EDIT: ABORT ABORT I SCREWED UP
Oops. The game audio is missing and your commentary started around 10 seconds late.
Dammit, I put in the wrong voice track. Hold on.
I’m surprised it took me until episode 16 to fuck up in catastrophic fashion. Here’s the video again, and this time it even comes with the correct audio track!
Detective Date’s estranged daughter seems to be hanging out with the wrong crowd lately, and of course we’re going to do what we can to help out our friend. Lots of family drama here in Chapter 6, although to be fair it is called “Fatherhood”.
Ah yes, the silly part where he says “I’m a horrible father” immediately after slapping his daughter. I wonder if it was that way in the original version, because I don’t remember it being translated that way in Kiwami.
Some fairly major plot developments occur, the most significant of them clearly being the fact Nishiki’s carp tattoo has almost reached level 20.
We also visit the “Love in Heart” massage parlor and play a minigame that is in no way weird and creepy. I’d like to think that rather crude SFX after the minigame was added in the localization, but anything is possible with this series. While there is no PS2-era nudity or anything other than heavily implied sexual content here, I’ll tag this update as just to be on the safe side.
Okay, so it turns out I have fucked up pretty badly with one of the technical aspects of this LP. What I’ve been doing here is recording the output from my PS2 through the Micomsoft Framemeister, and that output has slight vertical pillarboxing on the sides like this (I’ve been messing around with the zoom function and cropping to make it less apparent and remove the horizontal letterboxing):
So, okay, I figured that was just how the PS2’s widescreen output looked. Then I finally did a proper side-by-side comparison with the PS3 release, which runs at a full 16:9. I assumed they had just extended the field of view horizontally for this release and removed the pillarboxing, but… well, see for yourself:
See how everything is ever so slightly shorter and wider? Yeah, basically how this works is that they stretched the image to fill the 16:9 aspect ratio on the PS3. The mistake I made was not realizing that you’re actually supposed to do that yourself with the PS2 output (I read a bunch of stuff about this but only got conflicting information from different sources), so everything in the videos so far has looked too skinny, and I never noticed because it didn’t look wrong enough. Go me.
I’ll fix the issue in future updates, but so much for me having the best-looking Yakuza 1 LP out there (unless I re-render all the previous videos, which I will not do because the discrepancy isn’t THAT huge).
Well, that’s enough of my incompetence for now. Time for an update:
You know, if I got shot an hour ago, going out on the town would be the least of my worries even if the bullet just grazed my arm like it did Haruka’s. Turns out she also loves illegal gambling. What on earth even goes on at the Sunflower Orphanage if all the kids from there turn out like hardcore yakuza?
On a technical note, the aspect is mostly fixed. There is a couple pixels’ worth of black border to the right of the image, which was hard to see in any preview so I didn’t notice until now. There’s also the fact that I used the Framemeister’s settings to crop out the horizontal borders and cut out a few pixels off the bottom in the process, so I’ll probably also need to stretch the sides out a bit more to get the perfect 16:9 ratio and lose a couple of pixels from there as well. Still, this is now at least close to how the game should look in widescreen mode, and I apologize for my stupid mistake (which probably would’ve gone unnoticed if I hadn’t brought it up myself, but hey).
…Heh, the forum is yelling at me for posting several times in a row. How rude. It’s not my fault I’m not getting much traffic, you know! Or maybe it is my fault because my content isn’t good enough, now that I think of it.
Was the part in the roulette gambling area optional or a side story? I don’t remember it being a part of Kiwami, but that could explain why I wouldn’t remember it (I completed the plot, but haven’t exhausted the side stories yet).
That was a substory, yeah. I don’t recall it being in Kiwami, but I didn’t do every single substory in that game so I might have just missed it.
In which we float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, or something to that effect.
We finish up the last of the substories in Chapter 7, and spend some quality time running around town with Haruka. This kid has an appetite like some sort of a world-devouring eldritch god.
BROTHERRR! Oh wait, wrong game. We finally meet up with Nishiki, but our old friend and oath brother is very obviously not the person he once was. Nishiki also brings up something interesting - Yumi’s ring was found at the crime scene when the ten billion yen were stolen. Why would she drop her ring so carelessly?
