Lost Judgment game is a spin-off of the long-running Yakuza series. It has the essence of Yakuza games while still following a different pattern. The game is a sequel to Judgment which was released in December 2018. Instead of being a gangster who fights people, this time the main character is a detective who fights people. It shows the world of Yakuza from a different perspective since Takayuki Yagami is a detective. Despite being at the side of the law, Takayuki Yagami is still a master of different martial arts styles. He is a lawyer turned detective that wants to set things right. The game takes a different approach than the original one but, Takayuki is still a private detective.
The story of Lost Judgment starts as a simple case but, it extends into something bigger. There is some repetition in the game but, it is still a good experience. The combat of the game is fun and, it is full of hardcore action. It still has the essence of Yakuza and, players can feel the Yakuza vibe from it. Picking up stuff and hitting enemies with it is still very much a thing. Fighting styles and the goofy nature of its world is still prevalent. The well-realized world and a large number of side activities make it an amazing open-world experience. Though the story of Lost Judgment is not as high stake as the previous game, it still tries to become a better sequel.
The Lost Judgment game starts from the Kamurocho district. Later on, Takayuki Yagami will go to the Isezaki Ijincho district where some of his friends have set up a detective agency. The story starts as a simple investigation and bullying at school that turns into something larger. Gruesome murders, sexual assaults, and the involvement of different people in the case make it more complicated. The involvement of some key figures makes it more than just a petty case.
The first couple of hours of the game takes place in a high school. It is a fully-realized high school with side quests, main quests, and a lot of other stuff to do. You can go to every part of the school which makes it a major part of the story. It is developed by the developers of Yakuza and you can feel the same vibe from it though the perspective is different.
It does not really matter if you have played the first game or not, as the game will put you up to speed. Though playing the first game will help you make a deeper connection with some characters. There are some returning characters in the game but the game will also inform you about them as well. However, the investigation in the story is totally new.
The Low Stake Story
It follows a different pattern and feels like a toned-down version of the first one. It is not as high stake and has a different tone than the original one. The investigation is not too intense, unlike the original one as bodies are not going to pile up which makes you want to discover more. In the Lost Judgment game, you can take your time to do a side quest and do other stuff without worrying about having to find more about the case. It does not have the idea of high stake case. Sure there are some gruesome murders but you are not running against the time to stop the killer. The intensity of the case remains the same which keeps its story low stake.
As mentioned earlier, the initial part of the investigation takes place in school and you can feel the low stakes of the story from the beginning. The dread of something bad happening is missing which takes away the thrill of pressure that detective games usually have. It’s not like being a detective is a major part of the game as that is just a side aspect of it. However, a more intense case and the story could have made the game feel better. You are supposed to ask questions and other stuff like that from different people. So the threat of events is not that high.
There are a lot of side quests and side activities besides the main story. These quests can be both quirky and real-life events. The main story is serious but, there is some absurdity here in there. It is similar to how absurdity exists along with the serious story of Yakuza games as well. There are also personal and emotional side quests that will attach you to other characters. You have to look for these types of quests but they usually involve a character that has some problem.
Some weird side quests such as a panty sniffer, a Spiderman imposter, a quest about a hunted ramen shop that appears in the night, and things like that are also part of the game. While following the Spiderman imposter you will be mistaken as him and labeled as a pervert. Such side quests end in hilarious situations. You can talk to different weird people with different kinds of perceptions regarding the world.
Side quests are good and are an amazing part of the game. It is easier to start side quests since all of them are now on Takayuki’s phone. There is an app on the phone and when you put keywords on it then the related quests will appear on it. It feels good since Takayuki Yagami uses modern means to find solutions in the modern era. The instruments you use are all part of current technology since it is not forcing you into using traditional detective instruments.
Like other such games, the Lost Judgment game has an amazing setting that feels like a Japan simulator game. The map is based on real-world Japan with amazing details. It is dense with a large number of locations but, its map size is not as big as other open-world games. There are two locations this time, Kamurocho and Isezaki Ijincho districts. The two districts are the recreation of the real-life Kabukicho and Isezakicho districts. Even their names are somewhat similar to their real-life counterpart.
You can go around and look at every part of the game’s detailed map. Good maps have always been a strong suit of Yakuza games but this time, they are making it even better. You can go anywhere on the map and, every building is accessible in some way. You can get drunk, eat, do side activities, play mini-games, and even play complete video games. The city is very realistic and, the accessibility that it offers makes it all the better.
There are complete video games at arcade shops. Lost Judgment is the only game that has completely playable real video games. You can play classic games on the arcade machines such as Virtual Fighters, Fighting Vipers, Motor Raids, Sonic Fighters, and other such video games. There is even a complete Master System in your apartment! that includes classic games such as Penguin Land, Fantasy Zone, Alien Syndrome, and so on. Finding cartages in the mission will give you access to more. The amount of details and interactivity that the game offers is insane.
A large portion of the game revolves around the High School and, it is a major part of the story in the first chapters. There are fight with teens in the school and, there is also some bullying in it. You can go back to school over and over even with that phase of the story is over. The high school will remain a major part of the map since it is not just a simple building. High school in Lost Judgment, is similar to its real-world counterpart. The high school has multiple floors with a gym, basketball court, and other facilities that you can find in a real-life high school.
