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Yakuza 0[b] is an action-adventure game developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by Sega. It is the sixth main entry in the Yakuza series and a prequel to the original game. It was released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan in March 2015, and in North America and Europe for PlayStation 4 in January 2017. It was released on Windows on August 1, 2018 and on Xbox One on February 26, 2020. A free accompanying game application for PlayStation Vita, titled Yakuza 0: Free to Play Application for PlayStation Vita,[c] was released in Japan in February 2015. Set in late 1988 during Japan's bubble era, and seventeen years before the events of the first game, the story follows Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima as they get embroiled in a conflict between various Yakuza factions for control of a patch of land known as the \"Empty Lot\".
Players can freely walk around Kamurocho and Sotenbori, interacting with people they meet to trigger side-quests, battling enemies who attack them on the street, or playing several minigames, including fully playable versions of Sega arcade games such as Out Run, Super Hang-On, Space Harrier and Fantasy Zone. Completing certain objectives, such as eating every dish at a restaurant or reaching a target score in a minigame, will also grant the player special Completion Point currency; these Completion Points can be spent at a shrine to receive additional bonuses, such as special items or character upgrades.
In December 1988, yakuza Kazuma Kiryu is framed for murder in an empty lot in Kamurochō, Tokyo. As the Empty Lot is the last piece of land needing to be purchased before the Tojo Clan can redevelop the area, it has become the target of Dojima Family patriarch Sohei Dojima, believing obtaining it will grant him enough power and influence to become Tojo Clan chairman. To protect his adoptive father, Shintaro Kazama, from punishment, Kiryu leaves the Dojima Family.
In Sotenbori, ex-yakuza Goro Majima is forced to run a cabaret club, as punishment for his involvement in the Ueno-Seiwa assassination in 1985. Per the orders of his former patriarch Futoshi Shimano, Majima is under constant surveillance by Shimano's oath brother, Tsukasa Sagawa, a member of the Omi Alliance, the Tojo Clan's rivals. Following a new order from Shimano, Sagawa offers Majima a chance to rejoin the Shimano Family by assassinating Makoto, who suffers from psychogenic blindness.
In January 1989, Sera becomes the Tojo Clan Captain, with Dojima languishing after the loss of his lieutenants. The Empty Lot is destroyed and the Millennium Tower is built on its stead. Kiryu rejoins the Dojima Family under a new oath, hoping to find his own path as a yakuza. Meanwhile, Majima adopts a new persona, inspired by Lee, Nishitani and Sagawa, to empower himself, and bids Sagawa farewell, who is later assassinated by the Omi Alliance for his failure to secure a deal with Shimano. Majima allows Makoto to live a peaceful life with her new boyfriend, and later encounters Kiryu for the first time in Kamurocho.
Eventually, Makimura shows to the clinic and, seeing Majima's yakuza tattoos, he immediately identifies him as an assassin. After Makimura convinces his unwitting assistant to fetch him some cigarettes while he works on their \"client\", Majima and Makimura get into a fight. However, they are interrupted by the sudden arrival of more yakuza. These new assassins reveal something to Majima: The man he thought was Makoto Makimura was actually a Chinese gangster named Wen Hai Lee and the real Makoto Makimura was the blind assistant. When the real Makimura returns from the store, the hitmen kidnap her and shoot Lee. Majima pursues them and eventually rescues Makimura, taking her to one of his hiding spots. Though he briefly contemplates killing her, he finds that he can't bring himself to do it.
As part of his initiation to Tachibana Real Estate, Oda takes Kiryu to a meeting with a client at the Café Alps. The client requests that they help him get rid of a squatter occupying a property he recently bought at auction. Kiryu and Oda meet with the squatter, who at first refuses to vacate, even when offered a sizeable cash offer. However, after Kiryu beats up the yakuza thugs who put him up to the squatting deal, the squatter leaves.
In Sotenbori, Majima has hidden Makimura in a club storage warehouse. In search of answers, he tracks down Lee to a small underground clinic run by a Chinese doctor. Surprised that Majima is actually helping Makimura, Lee tells him that doesn't know why people are after her, but that he's working on a plan to trick the yakuza into believing that she is dead.
