You know how Star Citizen is being developed by half dozen different studios, one's working on the flying around part, one's working on the walking around part, one's working on the multiplayer, one's working on the cinematics, etc?

Yakuza 0 feels like a preview of that. You walk around until combat starts and then the game loads a second executable to handle the combat. Or a conversation starts, and they boot up Ren'Py. They share assets and maybe a renderer but *certainly* no gameplay code.


Whereas Star Citizen is doing silos to spend as much money as quickly as possible, Yakuza does it as an extremely conservative design ethos.

The running-around-a-city stuff implies a Grand Theft Auto influence, but western open world games usually try for systemic interaction producing interesting emergent outcomes, and Yakuza minimizes this as much as it can -- everything interesting that happens is something a designer thought of and put there. It's much closer to a traditional JRPG.

(I'm not convinced I'm actually being informative here -- I've historically avoided games with VN/JRPG style mash-through-text-boxes storytelling because the writing in that sort of game is rarely good enough to justify its wordiness and pacing. So these insights are new to me. But I get the impression that the visual novel is Mastodon's collective favorite genre, so they're probably not new to *you*.)

Yakuza update: I'm now at hour forty, near the end, and the game has entirely stopped presenting me with those moments of delight that peppered the first few hours. All that's left is the entirely incompetent melodrama. For a while I was skipping all the cutscenes and was lamenting that I couldn't skip the fight scenes, and then I realized I *could* and shut the game off.

@mogwai_poet I did some musing at some point about how Yakuza as an open-world RPG differs wildly from how Western studios make those but I've forgotten most of my points, something about scale and scope...?

like GTA has massive cities which feel mostly dead and there's very little to actually do in them beyond play with the systems, while the Yakuzas limit themselves to a few blocks and stuff them (comparatively) full of restaurants and minigames

@theoutrider The huge scale is necessary when one of your core gameplay pillars is driving. But yeah it means to feel populated it needs to be *systemically* populated.

@mogwai_poet I've heard really good things about Yakuza zero. Perhaps the people who were commenting never played the game to the end?

Then again, if I can get a few hours enjoyment out of a game, that' usually enough for me. How long did it take you until it started to become dull?

@loke It's hard to say! I really liked the first ten hours probably?

Thanks. That's enough for me. I might try it when I'm bored.

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