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Judgment

JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言

Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Publisher: Sega
13 December 2018
Judgment [JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.84 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
373 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#470 All-time
#17 for 2018
Three years after resigning in disgrace for defending a convicted murderer, ex-attorney turned private detective Takayuki Yagami takes up his largest case to date: investigating a series of gruesome killings in Kamurocho where the victims' eyes are gouged out.
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Yakuza/Judgment is the greatest game series ever made
Yakuza 5
Lost Judgment
Yakuza Gaiden
Yakuza 6
Yakuza 0
Judgment
Sleeping Dogs
Yakuza 4
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LA Noire, but Omae Wa Shinderued
Before Judgement, I’d never played a Yakuza game. My only memory of Yakuza was seeing gameplay at a video game store in 2007 and thinking it was an extremely cool gangster game. I wanted to play Judgement because of my brief experience playing Ghost of Tsushima and finding that enjoyable. I then became open to Japan-oriented video games. Before this Yakuza game, the closest thing I played was Sleeping Dogs for a week, and giving up on it (I need to go back after playing this). I played the game in English text/Japanese dub to gain a more authentic understanding of what I was experiencing, and I’m glad I did because the few clips I saw of the English dub were horrendous. So I played the game, and what did I think? This game might be one of my favorite games of all time. Like wow, I’m blown away by how great the story is and how intriguing the world-building that is within Kamurocho is. Even the side missions and friendship/girl friendship quests are fun to explore. I haven’t played lost judgment yet, but I will don’t worry. If I had any knocks against the game, it’d be about the tailing missions, and I wish there were better stealth missions in this game. The tailing missions are relatively dry and not as engaging. Other than that, I’d like to say that I’m a fan of Ryu Ga Gotoku studios, and outside of the Judgement games, I will check out other games from the Yakuza series.
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aziz713 2023-04-17T19:48:01Z
2023-04-17T19:48:01Z
4.0
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To understand why Judgement is what it is, we need to take a step back and consider the state of the Like a Dragon [龍が如く] franchise in 2018, when this was made. The franchise had made it to its fifth game, Yakuza 5 [龍が如く5 夢、叶えし者], in 2012, and had done so with a considerable amount of sprawl - with five main characters, five different locations, and several different extensive minigame paths built around the main story, it was the peak of Yakuza at that point, but was also the beginning of the end in a way - look at the path the franchise has taken since, and it becomes clear that the writers didn't really know what to do with these characters after that. The games remained very good indeed, but they were looking backward, not forward; the prequel Yakuza 0 [龍が如く0 誓いの場所] was followed by a remake of the very first game, Yakuza Kiwami [龍が如く 極]. Yakuza 0 in particular jumped the series to a level of fame in the West that nobody could have anticipated, merely increasing the pressure. When Yakuza 6: The Song of Life [龍が如く6 命の詩。] finally appeared in 2016, it was radically scaled back. Several series mainstays were completely marginalised, with the focus purely on Kiryu Kazama, just as it had been when the series first started. Yakuza 6 sought to put a full stop on his story, and with it, Yakuza as a whole up until that point. It was clear that, once one further remake (Yakuza Kiwami 2 [龍が如く 極2]) was over and done with, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio though this whole franchise needed to be freshened up completely. So the map was ripped up and redrawn.

The end result of that has been the splintering of Yakuza into two separate series, each taking its own share of Yakuza staples and trying to build something new on top of them. The one that kept the name, Yakuza: Like a Dragon [龍が如く7 光と闇の行方], kept the general idea that these should be about the yakuza, kept the general outline of the way the stories in these games tend to go, kept the comedy, and kept a few key characters both expected and unexpected, but it ditched the gameplay completely, instead opting for an uninspiring, but functional, turn-based combat system. Judgement was given a whole new name and it overhauled the entire focus of the series by becoming a detective game, but bizarrely, it was this one that kept the combat and kept Kamurocho as a setting.

