I Am Thou, Thou Art I : Extended Thoughts on Persona 5

 

So I wrote a review of Persona 5 the other day, and it was vague at best. While that was done to avoid any and all spoilers for what I consider to be a genuine masterpiece, I will admit it perhaps didn’t lead to the most interesting reading experience. So this is my solution: if you’ve not played the game, read the spoiler-free review I wrote. If you’re in a position to not worry about spoilers, feel free to have a look at this, which I’m thinking of as a sort of Spoilercast in text form. My more in-depth thoughts on one of the best games I’ve ever played, with no restraint on spoilers.

Characters, interactions and their developments:

I felt something of a personal connection to the phantom thieves, due in part to some of them being akin to people I knew when I was their age, as well as being people I would have liked to know. The combination of music and voice acting really does boost the experience; for example every trip to the Velvet Room is given an added weight by that chilling piano and lone female wail, and personally I really like the new voice actor for Igor, even though it’s only temporary, until he’s no longer possessed. I like the shift from a foreboding atmosphere filled with unease, punctuated by the angry twins and sinister Igor, to a more hopeful but still somewhat dire tone when the real Igor and Lavenza regain control of the room. As for the Phantom Thieves themselves, the quest to help Futaba deal with the outside world resonated with me personally for reasons I’d rather not go into, but I love her character; her arc from shut-in on the brink of suicide to survivor doing everything she can to take her life back with the help of her new friends and, in my playthough, boyfriend. She was the heart of the game for me, once she was introduced. I spent time with her above everyone else, and I would have put her in my party if the game’d let me. I didn’t manage to max out relationships with any other non-mandatory confidant, though on my next playthrough I’m planning to focus on Makoto once she joins the team; her mixture of fastidiousness, tactical prowess and strength mixed with a vulnerability brought on due to her living situation and relationship with her sister made her really stand out. Every character in the game has multiple layers, often defy expectations established by early moments, and their traumas are treated respectfully, as is the process of dealing with them. Ryuji is advertised as a delinquent with authority issues, but in actuality was given that label by an abusive, paedophile teacher, and is really a loyal, kind person with a strong sense of justice, who reveals himself to be a stand-up guy in his opening scenes. Outside of the core cast of thieves, I took a shine to Hifumi Togo, whose confidant I intended to max-out, but I ran out of time. I was going to have Joker enter a relationship with her actually, back when I thought Futaba couldn’t be romanced. I also really like Tae Takemi’s story of a promising young Doctor turned into a pariah after being blamed for malpractice she didn’t commit. While I’m on the subject though, I’m not a fan of Joker being able to romance adult women. You don’t have to do so, in fact in order to romance said women you have to actually go out of your way to interact with them and then make a final choice, but it’s still weird, particularly when the game implies a sexual nature to said relationships, and Joker is, after all, a child by Japanese law. Personally, factoring in the onus being on the player it’s not a huge deal, but it’s still an unfortunate niggle at the back of my mind. My biggest problem with the social side of the game was Joker’s dialogue options, though this was largely due to them often not reflecting what I personally thought he should say. Most of the time it offered suggestions I hadn’t thought of, which worked a treat. Other times, however, what I considered to be the best or at least a good option wasn’t available, often times Joker wouldn’t even get to say anything, which given how invested I was in the game didn’t exactly do wonders for me. Case in point: partway through the game, when Morgana runs off on his own, attempts to start his own two-thief team in opposition to Joker’s group, then eventually rejoins with his new apprentice. I was desperate for a dialogue option along the lines of “What you did really worried me, and I’m still angry, but you’re still an important member of the team and a good friend”. Hell, even the last part of that sentence would have done the job, but no such option exists. Joker’s lack of dialogue usually fits his strong silent type, man of action image but there were several times when I really needed him to say something and he didn’t. Most of this can be put down to him having quite an established character and personality that can only be lightly changed by player interaction, but it can definitely be frustrating at times.

