Lost Judgment review: the return of detective Yagami

Here are our impressions on Lost Judgment, the sequel to the first chapter and spin-off of the famous Yakuza series we talk about in this review

It's been two years since the first chapter of Judgment, spin-off of the Yakuza series, which has as its protagonist Takayuki yagami, played by the famous Japanese actor and singer Kimura Takuya, a real star of the land of the rising sun. Sega's title also achieved great success in the West, further paving the way for the Yakuza series, which for many years has been relegated to a niche of a few fans, also due to a lack of localization in languages ​​other than English.

Thanks to a very well done story and the introduction of a new series of characters all very charismatic, the first Judgment has entered the hearts of many players, and fortunately the Ryu Ga Gotoku Team has decided to continue the adventures of Detective Yagami in Lost Judgment, a sequel that recently arrived on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series S / X and Xbox One. In this Lost Judgment review we will tell you in detail all the reasons why (spoiler!) The title represents an unmissable sequel for all those who loved the first chapter.

The sense of justice

The first chapter of Judgment had surprised us for an incredibly well constructed storyline, which was based on the events related to the turbulent past as a lawyer of the detective Yagami who then connected to a political intrigue apparently without ties to an old case of the protagonist. At the end of the story all the knots came to a head making the player's brain explode for how much care had been put into the narrative plot, then embellished with splendid action sequences. After having witnessed the whole story of Lost Judgment we can say that we are faced with another great story that deserves to be lived.

The plot of Lost Judgment begins with two apparently very disconnected cases. Takayuki yagami and his inseparable assistant Masaharu Kaito, continue undeterred to be detectives in Kamurocho, but after the big case of the first title they are left with few noteworthy jobs. Providential will be the call of Sugiura, Yagami's former thief and friend we met in the first chapter.

These, together with the expert hacker Makoto Tsukumo, another old acquaintance of the first Judgment, has set up a detective agency in Yokohama inspired by Yagami, and apparently he will have a nice big job to submit to our two inseparable detectives. The group in fact will have to investigate in Seiryo high school, after being hired by the principal, on any cases of bullying.

Meanwhile, Yagami's former colleagues at the Genda law firm are following a sexual harassment case by a former policeman named Akihiro Not, who appears to have molested a woman on a train. During the trial, however, Ehara reveals to everyone that she knows the location of a man who will later be discovered to have been tortured and killed at the very moment in which Ehara was arrested. The former policeman also reveals that the victim is the one who pushed his son to suicide for bullying that took place right at the Seiryo high school a few years earlier. The lawyer Saori Shirosaki who was handling the case, calls Yagami and entrusts him with the task of shedding light on this mystery. How could Ehara know about the murder or even carry it out with her own iron alibi? Soon Yagami will find himself embroiled in a case that will shake the Japanese legal system from the ground up.

The Lost Judgment Story Faces themes such as bullying, a sense of justice, revenge and much more, managing to be convincing and very realistic, although sometimes you sin with some clichés or too many do-gooders. Also in this case we will end up with several cases apparently without any apparent connection, which will collimate in a finale full of emotions and spectacular battles. Great bad guys of this title, some ruthless and remorseless, which will make you really want to punch them.

The cast led by Takayuki Yagami and Kaito once again proves to be winning and charismatic, a new series of protagonists alongside those of the Yakuza series, who do not disfigure at all alongside historical characters such as Kazuma Kiryu. The only flaw is perhaps the fact that there are no additions in the cast that manage to pierce the screen as the characters of the first chapter of Judgment had done.

Every moment is the right one for a fight - Lost Judgment Review

Obviously, in a review dedicated to Lost Judgment, it is impossible not to talk in detail about the combat system, since the news of this chapter are certainly not few. First of all to the Crane style, suitable for groups of opponents, and the Tiger style, suitable in clashes with a single enemy, a third style is added, the Snake Style, designed to disarm opponents and execute quick counter moves. In general the fight is now much more fluid and spectacular. If in the first Judgment the differences between the two styles, there were, but they were not so emphasized, in this case the development team has undertaken to diversify them even more, making the change of style instinctive for the player according to the situation. . A detail that we really liked is also the change of background soundtrack depending on the style used.

Other than that we will always have the Ex moves that will result in spectacular final moves typical of the series since the first Yakuza, which will change according to the circumstances and the environment in which we find ourselves. There are always tons of them and in general they keep the exaggerated and sometimes funny style of the series. New is the ability to activate a special upgrade called Ex Boost which will continue to consume our Ex bar by upgrading Yagami in exchange. The peculiarity of this power up is the possibility of being able to change fighting style instantly, being able to create even more spectacular and devastating combos, since at each change the action will not stop as it normally happens and it will be possible to prolong the sequence of attacks.

There will then be many moves and skills to be acquired with a progression system that has remained virtually unchanged from the last chapter. Yagami will gain experience points from the fights, quests and various activities scattered around the two cities, Kamurocho and Ijincho. In fact, even simply eating in a restaurant will earn us experience points. We can therefore choose to improve the three fighting styles by acquiring new attacks or passive skills, improve our statistics such as attack power and health, or other talents that will improve the detective talents of our Yagami.