Both of these games have considerable growing pains in the early stages because of these changes. Like a Dragon comes off worse, for the simple fact that turn-based combat is awful when you're only controlling one character, but Judgement starts slowly and awkwardly too - walking around Kamurocho, a place I now know like the back of my hand, in the shoes of a detective rather than a yakuza was a bit like watching another family live in your childhood home, and being taught new controls for roaming these streets was like finding out they've put everything in the wrong cupboards. Once all the tutorials are out of the way, the key characters have been introduced, and the game gets properly going, that feeling does go away, but I still can't help but feel like a mistake was made when RGG Studio were deciding which game would get which features. Judgement doesn't actually need that much combat - the question 'why are so many randos in the street trying to beat up a detective' can only honestly be answered with 'because that's what happens in Yakuza games', but that feature doesn't make much sense when you're not actually playing a yakuza yourself, and some of the aggro visited upon the protagonist here feels invented for the sake of keeping that old gameplay alive (that whole Keihin Gang threat system, yeesh). Like a Dragon would have been a much better game if it had kept the real-time combat, and honestly, I think it would have been better if it was mostly set in pre-existing locations that we know to be yakuza hotbeds too. The yakuza themselves are ultimately fairly incidental to the way the story of Judgement plays out - it didn't need to be on Tojo Clan turf. The game even occasionally has to explain that the Tojo aren't really a concern any more, and every time that was mentioned, it made me wonder why they set it in Kamurocho. I'm pretty sure a new location with a total clean slate would have made for a tighter, more cohesive experience if it had been deployed here rather than on Like a Dragon, and it would have a lot less confusing for people if the game that had the word Yakuza in the title had actually played like a Yakuza game, too.

These are largely quibbles when it comes to this game, though (as my respective ratings for the games would suggest, all of this a much bigger issue for Like a Dragon than Judgement). The combat may be a little ill-fitting, but it's solid. The setting could have been better, but hey, it's still Kamurocho. What matters more is the additions, and while they're a mixed bag, there's much more good than bad. The new characters here are rock solid, from the main players down to the supporting cast; Yagami, Kaito, Ayabe, Mafuyu, Genda, Kuroiwa, and Hamura are all characters I just felt like I instinctively got, and others, like Saori and Sugiura, turned out to have surprising depth. None of them are iconic in the way that Goro Majima or Shun Akiyama were, or Seong-hui has the potential to be, but it might be the most consistent cast of characters any Yakuza game has had. And the story is one of the very best in the series - certainly the most focused and the least silly, and probably the one that stays the most gripping throughout. This is the first time I've ever accurately guessed what the big twists will be in the closing chapters, but when it comes to this franchise, that's unquestionably a positive - a lot of Yakuza stories are unpredictable because they wildly overextend themselves in their final moments, and a hell of a lot is often asked of the player's ability to suspend their disbelief. That's not the case here - it's a tightly written story with a sensible conclusion, acted out by a cast of players with clear, understandable motives. I will gladly accept a little bit of predictability if this is what I'm getting in return.

Sadly, not all of the additions are handled quite so well. The actual detective work, which should be the bread and butter of a detective game, is a little on the dull side; tailing people, inspecting crime scenes, and picking locks just feels like you're going through the motions, and the chase scenes are just glorified QTE sequences. The minigames aren't up to the standard of the series, but I don't particularly mind that - again, a whole hostess or fishing subgame would feel like the kind of thing the developers are only including because they think they're supposed to, and Yagami doesn't really feel like the karaoke type. And considering Yagami is a licensed lawyer who works closely with a law firm, and large chunks of the story revolve around this fact, it's disappointing that there isn't more courtroom gameplay. Even if Yagami as a character remains determined to stay out of the courtroom as much as possible and stick to his detective agency, Future instalments of this series could easily be improved by including sections where you play as Saori or Hoshino during trials, perhaps as intermissions to develop plot points between chapters.

Overall, though, this is a successful break from Yakuza tradition into something new for the series. If there are growing pains, then maybe that just shows us how much potential growth there is in the core concept of Judgement; it's not hard to imagine a game in this vein being a stone cold masterpiece.
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Iai 2022-01-17T12:22:02Z
2022-01-17T12:22:02Z
3.6
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Judgment is a worthy, albeit flawed addition/spin-off to the Yakuza franchise. On one hand, the story is pretty good. Along with Yakuza 0, this might have the best story the franchise has ever seen. A realistic murder mystery full of suspense (you will be chasing false leads for a while) and full of twists and turns that actually make sense. Due to the hardships of being a private investigator (as opposed to a police one) trying to tackle such a complex case, it takes a while for our protagonist Takayuki Yagami to actually put the pieces together, but once he does the story gets significantly more intense leading to a great climax and ending. The game has a new set of characters, but they're all just as charismatic as Kiryu and Majima and you'll grow to love them in no time. The story and characters are why I played this game to completion, even though they are not perfect and there were some moments that were straight up silly (like when Yagami has to beat up a bunch of researchers and policemen and doesn't get in trouble for it afterwards). This game also has "substories" (here named "side cases") except this time their locations actually show up on the map rather than requiring you to stumble upon them (honestly, I prefer the latter system, but oh well).