The overarching plot of Masyoshi Shido rising to power on a tidal wave of mental shutdowns, murders and framing Joker for unprovoked assault is a solid backbone to all the day-to-day social activities and exploring palaces. He’s a decent villain, though as it turns out he isn’t the main threat, as a malevolent god is responsible for everything bad that happens. It’s quite a sudden reveal, but it’s given time to sink in, due to a supposed-to-lose fight and a rousing scene in the Velvet Room. I did try my best to like Goro Akechi: I shunned and sassed him every time he tried to talk to Joker before blackmailing his way onto the team, at which point I really did think maybe he wasn’t going to turn out to be a main villain, but I was mistaken. The reveal that he’s actually just as damaged as the people opposing him was good, and I liked how he went out, but any cool stuff he got to do in his not-Berserker Armour outfit was downplayed by the whole floppy-haired kid detective angle. Also worth mentioning briefly is the game’s framing device: Joker being interrogated by prosecutor, target and sister to Makoto: Sae Nijima. These scenes didn’t really do much other than signal the start of each “Chapter” (though they’re not actually split up as such) of the game and lampshade Joker making new confidants, but they added to the atmosphere, and set up a foreboding present-day situation for the game to ominously creep towards.  Anyway, this section is getting rather long now, so I’ll sum it up thusly: I love the characters in this game. As much as I enjoyed the combat and exploration I’ll be talking about shortly, for me the most rewarding part of the game was everything in between; the quiet moments where I had Joker work out with Ryuji, chat with Ann about her best friend’s recovery, teach Makoto about what kids their age find fun, and help Futaba get used to the outside world, among other things.

Soundtrack and presentation:

I touched on this a little in the review, but not to the extent it deserves. The game’s presentation is a key part of what makes it so appealing; it’s what draws you in, in a “Come for how cool it looks, stay for the depth” kind of way. The menus use a contrast of bold, single colours like white and red, contrasted against thick, dark black outlines and shading. Everything that can be made elaborate and stylish is; even things like status screen menus have Joker moving between different poses. Moving between rooms in palaces shows Joker leaping across the screen, exiting a palace shows Joker leap through a glass window, fall to the ground, recover and run off, an animation shared with the results screen for most battles. Even the cutaways to the game’s framing device are handled this way; with an outline of a battered, handcuffed Joker acting as a scene transition as events wildly leap forward in time. In the hands of a lesser development team this would just be a load of flashy images to distract from a shallow gameplay experience, but here it enhances every other aspect of the game. It ties into the whole heist flick tone, feeling like an extended anime about a group of students moonlighting as thieves, but never breaks stride when moving between interactive and non-interactive scenes. Equally important is the soundtrack; whatever the situation, the game has a piece of absolutely fitting musical accompaniment that makes what you’re doing infinitely more engaging. Besides the more obvious, active tracks like “Last Surprise”, “Rivers in the Desert” and “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There” are things like “Tokyo Daylight”/”Tokyo Emergency” when you’ve got time on your hands and you’re out and about in town, “The Days When My Mother Was Here”; the slightly odd, almost hypnotic soundtrack to Futaba’s palace, and the utterly fantastic “Beneath the Mask”, for more contemplative moments.

Palaces, thievery and throwing down

I started the game on normal, turned it down to easy about halfway through Kamoshida’s palace, then eventually had to turn it down to “safe” at the start of Qliphoth, after getting repeatedly ground to dust by the final mini-boss and wanting to see the ending of the story. This means I can’t really speak to how the balance of combat is affected by difficulty, but in my experience the weakness system for both sides of the conflict is fair, but purely in terms of fighting certain party members are vastly superior to others. Once Makoto turned up I had no real use for Yusuke or Ann, whose high HP costs and low HP respectively couldn’t compare with Makoto’s high damage and healing spells. I rotated Morgana back into the mix after the whole incident with him running away, which turned out to be the right move given his healing spells, and kept Ryuji close by for his immense damage. It’s not an issue, as my team generally steamrolled anything that dared oppose us, but it does render different skills and element moves somewhat moot. Haru was rendered completely useless once Joker learned a Psi attack, which didn’t take long. Combat itself is satisfying though, somewhat surprising given that it’s turn-based. I tended to use melee attacks primarily, using Persona skills and gunshots to attack weaknesses. Part of me wishes that running past/away from enemies was a more viable option, especially en route to the depths of Mementos, which turned into an absolute nightmare for a while, but for the most part it wasn’t an issue really. Speaking of mementos, they’re fine, and I did go down there several times, but if they didn’t have sidequest-related hearts to change, it’s unlikely I would have bothered. The palaces on the other hand, I’m well into. They manage to tweak them just enough each time to keep things interesting, mainly through different progression-dictating puzzles and the like.