With no other place to go, Kiryu takes shelter with the homeless of to West Park, who also owe Tachibana a favor. The next day, Oda picks up Kiryu from the park and takes him to the Tojo Clan headquarters, where Tachibana has arranged for them to meet with the Clan's Second Chairman, Takashi Nihara. Tachibana requests that the Chairman pardon Kiryu's life, offering one billion yen in recompense. Nihara is skeptical, questioning why he should spare the life of a yakuza who flagrantly acted against his own boss. Tachibana argues that Kiryu only acted to stop the uncontrollable expansion of Sohei Dojima's power, which he knows the Chairman is also interested in stopping. Tachibana promises that, if Kiryu is spared, all three of them will carry out Tachibana's plan to stop Dojima's power grab. Swayed, Nihara agrees to pardon Kiryu. However, as the three men leave, the Chairman sends dozens of his men to attack them as a test to see whether they have the might to face off against Dojima. Despite heavy resistance, the three men manage to escape with their lives.
By the time Kiryu, Nishiki and Kashiwagi arrive at the Nikkyo's base in a docked yacht, Shibusawa's attack has already begun. While Kashiwagi and his men hold back Shibusawa's goons, Nishiki and Kiryu head aboard the yacht, where Shibusawa is searching for Makimura. Kiryu eventually manages to reach Shibusawa, who is holding an unconscious Makimura hostage. Shibusawa explains that, after years of being passed over for promotion because of more charismatic yakuza like Kazama, Kuze and Awano, he is finally getting the recognition he feels he deserves, and he won't let a low-ranking thug like Kiryu threaten that. Kiryu goads Shibusawa into a fight by calling out his power-lust and, after an extended duel, defeats him and rescues Makimura. Kiryu considers killing Shibusawa, but he is stopped by Nishiki, who insists killing a man once he's already been beaten would make Kiryu just as monstrous as Dojima and his goons.
In Sotenbori, Majima bids goodbye to Sagawa, who is impressed that Majima survived the entire ordeal. Though Majima says that having to deal with Sagawa's coercion helped him learn to live like a real yakuza, he never wants to see him again. Moments after Majima departs, a dejected Sagawa is confronted by Omi Alliance hitmen and promptly executed.
Don't forget that throughout all this, you're still a member of the Yakuza though (even if there's just a tenuous connection for a bit due to both characters' transgressions, real and imagined). So you'll be faced with an absolute ton of different combat encounters, whether while you're walking through the city or completing a task for someone else. Street thugs, other yakuza members, and ne'er-do-wells all do their best to beat you down when they find you wandering about, and you'll have to open up a can of you-know-what to cut them down to size.
These missions are some of the most important parts of the game, infusing what others may interpret as a bloodthirsty game in which violence is the only way to reach a resolution with others. Exploring these quests reveals the beating heart of Kiryu and humanizes him as just a regular guy who's actually quite the decent person despite you know, being a member of the yakuza. It's this that helps set the series as a whole apart from other brawlers, and I highly recommend playing through all of these missions if at all possible, as their occasional silliness and earnestness goes a long way to make for an extremely memorable game. There are over 100 of them to discover, so you'll be in for a real treat if you decide to truly dig in.
This game serves as a prequel to the events of the Yakuza series and sets up both Kiryu and Majima as budding Yakuza members who end up embroiled in controversial situations of their own. The manner in which this prequel serves up a delicious story without compromising on the established lore of the series certainly deserves to be commended. Players who want to check out Yakuza 0 can download the following mods to further enhance their experience.
One of the simpler mods on this list does exactly what is stated in its name. Players who wanted the intro video of Yakuza 0 to run on the same framerate as the rest of the game need only download this mod.
On some systems, the game can exhibit stutters no matter if you are in a certain kind of gameplay, menu, or cut-scene, which appear as brief freezes at semi-regular intervals. The issue can occur regardless of other settings, open applications, and game graphics options, and is easily noticed on the start screen as well as save loading screen before you launch the game, or shortly after starting. If you notice this issue, this can be worked around by toggling your screen refresh rate, G-SYNC, FreeSync, or some other kind of VRR technology and relaunching the game after yo