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whatshot Yakuza Dead Souls PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Yakuza Dead Souls
Reviewed by
Jamie Kirk
on
Yakuza Dead Souls PS3 Review. Yakuza: Dead Souls may seem like a decent idea, but it is probably best to just ignore it and hope that things return to normal for the next instalment.
Rating:
2.5

Gameplay 5.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.0
Value 5.0
Distributor: SEGA
Review Date:
April 2012
Reviewer:
Jamie Kirk

5.0


Yakuza Dead Souls

The critically acclaimed, yet little played Yakuza series strays from its formula a little for its newest installment Yakuza: Dead Souls. Taking its cues from the fad of the moment, Dead Souls takes the basic framework of the Yakuza games and drops a shed load of zombies in them.  The result is all the quirky delights of exploring the stunningly recreated fictional district of Tokyo, Kamurocho and a 3rd Person zombie shooter. 

It comes as a shame then, that the shooting part of the game is absolutely rubbish. This mostly stems from the controls, which are faulty at best and flat out poorly designed at worst.  The auto lock on system is a regular failure. Snapping into aim mode using L2 will often spin the camera at some wall, leaving zombies to munch on your confused looking hero.  The precision aiming system is even worse. It seems like the developers have not paid attention to the development of shooter mechanics in the last ten years.

Aiming is mapped to the left analog stick, which means that your character stops moving every time you line up your shot. Making it weirder is the fact that the camera controls are mapped to the right analog stick when not shooting, so it makes absolutely no sense for the right analog stick to just sit there unused when shooting. This is all compounded by the frame rate, which seems to buckle under the weight of the many enemies on screen. Consistent slowdown during shooting sequences adds another layer of frustration to the proceedings. The shooting just feels cumbersome and unnatural, which is a big problem because it takes up the vast majority of the game. 

Exploring Kamurocho while not shooting is just as brilliantly weird as the past games. The level of detail in the district is a wonder to behold and there is plenty to do in the form of various mini games. Be it using the UFO catcher at the local club SEGA or the weirdly creepy massage game, the game has plenty of diversions to take your mind off of the zombie shooting. As the game is structured like an RPG, there are plenty of sidequests but be aware that many of them involve the awful shooting mechanics. Playing them will usually seem like something of a chore. 

Like the rest of the series, the presentation of Yakuza: Dead Souls is top notch. The cinematics are frequent, but never boring. The design of the characters is fantastic and the translation is very well constructed. The Yakuza series has always had a great sense of humour and that reappears here at various points. The cameos of various characters from previous Yakuza games will be a treat for those who have played the previous games.  The story is interesting and well acted by the all-Japanese voice cast. 

Unfortunately experiencing all this means having to play the meat of the game, which is horrible. As an entry point into the Yakuza series, it is not recommended. The brawling hand to hand combat of the past entries is much more satisfying than the endless gun battles with various zombies. Yakuza veterans will also want to stay away, and stick to the other games in the series. Yakuza: Dead Souls may seem like a decent idea, but it is probably best to just ignore it and hope that things return to normal for the next instalment.





 

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