Finally, a brief quick-fire round of random things I really like:

Turning into a mouse, especially the animation when you flee from a battle in that form. Also Yuskue’s excellent and terrible mouse puns, and how silently furious Futaba is with them
Morgana’s legs when he runs
“CHARGE, JOHANNA”
Carrying Morgana everywhere in a bag, with his little face poking out the back
Sojiro wiping away tears just after Joker leaves
The reveal that the Phantom Thieves’ big plan to free Joker from Juvie was to mount an air-tight legal case
The way the calendar shows what date it is by sticking a knife into the number
“Putting some love into it” when making coffee for people, which just makes them spit it out because it’s too bitter
The awkward, quiet “MREEH” sound effect that plays whenever Morgana turns into a bus, and whenever said bus rams into enemies
How much mileage the game gets out of the same exact clip of Ryuji saying “FOR REAL?!”
The “Take your time” loading screens, and how they change depending on the situation

I’m going to end this piece here, to stop it being too long; it’s already twice the length I intended it to be when I started, and I could write at least another two or three thousand words easy. Maybe one day I will. I do hope this sheds some light on what I liked about Persona 5 though, and goes at least some way to explaining why it’s now one of my very favourite games; one I’d mention in the same sentence as Red Dead Redemption, which I consider to be the best game ever made. I spent several weeks playing it; taking in what it had to offer, loving every minute of it, and I genuinely can’t remember the last time I had such a strong connection to a game, and so quickly. When I have some free time I fully intend to play through it again and try and do as much as I can: try and max out as many confidants as I can for a start. I imagine I’ll be replaying it a whole lot throughout my life, it’s just that kind of game. Anyway, I’ve taken enough of your time. See you when Persona 5: Dancing All Night comes out, which obviously I’ll be all over.

By James Lambert
@jameslambert18

 

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More on Persona 5 coming soon

So I wrote a review of Persona 5 last night, and looking back on it, it’s really rather vague. While I wrote it that way to avoid any and all spoilers for what I consider to be a genuine masterpiece, I will admit it might not make for the most interesting reading experience. That’s why I’m planning to write a spoiler-filled “Thoughts on” piece very soon; focusing on exactly what I like about the game without worrying about giving away crucial plot details, motivations and character development. If you’ve never played the game then read the review I wrote, but if you have played and finished it, or don’t care about spoilers, you’ll get a lot more out of this upcoming piece. Look for it sometime over the next few days.

By James Lambert
@jameslambert18

Persona 5 Review

Sometimes it’s good to take risks. I have very little experience with JRPGs as a genre, or the Persona series specifically. After trying and failing to get into P4 Golden, I heard some interesting things about the then-new P5 (Luke Westaway talking about it on Outside Xtra, specifically), listened to the song “Last Surprise” and deemed the game worthy of a go, hopefully for longer than I did its predecessor. As I said, sometimes it’s good to take risks: sometimes you try something new and everything magically falls into place. Persona 5 is one of those games. You know; one of THOSE games. It’s been a long time.

You play as a high school student forced to move town and school after saving a woman from a drunken harasser/probable rapist, the event being spun to paint you as an aggressive youth who attacked someone for no reason. Just so it’s clear, the high school student has no canon name, though his code name (more on that later) is “Joker” so I’ll be referring to him as such. After discovering the existence of another world giving corporeal form to the distorted desires of twisted individuals, Joker teams up with an increasingly large cabal of fellow students to “Take the hearts” of those who prey on the weak, forcing them to cease their ill deeds and confess their crimes. Taking influence from lady and gentleman thieves they become “The Phantom Thieves”; vigilantes who literally force scumbags to have a crisis of conscience- stealing mental treasure and looking damn good doing it. The story goes to some pretty interesting places from here, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Each member of The Phantom Thieves has suffered some kind of abuse, injustice or otherwise had a rough time of things; the game deals with tonal shifts towards surprisingly dark, serious subject matter well. This is helped immensely by every member being likeable, well-written and their issues being given time to be addressed alongside the necessary weight. The phantom thievery drives the plot forward and takes up a fair amount of time, but when you’re not cutting about nicking things you spend your time at school, wandering around Tokyo and hanging out with various confidants, the interactions granting stat boots and special skills. The game strikes a good balance between the two story halves; exploring palaces as The Phantom Thieves is exciting and deeply satisfying, going shopping/to school and hanging out with Joker’s friends offers a welcome change of pace, and feels comforting. I don’t want to go into any more detail on the story because it’s best enjoyed without any prior knowledge besides the basics I’ve outlined here, but I will say that it’s gripping literally from start to finish; whatever’s happening it’s handled with the same care and attention, and with a cast of characters this enjoyable to interact with it never gets boring or stale. This is doubly impressive when you factor in how long the game is; the main story took me eighty six hours to finish, and it never got old. That’s longer than most television series and it managed to keep me engaged for the duration.

