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Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

龍が如く6 命の詩。

Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio Publisher: Sega
08 December 2016
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life [龍が如く6 命の詩。] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.91 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
202 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#320 All-time
#12 for 2016
Kazuma Kiryu returns to Kamurocho after spending four years in prison following the events of Yakuza 5 [龍が如く5 夢、叶えし者] to search for his daughter Haruka Sawamura, whose whereabouts is unknown since she left Sunflower Orphanage years ago. The clues eventually led him to Hiroshima, where Kiryu must stand off against the most ruthless figures of the Japanese criminal underworld one last time to ensure the safety of his family.
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2016 Ryu Ga Gotoku Sega  
Blu-ray
JP 4 974365 823306 PLJM-84055
2018 Ryu Ga Gotoku Sega  
Blu-ray
XNA 0 10086 63221 7
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Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Essence of Art Edition
2018 Ryu Ga Gotoku Sega  
Blu-ray
XNA 0 10086 63222 4 CUSA-09032
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life PlayStation Hits
2020 Ryu Ga Gotoku Sega  
Blu-ray
GB 5 055277 037933 CUSA-09660
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Title
"Yakuza 6" could have been a good sequel, but honestly, I was expecting much more from the game that was supposed to be Kiryu's final chapter. It feels like the developers had too many projects running simultaneously and had to cut content to meet the deadlines. I wasn't looking forward to another massive game like "Yakuza 5", but it's hard not to notice how even Kamurocho shrank for no apparent reason. It doesn't look like they chose quality over quantity either: the new engine looks obviously better, but the quality of cutscenes and character models is strangely uneven. The gameplay has never been Yakuza's strong point, but this might be the first time we are not rewarded with epic boss fights or memorable minigames. The fact that both graphics and combat vastly improved a year later with "Yakuza Kiwami 2" is just another proof that the team had time constraints. On the other hand, it's the first time we finally got voice-acted dialogues for the side quests, instead of walls of text like in all previous games.

The main storyline is as solid as usual, twisting and turning all over the place, both in good and bad ways. The Hiroshima chapters gave me some strong "Yakuza 3" vibes, with Kiryu befriending the good-hearted countryside chimpira in a battle against the tough mobsters from the city. I really enjoyed the mid to late chapters, even though the ending was a little rushed and butchered by a few questionable choices on how to send off/bring back characters.

I expected more historical characters to join Kiryu on his final adventure, but the new cast felt just as convincing. Miyasako, in particular, gives a surprisingly good performance as Nagumo. On the other hand, I still can't believe they decided to cast Yoko Maki; she is notoriously one of the worst actresses Japan has ever seen.

The antagonists might not be the most charismatic in the series, but they were not that bad either. I guess it's primarily due to the fact that there is no memorable boss fight to back them up.

Overall, it's an all-right "Yakuza" game, but at the same time, a wasted opportunity as the final chapter of a decade-long epic story.
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manicure 2022-04-26T15:57:43Z
2022-04-26T15:57:43Z
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I am choosing to be generous here; I think the Yakuza series has earned that generosity by this point. There's two ways of looking at what happens to Kiryu in this game (not from a story perspective, but as a character). The first is that he's losing his mind, with the events of the previous five games finally taking an understandable toll on his sanity and turning him into something far more reckless, bloodthirsty, and unpredictable than he's ever been before - and the second is that he does so many things that are out of character simply because he's badly written, that other parts of the game suffered because so much energy and focus was expended on putting together the new Dragon Engine. If the way Kiryu frays at the edges and comes apart in this game is intentional, it's kinda brilliant (and to an extent, justifies an ending that is otherwise a little weak and deflating). If it's not intentional, well.....

So yeah, I get why some longstanding Yakuza fans dislike this one, especially when you consider that so many series mainstays are completely sidelined here. Majima, Saejima, and Daigo all barely appear at all, spending the vast majority of the game in prison. Haruka is absolutely central to the plot but spends most of it in a coma, regularly spoken about but barely heard from at all. Akiyama and Date flit in and out of the picture throughout, popping up to help drive the plot every so often but spending much of the game offscreen. The Okinawa orphanage only appears briefly. The Tojo Clan's complex role in the overarching story of Yakuza is scaled way back, leaving them as just another antagonist organisation alongside the returning Jingweon Mafia, the new Hiroshima-based Yomei Alliance, and the Saio Triad, who fill the role that the Snake Flower Triad had in previous entries. There are only two locations this time out too, Kamorucho joined by the new city of Onomichi in Hiroshima.

This isn't all bad; it's a consequence of Yakuza 6 having a far more streamlined, simple plot than any of its predecessors. Sheer overindulgence is one of the defining features of a series that has never compromised nor half-assed anything, but stripping away some of the bloat from the main plot is probably an overdue step, and the introduction of a new game engine is a sensible time to do it. At no point did I have to Google any of the characters in this to remember who they were, and why it was significant that they were turning up in a cutscene thirty hours after I last saw them - this centres on a much smaller central cast, which includes bigger name actors than ever before (including Shuya from Battle Royale [バトル・ロワイアル], Yoko from The Grudge, Beat Takeshi from whatever you know Beat Takeshi from, and bafflingly, a line of sidequests featuring darts legend Paul Lim, who absolutely cannot act to save his life). This, really, is the greatest strength of Yakuza 6; the Hiroshima crew are all charming, likeable new additions, the way they're given room to breathe without being crowded out by a personality as big as Majima is a refreshing change of pace, and the newfound sense of focus in the story helps the stakes feel higher in the game's final quarter, which is traditionally when Yakuza stories start to crumble a little under their own weight. Were it not for that one final (and unnecessary, I would argue) plot twist in the closing cutscenes, I would have absolutely no qualms about saying this was the best final chapter any Yakuza game has ever had. There are also some key benefits to the game engine - loading times, graphics, general smoothness - even though it's ever so slightly rough around the edges at this point. (No matter: Yakuza Kiwami 2 [龍が如く 極2] would whip it right into shape the following year.)

