese voices, I dare to point out, is nonsense. To the masterful interpretations of the actors, the story strongly influenced by the best not to go, and the varied and rich gameplay that inherits from its predecessors, to Judgment we must add obsessive work by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio as far as its graphic section is concerned. Something that seems taken from Flemish painting, if I may, in which every corner of the stage is detailed to the millimeter. Kamurocho is a living entity, day and night, and walking its streets is almost documentary work. For the player, the screen strives to do without distracting elements, cumbersome arrows and designated missions, and reduces everything to a small map so that we can enjoy the horror vacui Japan One thinks of the shots from the heights of Sofia Coppola in his debut opera, Lost in translation, in which the sidewalks of Tokyo plagues of passers-by adopted the look of a vast pictorial work, or that scene in which Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson dodged pedestrians and stopped at the center of a triple zebra crossing. As in that film, the scenario portrayed by Judgment puts the focus on crowded streets, in the neon lights, the impossible ads, the Japanese excess that surprises so much in the West, and, although all this was already enjoyed by the mother saga, it is thanks to the impeccable technical section that this title achieves a milestone in the realism it exposes. It is difficult to forget that it is not a real neighborhood, that, perhaps, the reflection of the saga in the world in which you look is nothing more than that, a reflection, perhaps a mirage.
In case of Yakuza It is atypical: a saga that leaves Japan almost in secret, with timid approaches, with the doubt of telling something so intrinsic to a given society in a world for which Japanese day-to-day life is already a sort of fantastic realism . The story of a triumph that is not so far from Tetris and his spectacular “escape” from the Soviet Union or of the efforts to carry out in our lands titles of as strange idiosyncrasy as Yokai Watch or the very same Pokemon In its early days. The Sega alliance with Koch Media propitiates a launch, currently exclusive to Playstation 4, which has Spanish subtitles, the perfect set-up in our territory for the saga Yakuza bring together initiates and strangers alike. Perhaps, the best in the saga to start. Perhaps, a fierce competitor to the best titles of the year. A bet, after all, and as happened with the hanafunda cards that gave their name to the yakuza, in every bet you have to take certain risks.
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