Gameplay wise, it’s a mixture of exploration, social interaction and turn-based combat. What sets it apart is its presentation; put simply it’s stylish on a level every other game wishes it could one day hope to attain, but never will. Everything, from larger elements like the soundtrack, which is an always-fitting mix of rock, acid jazz and smooth, more reserved pieces depending on the situation, to smaller things like the pause screen and scene transitions, is elaborate without feeling overdone and, put simply; really cool. The in-game graphics are full of vibrant colour and imaginative art design; cases in point being the Phantom Thieves’ elaborate heist outfits, and the game’s broad, extensive bestiary of enemies drawing from a wide range of influences and styles. Each of the game’s palaces (representations of each target’s mind) has a completely different visual theme (again drawing on a range of influences and styles) and gameplay elements, outside of the mainstay turn-based combat. Combat revolves around the use of titular Personas, which are, simply put: Stands from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. If you’re unfamiliar with Stands, they and Personas are corporeal representations of their user’s psyche and fighting spirit, though in this case they’re directly tied to the Thieves’ rebellious spirit and desire for justice. Unlike stands, Personas have access to various elemental magic-style attacks and do not use melee attacks; something each Thief can do instead, as well as use a firearm. Combat is surprisingly satisfying considering it’s turn-based, due in part to the aforementioned outstanding presentation and music. Unique to Joker is the ability to possess multiple Personas and switch between them at will; downing enemies in combat will result in a hold-up situation, during which you can coerce assistance out of the enemy in question, or just team up with your party members to kick their heads in. The social interaction side of the game is all set to a limited time frame: the game moves forward a day at a time, and each day is split into time slots during which you can see people or engage in activities that increase one or more of Joker’s five main stats. There are free actions, namely shopping, but for the most part you can only do one thing per slot. This works fine for the most part, but the game will often decide that you can’t do anything today, either because you’re all tuckered out, or the day will be filled with important story events that will advance time for you. This doesn’t end up being a problem given the length of the game, but it does take some getting used to.

Persona 5 is one of those rare games that comes around once in a blue moon that’s so engrossing, so deeply engaging and immensely satisfying to play and just generally experience that finishing it leaves a massive hole nothing else can fill. I have not played a better game this year and doubt I will. I cannot remember the last time I felt this kind of connection to a game; I will remember it always, return to it often, and hold it aloft as a new personal benchmark for the medium. This review has been vague, but that’s entirely in the service of letting you go into the game blind. If you value my opinion at all, trust me when I say that Persona 5 is an amazing video game deserving of any and all praise it gets, and if you only buy one game this year, this is the one to get.

By James Lambert
@jameslambert18

DLC Review : Mafia 3 Extravaganza

Remember Mafia 3? It was my 2016 game of the year, which wasn’t an easy feat given the pedigree on display last year. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to try its three piece DLC menu since it was announced, and finally did so over the course of about a day and a half. For those who didn’t play the main game, it was a solid open world third person shooter, made worth playing due to its setting, story and soundtrack. Namely; 60s New Orleans, a biracial Vietnam vet Punishering his way through a city full of racist gangsters to avenge his adopted family, and all the period appropriate music you can think of. This was all layered onto satisfying combat and stealth, as well as surprisingly enjoyable driving, the result of which was an experience thats game of the year accolade I firmly stand by. Onto the DLC.

Faster, Baby!

