Last night, after almost 90hrs I finished Yakuza 0, and I have thoughts.
Spoilers: It is a TOP tier game, and I loved it.
Before I say more, I have to thank @CohhCarnage / www.twitch.tv/cohhcarnage, since before watching him play some of Yakuza 7 I had not given any of the games any thought. Sure that game is a very different type of game from the others, but it peeked my interest and decided to give the first game in the series a try.
I wanted to start with the first game in the series, and was happy to learn a well received remake existed. So I jumped into Yakuza Kiwami and I loved it. After that I had a choice to make: Continue forward with Kiwami 2 or step back and play the series prequel with Zero. I picked Zero because a co-worker had just started it, and I wanted to be able to chat with them about it.
Either game is probably a fine place to start the series, but in the end I’m glad I played Kiwami before playing Zero . The knowledge I gained by playing Kiwami first made so many call backs (Forwards?) in Zero amazing. Example: The very the last line of the post credits sequence. This made my daughter and I cheer and laugh out loud, but only because I had played Kiwami.
These game are not for everyone (most games aren’t) but it is very well made and ticked many of the boxes for me. The story, acting, cinematography, music, action, and everything was wonderful; making us angry, sad, excited, laughing and cheering.
Also there is so much ‘game’ packed into this box. I enjoyed different aspects for different reasons, and some parts I just ignored. There is the main story, side stories, gambling games, arcade games, mini games and a card collection. Heck, I spent a whole week having a blast with one business side activity, while barely touching gambling or arena matches. There is just so much content it’s crazy.
To Summarize. So far my experience with the Yakuza franchise has been stellar and if you have not played them, you might want to give Kiwami or Zero a look. At time of this posting all the games are on Microsoft Gamepass (if you have a sub) and available for sale on Playstation, Xbox and PC.