In high school, you can engage in a lot of activities. There are side quests in the school which are called school stories. The high school side quests are pretty amazing and it has some of the best quests in the entire game. There are also different clubs that you can join. The most memorable of these clubs are the Mystery Club and Dance Club. In the Mystery club, you will be their advisor on different mysteries. The Dance Club is just a dance club that even gives you the opportunity to dance. High School in the Lost Judgment game is more than just a simple landmark on the map.
Combat of the Lost Judgment
The game has amazing combat with some of the best combat sequences. It is a street brawler that offers an amazing amount of combat verity. Intense combat is its main focus as you can use anything around you as a weapon. You can still beat people up by hitting them with cycle. Everything around you is a weapon that makes its combat more variable and fun. You can use chairs, baseball bats, cycle, table, and anything that you can pick up, as a weapon.
Finishing enemies off with a final attack is also an option. There are specific animations for finishers in different situations. You can even finish off enemies by throwing them off the bridge. Developers have given a lot of thought to the situational moves. Every quest would eventually end up combat so there is a lot of fighting. It also offers a decent amount of mobility in combat such as wall running or grabbing enemies from the ground. Fill ex gauge and unleash a volley of attacks on enemies. So the combat is pretty intense. You can even scare people into submissions by breaking their will to fight.
You can also upgrade different aspects of Takayuki combat to make him stronger. Upgrade the mobility, fighting styles, gain special moves, more health, and stuff like that. Certain perks will help you survive by granting you bonuses in certain conditions. One such ability allows you to gain bonus damage while health is low. It is just the usual video game stuff so there is nothing special about this aspect of the game.
The Fighting Style
There are three different fighting styles instead of four which is a staple of Yakuza games. These fighting styles include Crane style, Tiger Style, and Snake Style. All of these fighting styles are useful in different combat scenarios.
Crane is for crowd control and it is useful when a lot of enemies are surrounding you. It has some crazy kicks that can help you deal with multiple enemies at the same time. Tiger is more suitable for one on one combat and it is handy when fighting a tough enemy. Snake style is more about defense and counter. The powerful attacks of Tiger style can help you dispatch a single enemy quickly. It does not do much damage but it can turn an enemy’s moves against them. If you want to fight defensively then Snake style is the way to go.
Lost Judgment game is not all about combat. It is a good drama at its core as well. Investigations and finding glues are part of the game but it is not one of its main aspects. The investigation is just there to remind you that you are a detective looking for clues. There are a lot of mini-games and some other weird stuff going on around. Some of the characters that you meet in the game are pretty wild. Such bizarre characters have always been part of the franchise so it’s not a surprise.
The animations are good and the performance of the voice actor is pretty amazing. Their characterization is good but at times it seems out of place. Especially Takayuki’s character who acts cool all the time. Similar to how certain characters act in anime which feels in place but can still seem weird at times. The game seems similar to the original one yet it is fundamentally different.
It has the same flow yet a different take on the topics and plot. First, find a person or clues then progress to the next phase. Getting clues usually includes looking for something at a scene or room. At times, you will have to tail people in the streets. There are also some stealth sequences in which you have to sneak behind to get clues. Such sequences are not the game’s strong suit and can feel awkward.
Takayuki’s Gadgets and Dog
You can use a skateboard to go around on the map. You still get into fights even while on the skateboard but it adds more fun to the game. Skateboard is an esthetically pleasing experience that won’t have much impact on the gameplay. Takayuki Yagami also uses a noise amplifier to hear distant voices, still use the drone, lock picking, and wear disguises in certain scenarios. So the impact of detective elements is prevalent in certain gameplay elements of the Lost Judgment game.
Later in the Lost Judgment, you will find a Shiba Inu detective dog. The dog will help you find clues in different parts of the map. In certain quests, the use of the detective dog is a must. You can take the dog on an outing to sniff for a special treasure. The treasures will randomly drop and the dog will just push you towards it by going in that direction. You can take the dog out any time, as finding these random treasures is a separate activity on its own.
Activities and Customization
There are a lot of side activities, mini-games, and weird things in the Lost Judgment game as explained earlier. Classic arcade games and other traditional mini-games such as darts, rooftop golf, and other such activities make the exploration better. There is just an insane amount of side content on every part of the map. You can go inside any building which makes the city seems more realistic and lively.
Money is an important factor in the game so, the more you have it, the better it is. Beating down enemies can give you money. Helping citizens will give you more money than other activities. Such an initiative makes it a desirable choice for players. You can use this money to buy better items to craft better potions or buy better gear to upgrade your character. Depending on the upgrades, your playstyle can change.
Lost Judgment game is a detective-style Japan simulator with good combat, decent story, and goofiness. You have the tools and abilities to search for clues to get to the bottom of things. Takayuki Yagami is a good fighter who has mastered different fighting styles. So you will be fighting a lot of bad guys in the brawler-style combat. There are a lot of side activities and hidden stuff on the map which keep the experience fresh. Buff your character by eating. Enjoy the world by playing video games, mini-games, and doing amazing side quests. Lost Judgement offers all of this, in the detailed districts of Kamurocho and Isezaki Ijincho.
At its core, it is a drama story and investigation is just an afterthought. There are some pacing issues that can break the flow of the game from time to time but they are not as prevalent as other games. Explanation of the crimes is also not that good. It has good chase scenes that are full of action. The first couple of chapter takes place in the school and, the pace of these chapters is pretty slow. The good writing and voice acting of Lost Judgment make it an amazing experience. Conversations are realistic and polished that fit perfectly in the game. In the end, it depends on whether you like these types of games. It is one of the best street brawler and Yakuza-style games.