First up is “Faster, Baby!” which, for better or worse, mixes a grim civil rights struggle with vehicular combat and a whole lot of chases. Lincoln teams up with Black Panther-type Roxy and fellow ‘Nam vet MJ to take down a racist, murderous Sheriff with a folder full of evidence attesting to his crimes. Why he didn’t destroy the folder is beyond me- you pinch it right off his desk. I get that he’s really overconfident because he’s a racist white man in the sixties and in a position of authority, but he understands how dangerous it is, and goes out of his way to get it back, so it does seem odd he didn’t just burn it. Anyway, dealing with said Sheriff revolves around this particular DLC’s focus on all things on four wheels, namely chases and car combat, of a sort. Traps have been added to country roads that, when shot, cover the road in things like oil drums and logs to slow down pursuers. One mission traps you in a car and involves trashing new location Sinclair Parish and shooting anything that explodes. Staying in the car when it’s not mandatory is also encouraged, most memorably during a mission in which you re-enact the end of John Wick with a bunch of Klansmen. Despite the new gameplay direction, this is easily the weakest of the three add-ons. The aforementioned mashing together of grim race struggle and exciting blaxploitation doesn’t feel nearly as jarring as it could, though that’s largely due to this little pocket of story being over before it really begins; dealing with the sheriff takes up roughly half of a ninety minute DLC. Each add-on has a unique, post-story sidequest: “Faster, Baby!” has growing and selling weed, which is harmless enough, but not particualrly involving outside of driving around the map finding new strains to plant.

Stones Unturned

Lincoln’s old Vietnam mate and CIA scumbag John Donovan takes centre stage here, as the pair track down a man named Aldridge, who switched sides during the war, nearly killed Donovan and now has a nuclear warhead to his name. Much akin to how Lincoln’s adventures in the base game were reminiscent of The Punisher, “Stones Unturned” is this universe’s equivalent of the time Frank Castle infiltrated Grand Nixon Island, murdered a load of mercenaries and stopped the head of the island from detonating a Nuke. Once you actually reach said island the DLC comes into its own, leaning into its change of scenery and, thankfully, cementing (in my mind at least) that Lincoln and John do genuinely care about each other. There’s an attempt to make Aldridge sympathetic, with his declaration that the US government at the time is something of a cesspool, and that the NVA and Vietcong “Aren’t [his] enemy”, but it’s only brief, and doesn’t really have much impact. The unique sidequest here is bounty hunting, which is much, much less exciting than it sounds. You’re given a tranquilliser pistol and a Hawaiian shirt (optional) and sent after three sequential men who need to be knocked out, stuffed into a car boot and driven back to another of Donovan’s shady mates. It’s not particualrly fun, it’s not interesting, but it’s over quickly. The DLC itself, however, is quite good.

Sign of the Times

Rounding out the trilogy is somehow simultaneously the best and most disappointing. Basically, it turns out there’s a True Detective cult operating in New Bordeaux, Lincoln and Father James rescue a member who’s been manipulated and abused, then everything turns into that scene from Kill List. You know the one. The USP for “Sign of the Times” is the addition of L.A Noire-style crime scene investigating, though it’s very basic. Most of the time you’re driving to locations historically racked with great tragedy, photographing a few things and examining the odd corpse, then blowing away cultists. The gunfights and skulking around creepy locations that make up the bulk of the add-on work well, and the detective work is a nice idea, albeit shallow and rather brief. The main issue I have is that this doesn’t really fit into the world and narrative established in the base game, despite being canon. It feels like standalone Halloween content, like that inFAMOUS 2 DLC where you’re a vampire, but instead is now a real part of Lincoln’s story. It’s not all bad though, the bond Lincoln forms with Anna (the cultist he rescues) is endearing, and it’s nice to see him work directly with Father James. The sidequest for this one is easily the best, and goes along way to making it the best of the three: rebuilding Sammy’s bar. After all the shit it went through in the main game, as well as being used a human sacrifice site in this DLC, Lincoln and his aunt can spend money to fix up the place, hire new staff, expand to different floors and the like, as well as instal tributes to Sammy, Ellis and Perla. Something like this deserves to be in the main game, but as it stands it makes the DLC worth playing, as a lovely bonus once you’ve dealt with the cult.

Overall the Mafia 3 DLC is solid, if uninspired. The new additions are largely superfluous, but are occasionally excellent, and the main body of each add-on is, when it boils down to it, more Mafia 3, which is always a good thing. None of it reaches the heights of the base game, but if you enjoyed that, this is worth getting.

By James Lambert

@jameslambert18

 

Yakuza Kiwami Review

Yakuza Kiwami is a charming romantic comedy about an eccentric, one-eyed Polymath trying to capture the heart of his one true love; the toughest man and number one hot Dad in Japan. There’s also something about a little girl, ten billion yen in missing Yakuza funds and a murdered Yakuza patriarch, but that’s all secondary at best. What’s important is Goro Majima’s tale of love, longing and the lessons we can learn from it: always follow your dreams, and never give up on love.