Yagami, a man of a thousand resources - Lost Judgment Review

Even if we will spend some time fighting various gangsters and thugs, let's not forget that Yagami is first and foremost a detective. In the first chapter there were already several mechanics such as stalking or chasing that served to identify us in this role, but unfortunately these sections were considered among the weakest in the game, such as stalking. In Lost Judgment, all of these aspects have been improved. The stalking has been greatly improved as it is faster and more dynamic than in the past, although it still has some burrs related to its structure. Pursuits have changed slightly and are basically QTEs with a minimum of character control. Fortunately, they won't be so present in the game that they become tedious.

Among the news we have a stealth system fun, but with pretty basic gimmicks, such as tossing a coin to distract opponents or hiding around corners to avoid being seen. Then there is a kind of platform mode where Yagami will use parkour to climb in different places. It will actually look more like a puzzle to be solved, as we will have to figure out the best route to take without our grip bar running out before we can get our feet on the ground. Then there will be several gadgets to use, such as the camera or the drone, to which are added a detector of electronic devices and a sound amplifier and even using a cute dog to follow some leads.

Often these mechanics are mixed together in a single mission to vary the pace and not to bore the player, succeeding very well. In fact, if taken individually, these mechanics are rather simplistic, while put together they manage to entertain thanks to the continuous change of actions to be performed. The only flaw is that each of these mechanics is accessible only in certain missions, which will be rather guided and linear and with little freedom given to the player.

A World of Extras - Lost Judgment Review

We could do a separate review of the extra activities of Lost Judgment. As always if the main story will occupy a 20-25 hours to be concluded, the hour counter will increase dramatically also counting the various activities available. As mentioned earlier in Lost Judgment we will have two main areas to move in, the dear and old Kamurocho e Isekai Ijincho, Yokohama district already seen in Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon. The classics will return secondary missions, in total 42 in this chapter. As per tradition, these missions tone down a bit the tones of the more serious main plot, with hilarious and crazy cases that cannot be missing in a game of the series.

In addition to these missions, however, we will have a whole world of minigames and other activities to get lost in. There will be Skateboard competitions, which we will receive at the beginning of the game and which will allow us to move quickly in the two cities, as well as compete in this secondary activity. Drone racing, VR Paradise, gambling and more will be back, including the game rooms in which it will be possible to do some video game Inception, where we will play by controlling Yagami who will play a video game by controlling other characters.

In addition to the classics of the historic Master System, Virtua Fighter 5 and other famous Sega titles are back, to which the original has been added Sonic the fighters, a fighting game starring the blue hedgehog that dates back to 1996. There will therefore be hours and hours of extra content for a truly sky-high longevity.

Back to School - Lost Judgment Review

The beauty of taking care of the review of Lost Judgment is the fact that you can also go back to the years of high school with Yagami. If we mentioned Kamurocho and Ijincho as the main areas, there would be some a third unofficial which is Seiryo high school placed in the map of Ijincho. Here we will find a whole rebuilt school complex, which will be an important part of the main story, but not only. To investigate freely, Yagami will be hired as a consultant by the school as a cover.

Here our detective, in addition to investigating the case he is following, will be able to get in touch with the various students and help them in club activities and beyond. There will be various secondary activities like the dance club, with a minigame reminiscent of the classic Rhythm games in which you have to press the right buttons at the right time, the boxing club with a system similar to a fighting game, the robotics club with the clashes between robots and much more .

Each of these activities is much more elaborate than the simple minigames that can be found in the rest of the game, and above all will have a story to follow. All school plots are kind of like a story parallel to the main one, which will also lead to another investigation and a very well done final quest. All this as if the longevity of the normal game wasn't enough! This addition is very welcome and manages to be a different content from the usual ones seen within the saga also including the Yakuza. We also recommend that you try motorcycle racing, which is really fun as a minigame.

How to be in Japan - Lost Judgment Review

Graphically Lost Judgment is remarkable, especially on PS5 which is the version we tested. The Dragon Engine it has very high peaks in the settings and in the character models, especially in the cutscenes that seem so realistic they almost seem like a movie. Instead, it lacks a bit in different models of the secondary characters, such as the various NPCs that we will meet on the street or at school, which seem much less realistic than the main ones.

The settings, on the other hand, are always well-kept and moving through the streets of the game districts is always a pleasure. Those who have ever visited Japan will also feel a little nostalgia to enter a conbini (small supermarkets open 24 hours a day) or to see some typically Japanese panorama.

On PS5 the title has two graphics modes: one standard with dynamic 4K and constant 60 FPS and one called Resolution with 4K and 30 FPS. During the time spent with us for the review of Lost Judgment, we found the 60 FPS mode to be extremely better than that Resolution, especially for a greater fluidity that instead with the 30 FPS it is lacking. The title then presents the dubbing in English and Japanese, and the latter in our opinion is much more immersive to enjoy the story which is all subtitled in Spanish anyway.

final Thoughts

We had already said it at the beginning of this review of Lost Judgment, we are faced with a great game in no way inferior to the first chapter. The story is on the same level, perhaps slightly less immersive in the final act, but no doubt with a great storyline, while the gameplay has been improved and expanded in every aspect. If you loved the first Judgment then you can't miss this second chapter, hoping to see new adventures of detective Yagami and his trusted assistant Kaito in the future.

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8.8 An adventure worthy of the previous chapter!

Points in favor

  • History always of the highest level
  • Combat improved in every aspect
  • Mechanics like tailing or stealth made more varied and dynamic ...
  • A mountain of extra content
  • Graphically excellent and fluid

Points against

  • ... even if taken individually they are too simple and linear
  • Some technical smudges especially in some models of the secondary characters
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