Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life: PS4 Review
Released by SEGA
What is it about the Yakuza games which make them so appealing?
Is it the fact they've transcended their apparent early Grand Theft Auto origins to become something of their own cultural touchstone?
Or is the fact that the world that developers Sega has created is one that makes time more than worth staying in?
Certainly, the latest - and final iteration of the franchise - does much to ensure that the player's desire to be part of Kazuma Kiryu's world and quests are more than worth every minute you're there.
But yet, there's also something else - particularly with The Song Of Life.
It's the personalisation of the story which makes it worth dwelling in.
This time around, Kazuma Kiryu has to track down whoever is responsible for a terrible crime and who has left him literally holding the baby. It's here the mechanics of the game don't change again, with Kazuma violently going about dealing with extracting confessions and beating evidence out of suspects while dealing to those who generally accost him.
Combat is simple and as fluid as ever, with items around to be grabbed upon, used and smashed as often as heads are together. It's nothing radical from the past, and there's the usual confusion over grabbing and punching with the controls from time to time.
Much effort's been thrown into the cinematics of Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life as well, with long substantial cut scenes scything through the action. But for a finale, one can suppose that's excusable, even if occasionally it feels like an irritation, no matter how beautifully they are executed.
Thankfully, a swathe of mini-games make the Yakuza way of life tolerable - from dealing with the baby to karaoke, there's much here to be admired and to help you escape from the darker edges.
Ultimately, Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life is a good conclusion to the franchise; epic in many ways, but smart enough to make sure that the intimate is never forgotten, Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life is a fittingly engaging end to a franchise.