I thought Purgatory was supposed to be safe from this kind of thing? Geez, Kage, you had one job. Well then, looks like it’s time for Kazuma Kiryu to beat up all the street gangs in Kamurocho and find out who hired these idiots to attack West Park while we were out, because nobody kidnaps Haruka and gets away with it.
Just a heads up, by the way - this episode contains some rather unpleasant torture sequences in a flashback cutscene. Most of the violence in this game is cartoonish and kinda silly even though it’s rated M (or 18+ in Europe), but this particular scene is something you could feasibly see in a hardcore gangster film. Of course it still is the PS2 so the visuals aren’t as gnarly as they would be in something like GTA V and I doubt anyone out there would be traumatized by this or anything, but the whole thing is still pretty gross especially with those sound effects.
As I say roughly eighty times in the actual video, this quest dealing with Dojima’s widow should have been part of the main plot. Speaking of which, there’s some fairly major plot stuff at the end of this video as we close out chapter 8. Namely, an important new character gets introduced, and we also learn a bit more about Lau Ka Long of the Snake Flower Triad and how they relate to the Tojo Clan.
EDIT: I also forgot to post this coliseum battle video when it went up, so here you go!
More sped-up battle arena antics set to music. Today’s Coliseum fight schedule is as follows:
Revenge GP: We face off with the same three guys Kage had us fight when we first arrived, including the legendary Gary “Buster” Holmes. Can they finally take down the Dragon of Dojima? Music: Hidenori Shoji - Fly (from Yakuza 3)
Burning GP: I fell into a burning ring of fire. Threw Feldman down and the flames went higher. (I guess that explains why his skin is so red…) In Kiwami, the fire around the ring actually gets bigger over time! Music: Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage (Live)
Sword Duel GP: So now we’re slashing each other with swords, knives and cleavers. Good times were had by all. That Bear Killer fellow’s fighting style sure does seem familiar, like a mad dog of some sort. Music: Namco Sound Team - The Edge of Soul (from Soul Edge/Soul Blade)
Or maybe Yokohama Highway Battle, I’m not sure which end of the highway we are on at that point after rescuing Haruka from the Snake Flower Triad (which, in true Kazuma Kiryu fashion, involves beating up a restaurant full of gangsters… well, beating up the gangsters inside the restaurant, not the building itself although that still seems plausible enough). However, instead of doing battle in the form of illegal street races, we have an absolutely terrible rail shooter section to get through. ChaosArgate joins me once again for this exciting road trip.
As I’ve said a few times lately, I mostly prefer the original game to Kiwami. I realize the latter is objectively superior in many ways (certainly from a technical standpoint) but the low-budget remake that uses the Yakuza 0 engine and recycles many of the assets from 0 simply isn’t as interesting to me as this flawed but ambitious late-era PS2 game that laid the groundwork for the series. That being said, this rail shooter segment is almost unplayable in the original version and should have never made it into the released game, because even for the PS2 this is some dire shit. I would call it reminiscent of weird PS2 budget games, but that would be an insult to the likes of Earth Defense Force because at least that is fun to play.
Oh yeah, and when I start rambling on about Yakuza being intended as a competitor to GTA, I obviously mean in the west where they clearly were going for the GTA audience with all the “gritty” swearing and celebrity voices. In Japan, Ryu ga Gotoku simply started out with Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi making the kind of game that he himself wanted to see, and nobody expected much from it at first.
I know saying “shit gets real” is an appalling cliché these days, but it’s also quite accurate for this part of the game. “Turning Point” is also the name of the song that plays during the boss fight, and the western release of Yakuza Kiwami used the remix from that version as the intro music in place of Receive You Reborn.
Major spoilers, don’t read unless you watched the video or already know the story: Thanks to Yakuza 0 and the extra characterization everyone got in that game, the unfortunate fate of Shinji and Reina hits a lot harder than it would have back in the day. Sadly, Kiryu’s dub voice actor Darryl Kurylo doesn’t quite manage to sell the scene like Takaya Kuroda does in Japanese.
No, we’re not actually doing the hostess sidequests here, it just so happens that the story takes us to both Jewel and Shine as we search for a Shangri-La membership card. We also discover the story of the fake Mizuki.
Honestly, these sidequests are really starting to blur together at this point. There’s two more chapter 11 side mission videos and I’ll post them at some point, but next time we’ll move on to plot stuff again. Anyway, here are the Gangbusters. They’re stupid and boring and useless.