The gameplay, on the other hand? It almost feels like RGG Studio thought to themselves "hey, how can we take the Yakuza formula everyone knows and loves and make it as annoying as possible"? Due to being a detective game instead of a pure action game, Judgment introduced a lot of new mechanics, such as:

- Chase sequences. These just boil down to pressing a bunch of QTEs (as your character runs automatically). Not particularly terrible, but pretty lame.
- Tailing sequences. These are just the worst. You have to follow (without being seen) extremely cautious people who look back every 10 seconds so you have to keep hiding so they can't see you. Really annoying. If you get them out of the screen for 1 milissecond, the game considers that you're "losing them" and puts some dramatic music on.
- The new investigation mechanics aren't exactly bad, but I wish they were more fleshed out. Basically, now you can explore important areas in first-person (or with a drone - which is a really cool addition) while looking for clues, and some parts require you to select the "correct evidence" (similar to the Phoenix Wright games). There's nothing bad about these mechanics, but I sometimes wish the game had a bigger focus on that stuff. It's still mostly fighting.
- Random encounters with thugs at every corner weren't enough? This game introduces the Keihin Gang, a bunch of thugs who show up in the city hunting the protagonist every once in a while. When they're in the city, you get random encounters each 5 steps you take (instead of every 30 steps like usual), and the only way to make them go away is defeating three "bosses" with a bunch of health scattered around the city (always the same guys too).
- Mortal wounds system. Someone thought it was a good idea to make enemies have certain attacks that make you lose a chunk of your health bar permanently. The only way to restore your health back to normal is using a medkit (considerably more expensive than normal healing items) or stop everything you're doing and go to the one and only NPC in the game that can cure mortal wounds.
- Personally, I don't care about the side activities in this game as much, but that might be just me (I miss the pocket circuit, karaoke and others... drone races are kinda though, I guess).

This was an interesting experiment on the Yakuza franchise and, despite these many issues I had with it, I enjoyed it a lot (particularly after chapter 8 when the story started to pick up and get more and more intense). I'm interested in seeing how the next Judgment game will fare in comparison.
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"Judgment" could have been a new spin on the usual RGG Studio formula, but unfortunately, it's just one more "Yakuza" game disguised as a new IP. As always, we get great cutscenes and a complex, over-the-top mafia conspiracy story full of plot twists, but the gameplay is stuck in Yakuza's PS3 days. The only difference is that we are now impersonating a retired lawyer who works as a private detective. We can investigate areas, collect clues, tail suspicious people, wear disguises, lock-pick to infiltrate areas, but none of these mechanics has been fleshed out properly. Sometimes I wish they would just make a smaller game and choose quality over quantity. For example, I would prefer a dozen side quests with acted dialogues instead of 40 with walls of text to read like in old-school RPGs.

Definitely worth playing for the plot, though. Takuya Kimura notoriously sucks at acting, but he is at least better than Kiryu's voice actor in "Yakuza". Except for a couple of supporting characters like Saori or Shintani, the character models look quite realistic, and the voice acting and dialogue writing is consistently good for a videogame.

Hopefully, the sequels will expand the investigation mechanics and provide something different.
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manicure 2021-08-11T16:07:19Z
2021-08-11T16:07:19Z
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Bold new takes and old habits
Judgement has you playing a former attorney now private investigator for hire, that gets wrapped up in a murder conspiracy that really only japanese crime melodrama can pull off well. It shows that its a spinoff from the yakuza right from the start, being set in Kamurochu, and featuring the same engine and brawler style combat. The basic premise and organization between main story and side quests (or cases called in here) is basically the same. The RPG system within the game is also pretty similar to past entries, as you invest skill points into upgrading your moveset and stats throughout the game.

The biggest strenghts of the game is really that it allowed for the writing team to build a whole new casts of memorable characters within a universe that is already very well established. The story being focused on law and justice allows for the exploration of new themes, both in the main story and side cases, the later of which tend to be hilarious. The main story on the other hand presents itself as a tense mystery thriller, with quick breaks for melodrama and comedy. Although it has some moments that drag a bit, the story on this is amongst the most concise and best that the series has seen.

Kamuruchu already feels like a second home due to the huge amount of time i spent on this series, with returning and new minigames, and more verticality and explorable back alleys this time around.
Combat feel is very much the same since Kiwami 2, but the two new styles on offer and higher number of enemies makes the fights more challenging and less button mashy. It can be a deep game if you start exploring all the unlockable skill moves, though obviously not a character action game.