Outside of the core plot, though, it's a step down. There are fewer memorable sidestories in this one than in previous instalments. Baseball fans will tell you that the baseball management minigame is brilliant, but I am not a baseball fan and did not understand a single thing that was going on. The cabaret club hostess dating simulator minigame is a bit of a slog. The clan creator minigame lacks the strategy and depth it would go on to have in Kiwami 2. Recusing cats for a cat cafe is a fun idea, as is sending Kiryu into a gym and giving him a personal trainer, but not enough is done with either. Even the two major exceptions where the side content really works feel a little like missed opportunities: the spear fishing game is great fun, but only has a meagre three courses to play, while the Snack New Gaudi quest line - which sees Kiryu becoming a regular at a bar and befriending all of its patrons - feels satisfying (and very funny at times, if you play it for laughs), but is ever so slightly shallow and feels like it could have done with fleshing out a bit more. Onomichi also just feels a little on the empty side, with large chunks of the map containing little of any real interest; the lack of shops and restaurants is no doubt intended to be a reflection of real life (not everywhere can be as bustling as Tokyo, obviously), but it does lose something in enjoyability as it goes for authenticity.

Still, none of these criticisms of the side dishes really impact the main course, which - as long as you're prepared to give the writers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to some of Kiryu's behaviour, you don't mind the Tojo Clan being marginalised , and you can forgive the plot for completely chickening out on Kiryu's death at the very last minute - is one of the strongest in the whole series. Given what a powerhouse this series is, that's saying something.
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Iai 2021-09-03T14:32:22Z
2021-09-03T14:32:22Z
4.3
9
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laying a dragon to sleep
Yakuza 6 is the beginning and end of a journey in a lot of ways for the Yakuza series. The beginning mostly because it was the premier of the dragon engine, a tool that when used correctly allowed the series to improve to the next level of its action gameplay. The end because narratively speaking it was the ending of Kiryu's journey so far, at least for the foreseeable future.

Its such a shame that they choose this game to try out the new engine, because it really feels like they were still getting the grasp of it. Its one of the weakest main entries in terms of content, and the combat feels quite wonky in comparison to yakuza 0. Yakuza 2 kiwami also used the same engine, but took the lessons learned with this one and as a result it feels the high point of the series in terms of raw gameplay.

Overal the story still delivers the same high intensity crime melodrama that its known for, and the sidequests are as goofy as ever. The ending 30 minutes are not nearly as satisfying as they could have been, but i understand its hard to wrap up a series as long as this one. Feels its also trying to hard to hit the emotional notes.

A good time, but weaker than 0 and 2 for sure.
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Threntall 2020-03-06T18:31:54Z
2020-03-06T18:31:54Z
4.0
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Catalog

asteriskasterisk 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-30T21:22:32Z
2022-06-30T21:22:32Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
KingDragonfly2 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-23T22:11:37Z
2022-06-23T22:11:37Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CrypticFire 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-19T14:30:01Z
2022-06-19T14:30:01Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Cease_ 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-19T12:56:39Z
2022-06-19T12:56:39Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Onikira Yakuza 6: The Song of Life 2022-06-16T04:22:57Z
PS4
2022-06-16T04:22:57Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PolarBearEuphrates 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-14T07:32:43Z
2022-06-14T07:32:43Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
basephraim 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-13T14:10:48Z
2022-06-13T14:10:48Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ChaseHM Yakuza 6: The Song of Life 2022-06-10T05:07:27Z
PS4
2022-06-10T05:07:27Z
5.0
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
demianX 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-10T03:42:34Z
2022-06-10T03:42:34Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Vega_Arts 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-09T17:44:18Z
2022-06-09T17:44:18Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MordoGoodIGuess 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-06-09T16:34:28Z
2022-06-09T16:34:28Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sieghardt 龍が如く6 命の詩。 2022-05-28T15:37:40Z
2022-05-28T15:37:40Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: D
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
1x Blu-ray
Franchises
Also known as
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
  • Like a Dragon 6: Poetry of Life
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • Previous comments (3) Loading...
  • StrangeMechanism 2018-04-20 05:55:06.667726+00
    The Dragon Engine is amazing though, and a huge leap forward from the previous games. I'm excited for more future titles using it and tweaking it even further.
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  • around 2019-03-12 11:00:47.37129+00
    The best main storyline in the series.
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  • MatteoRed 2020-04-09 21:08:04.174819+00
    Great storyline, good minigames (expecially the bar chat and baseball), only flaw is the combat system when confronting multiple enemies
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  • ayejayjay 2021-07-25 15:28:10.501041+00
    Some people said this was the worst story out of the series which I don't find true at all. It's actually pretty up there. It feels like there's less to do in this one though, especially in Onomichi -- and the trouble events where you had to console Haruto were annoying as fuck even though it was short lived.
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  • townandcountry 2021-07-26 05:41:43.276017+00
    This game is absolutely gorgeous.
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  • townandcountry 2021-08-17 03:50:16.09348+00
    Fairly straight forward story compared to the others, but I think that it's great. Fit's the more subtle and simpler theme the whole game carries. Seemed like every damn boss used a blade in this though. Other than that, it was bliss.
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  • dr0pside 2021-11-08 20:16:46.498781+00
    Only 0 and K2 are better, and that's saying a lot.
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