Never in my life would I have expected Judgment to come to PC. I was so happy to finally get a chance to play the game in all its glory, and let me tell you, it was a wild ride. Everything about it was just fantastic and I wanted more of it, and it does everything I want in a video game. Doing this review will be a tough one though, as I don’t want to spoil too much about what this game has to offer. Judgment is a spin-off from the Yakuza series and takes place in the red-light district of Kamurocho.
Pros and Cons
- Fantastic story that can get really intense
- Well-crafted characters that are well developed
- Fun combat that has two fighting styles to switch between
- Lots of minigames and side cases for you to do
- Awesome soundtrack that will stick with you
- Beautiful graphics that makes Kamurocho feel alive
The issues were so minor that they did not meddle with my experience
Disgraced ex-lawyer Takayuki Yagami is working as a private detective alongside his best friend Masaharu Kaito, who is an ex-yakuza. Recently, Kamurocho has been dealing with murders featuring victims of the Kyorei Clan yakuza where they have their eyes gouged out for some reason. However, it seems that this entire ordeal is more than meets the eye and Yagami has to either go head-first into danger or lay low in hiding.
I never thought I’d see the day when a story for a spin-off Yakuza game manages to pull off an even better story than the main-line Yakuza games. It knows how to keep things tense throughout and has many twists that will keep you on your toes along the way.
I also enjoyed the characters as well, Yagami is just entertaining throughout the entire story. And when he is not doing a series case you can make him do side cases where his reactions are just brilliant the moment that happens. Kaito is also another character I loved, his personality is something I like.
There are many characters that I want to talk about but I don’t want to spoil the story too much, as it’s honesty really well done. I want everyone who is reading this review to experience the story as best as they can, it’s a wild ride from start to finish.
Combat is very well done, you have two distinct fighting styles that you can switch between at any given time. Tiger style is best used when you are in one on one fights or there is only a single enemy you are fighting. Crane is better used on multiple enemies and can help take care of large groups. Although Tiger and Crane can actually do the exact opposite of what they are supposed to be doing which is interesting, frequent switching is encouraged due to the long recovery times for each style.
Also, thanks to my playing Yakuza 6, I am more comfortable with the Dragon Engine which does make its return in this game. Yagami also has access to EX Boost, which makes him less likely to flinch, attack faster, and all damage goes to the EX gauge instead of his health. Yagami does also have a skill tree in which he will get upgrades, some of these skills though can only be unlocked by books or 2D codes throughout the game. Crane style also has no sole upgrades, as most of them benefit Tiger style only or both.
Bosses do borrow move sets from previous Yakuza games, however, as they have an additional attack called Deadly Attack. These attacks cannot be blocked and if Yagami gets hit by them, he will not only take damage but cause a Mortal Wound. Mortal Wounds will cause Yagami’s health bar to not be fixed by normal healing items and he must either use a med kit or go to a doctor which is only available in a certain part of the world, which means there is only one. Health kits are also very expensive so you better stock up on some money if you want to get them.
Guns and stab wounds can also cause Mortal Wounds but they are not as severe as bosses' attacks are. Although to be fair that’s a good thing as every time I see a gun in a new Yakuza game I get flashbacks from Yakuza 0.
There is also a ton of side content for you to do, like playing arcade games, mini-games, and side cases. The side cases were overall very entertaining to do and I loved each one I did, some of them were very funny and they fit the Yakuza theme of being weird and outlandish. The arcade games to me were interesting but a unique one that I enjoyed was a game called Kamurocho of The Dead, which is a crossover to Yakuza Dead Souls and The House of The Dead series.
The soundtrack for Judgment is honesty really well done and I loved the amount of good music that was implemented. It nails the aspect of the moment when a certain song comes, my favorite has to be the Keihin Alliance theme
Graphics and Performance
Judgment is a beautiful-looking game and Kamurocho is more alive than ever, I did experience some FPS drops while I was playing but a patch was later implemented to solve the problem. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. The game did run at a nice smooth 60 FPS when it was not stuttering
I highly recommend playing Judgement if you have not already, especially if you are a fan of the Yakuza series. I recommend this game at full price at that, but I think you should get the Judgment bundle as you get this game, Lost Judgment, and Lost Judgment’s DLC is for free when you purchase both games. A sweet deal that I honestly think is well worth the price as Judgment never disappointed me in the slightest when it came to its story and gameplay. Something that I personally find a very hard thing for a game to do, and I am looking forward to playing its sequel.