It’s a bumper year for fans of this series: Yakuza Zero provided engaging, illuminating backstory for Majima and set up Akira Nishkiyama as a decent bloke ahead of his heel-turn in this game. Now, only a few months later comes a remake of the original PS2 game, for better and worse, as it turns out. For now I’ll just say that I’ve been looking forward to this, I’m thrilled the series continues to be localised, and I’m really hyped for both Yakuza 6 and Kiwami 2. For the uninitiated Yakuza is a series of games that’s part deep, serious crime drama, part exquisitely brutal beat-em-up with RPG elements, and part batshit, weird minigames and substories off the beaten path. I’ve a deep fondness for the series and if all started with the original on PS2, which I never got around to finishing. Unfortunately as good as this game as a whole and as a remake is, it highlights a real issue with Yakzua Zero; namely series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s side of the story. Everything that happened in Kiryu’s story has literally no effect on the plot of Kiwami. There are cutscenes new to this version to strengthen the ties between the two games, but they almost exclusively show Akira Nishkiyama’s transition from Kiryu’s sworn brother to primary antagonist and whiny, slimy villain throwing away his entire life to become a Yakuza big shot. That works though, Nishki’s journey from good to villainous is understandable and even relatable to an extent, and his personal link to Kiryu makes him a solid big bad, particularly in early scenes when his backstory hasn’t been explained and he lurks in the background smirking at Kiryu. The story itself is decent, and wisely focuses on Kiryu and his adopted family, all of whom are connected to the missing money and the violent pursuit of both it and Haruka, a little girl directly tied to it somehow. It lacks the emotional punch of Majima’s plot in Zero, but it holds up well, and personally I think it’s a far superior introduction to Kiryu than Zero was.

So what’s new for the remake? Well it’s on the new engine debuted with the previous game and the voice acting is now all in Japanese to bring it in line with previous games. There are new cutscenes, minigames and substories, the multiple fighting stances from Zero return, with Kiryu’s mainstay fighting style requiring work to unlock all its moves and buffs. Most of said moves and buffs directly tie into the game’s biggest new addition: Majima Everywhere. I cannot stress how much I frankly adore this system. Having shed his reasonable, measured approach in favour of the “Mad Dog of Shimano” persona we all know and love, Majima is now determined to make Kiryu regain his immense strength and skill, it having been dulled by ten years in prison. He does this by hiding around town, wandering around town and having a subordinate lure Kiryu to certain places, all so the two of them can fight. He hides in bins, crouches behind cars, dresses as a police officer so he can search you, pops up behind you at restaurants and various entertainment venues; he’s completely dedicated to keeping you on your toes. At one point he stages a zombie apocalypse at great expense to himself, and gets a load of his men in the act. As far as I’m concerned, this is canon: during the events of the original Yakuza Goro Majima and the Majima family dropped everything else and spent all their time, effort and money surprising and fighting Kiryu to make him stronger. Not only is Majima a joy to fight, and it has the benefit of unlocking new techniques, the writing for all of his scenes is hilarious, and filled with a frankly impressive amount of innuendo double intended to the point that I’d be surprised if the dev team came out and said that Majima ISN’T madly in love with Kiryu. This is easily the most fun I had with the game, and I’m glad Sega capitalised on all the good will they’ve built up with Majima over the years, especially after Zero. Everything else is at good as it’s ever been; combat is still fun and satisfying, the story and its delivery is still gripping and impactful, and all the weirdness is still enjoyable.

If you’ve enjoyed any of the other games in the series, this is a no-brainer, especially for the discount retail price. If you’re new to the series this is the best place to start; see where it all began, get a feel for the series, then if you enjoy it play Zero while you wait for Kiwami 2 to be released. The new features are largely great apart from a new drawn-out side quest right at the beginning, Majima everywhere is inspired and overall I had a damn good time with the game.

By James Lambert

@jameslambert18

P.S Sega put out a survey asking what people like about the game, which goes on to ask how interested you are in future projects and seeing those projects localised, with specific reference to Kiwami 2 and the Hokuto no Ken game recently announced. It’d do me and every other fan of the series a real solid if you could take a look at it- Sega have said that interest and sales over here have made an actual difference, so it is worth your time. Thank you kindly

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScaE21WJ-iKMNaV1HN9KFqP2xToutQQgfoCW5lsAoxsmGcWjw/viewform