Review: Yakuza Dead Souls (2012)

The following is a review of Yakuza Dead Souls (2012), released for the PlayStation 3.

Inconsistent targeting is easily overlooked in this gem

When I first heard about Yakuza Dead Souls I was a little worried. The best part about the Yakuza series is the story, and I feared that they were jumping on the zombie bandwagon (albeit late). However, I should have reminded myself about the multitude of games I have that has the Sega logo on the box, as there was nothing to fear with this iteration in the Yakuza series.

First, supposedly the game is not part of the official Yakuza canon. The way it’s wrapped up (don’t worry, the ending isn’t cheap) it could be, but it’s probably better that it’s not.

Unlike the other games in the series the combat is focused on guns, instead of hand to hand combat / picking up weapons from the environment. However, after a short time (excluding targetting hiccups), the combat felt fairly natural.

Perhaps because of the change in combat focus, this game was also the easiest of the last three in the series. Recovery items are fairly plentiful, and I rarely found myself in a bad situation, and never died, during my 24 hours on normal (default) difficulty.

Like Yakuza 4 you play as one of four characters as the story progresses, but unlike 4 you’re only able to switch between the four at will in the premium adventure. There’s nothing really wrong with that, but I would have liked to finish up a couple items before I got the trophy for completing the game. However, premium adventure allows you to continue where you’re at, so I can finish the items I started. Once the game is completed two additional difficulty levels are unlocked, one of which is supposedly extremely difficult, so there’s plenty of replayability.

I’m quite honestly a huge fan of the series, so without a doubt the game gets 5 of 5 stars. There is an issue with inconsistent targetting, however, once you realize the issue you’ll find it impacting your game very rarely, and you’ll be able to recover from it fairly quickly.

If you enjoyed Yakuza 3 and/or 4, and/or like the sound of a third-person zombie killing game, pick up Yakuza Dead Souls!