I had the chance to try Yakuza 6: The Song of Life at PSX recently, so I’d like to talk about the combat of Yakuza 6. While I too partook in a rousing round of karaoke (as any self-respecting Yakuza fan would), I also took some time to beat the bejeezus out of a few groups of thugs that roamed the streets of Kamurocho. I say “roamed” because after fighting them in the Yakuza 6 engine, they will definitely not roam anything for quite some time.
Yakuza 6 has made the series’s trademark combat incredibly smooth while making it feel more weighty and full of impact than ever before. I effortlessly swayed between different foes, knocking them down with a variety of kicks, punches, and sledgehammers to the face. Kiryu’s throw is particularly fun in this new entry, as he grabs the opponent’s legs and spins them around like he’s from Dragon Ball Z. The reason this is so fun is the game’s glorious environmental damage. Glass doors break, blood splatters on walls, and civilians flee from sight as you mop the floors (and walls) with anyone who stands in Kiryu’s way. It’s a sight to behold, and it makes combat feel far more brutal (in a somewhat cartoony way) than ever before.
Finally, I’d like to point out that battles are now seamless! There’s no transition from street-wandering to combat, or after combat is done. Kiryu just drops whatever weapon he’s carrying, fixes his shirt, and is free to carry on however the player sees fit. It’s a little quality of life change, but damn, does it make Yakuza 6 feel like a real marvel. I can’t wait to get my hands on Kiryu’s newest grand adventure.