The game has some flaws, like all yakuza games seem to have. There are quite a few too many repetitive chase and stalker parts. The threat system is a bit too frequent and gets annoying in the later stages of the game. And it has the unfortunate side case of presenting whole new characters, which means that the emotional payout is never as intense as on the rest of the series, even if the writing, voice acting and cinematography is suberb.

Judgement is the Yakuza studios doing something different, but the end result ends up being much closer to the main series than something completly different, not to mention that the changes implemented in Yakuza 7 means that the two series changed places. That aside, its a fantastic game none the less.
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Threntall 2021-08-09T11:16:46Z
2021-08-09T11:16:46Z
4.5
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Pryn7 JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-06-21T23:04:02Z
2024-06-21T23:04:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Megasmatey JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-06-16T18:02:37Z
2024-06-16T18:02:37Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
GuruGalou JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-06-15T16:54:03Z
2024-06-15T16:54:03Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Drongus JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-06-14T16:34:03Z
2024-06-14T16:34:03Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SeelemyBeloved JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-06-12T02:03:53Z
2024-06-12T02:03:53Z
5.0
1
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varinrin JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-06-06T11:12:16Z
2024-06-06T11:12:16Z
4.5
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Riceballs JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-05-31T01:32:31Z
2024-05-31T01:32:31Z
4.0
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MoustacheMcqueen JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-05-30T23:37:56Z
2024-05-30T23:37:56Z
3.5
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Chief_Leaf JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-05-29T23:14:20Z
2024-05-29T23:14:20Z
3.5
1
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kirumi JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-05-25T17:42:56Z
2024-05-25T17:42:56Z
A+
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Johanyax JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-05-21T10:38:57Z
2024-05-21T10:38:57Z
3.0
1
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krz_ JUDGE EYES:死神の遺言 2024-05-18T19:23:09Z
2024-05-18T19:23:09Z
4.5
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Content rating
CERO: D
Player modes
Single-player
Media
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Franchises
Also known as
  • Judgment
  • Judge Eyes: The Will of the God of Death
  • Project JUDGE
  • View all [3] Hide

Comments

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  • Previous comments (30) Loading...
  • de_arcade 2023-10-20 14:06:51.693308+00
    The game sorta falls into the stupidity of the Yakuza games, so I didn't really care because it was entertaining. Very fun overall, but the taoiling missions were boring, and the combat got really repetitive when I was able to just spam the Flux Fissure move., and the Keihin gang shit got so fucking annoying
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  • okayfrog 2023-10-30 17:22:48.258013+00
    got ~20 hours into it. Not digging it too much, tbqh. Yagami doesn't have the character Kiryu nor Ichiban have. Combat isn't as fun as the other games and I feel like there are more random encounters. And all the stuff added exclusively to Judgment (tailing, investigations, drone activities) slow the game down without feeling like a fun break from the main story like side missions or other mini games are.
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    • okayfrog 2024-01-09 17:11:46.253926+00
      finally finished it. possibly the weakest Yakuza game I've played. I mean still decent, though at times I think maybe I'm overrating it.
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  • MichaChaos 2024-01-08 12:22:10.860185+00
    Why do trailing missions exist, I've not once seen an example of them being utilised in a fun way. I have to tab out and play some music in the background every time a tailing mission appears to make me not bored outta my skull. They suck when Ubisoft do them, they suck when RGG do them too.
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  • MichaChaos 2024-01-08 12:23:08.37542+00
    Also, the detective elements of the game felt super under-utilised, most of the time Yagami just ends up beating people up anyway, so its not that much different from a classic Yakuza game.
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  • Kerftminister 2024-01-26 10:37:00.268065+00
    I absolutely loved the story in this game, but for the first 60% of the game combat felt very clunky, plus many of the detective elements were more of a nuisance than an enjoyable gaming element. Sidequests/Friend Events also felt a little less inspired than Yakuza. Especially all those random restaurant owners and conbini employees.
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  • INoLuv 2024-01-27 19:16:10.512841+00
    The story and characters are the besr part of judgement 1, but it is fun overall. Lost judgement perfects the formula.
    reply
    • INoLuv 2024-05-05 06:51:38.237504+00
      By formula i mean the combat, because judgement is great already
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  • aziaisonline 2024-04-29 02:55:24.121162+00
    peak
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  • bejesus 2024-05-01 22:03:36.171243+00
    Best story in the series, but gameplay takes too long to get good
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