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PC Port Impressions: Yakuza 0

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While for many E3 2018 may not have been the most interesting year for gaming announcements, but there were a few surprises here and there. Strangely enough, the usually bland PC Gaming Show was the source of one of the more interesting reveals: PC releases of old and upcoming SEGA releases, starting with Yakuza 0 next month. Considering that the Yakuza series has only been released on Sony platform until now, this opens up the possibility for a wide range of currently console-only titles making their way to PC. Yakuza 0 has received a solid port, which bodes well for SEGA’s continued support of future PC releases.

Honestly, Yakuza 0 is the perfect first entry in the long running series to make its way to the PC. Detailing the early adventures of yakuza Kazuma Kiryu, Yakuza 0 refines the core beat ’em up gameplay and brings some great new mechanics such as the style system. Even the amount of minigames, something that series fans have come to love, have seen a few new additions. For those looking for a more thorough review of what may be the best game in the series, check out our review of the PS4 version of Yakuza 0.

The PC release of Yakuza 0 may be the first of a new wave of ports by SEGA, but they’ve already successfully brought over many of their other titles such as Puyo Puyo Tetris, Valkyria Chronicles and Bayonetta. Each one was ported over rather well, and we’re happy to report that Yakuza 0 is a great PC release with only a couple of minor issues. Right off the bat it’s obvious that 0 started off as a PS3 release, thanks to the low resolution sprites used for menus and subtitles. It’s hard not to notice in a game with only Japanese audio, sine you’ll be spending a lot of time reading through these subtitles during cutscenes. This is something to bear in mind when deciding what resolution you want to use, as the low resolution text is already noticeable as 1080p, let alone 4K.

Speaking of resolutions, Yakuza 0 runs exceedingly well no matter what resolution you throw at it. We used a mid-range system for the purposes of our review, and the game ran at a flawless 60 fps at all times. Unlike many recent console ports, 0 also features support for unlocked framerates and UltraWide monitors. Though there aren’t many graphical options overall, with how well the port runs there shouldn’t be many issues running Yakuza 0 even on lower end systems.

As mentioned earlier 0 was originally a PS3 release, which is worth bearing in mind if you’re a stickler for fancy graphics. Characters are where the visuals stand out most, using facial scans of popular Japanese actors and motion capture to add realism to the various people you meet. But even these suffer from dated textures and the general lack of detail for less important characters. Environments are a mixed bag, offering impressive reflections in water while also having a number of ugly looking streets and buildings. With a series like Yakuza graphics are less important than the overall gameplay and possible activities, but it’s worth knowing that it wont exactly be the greatest game to use for testing out a new 4K monitor.

A running theme in many ports we’ve covered is the lack of any real keyboard and mouse support. Yakuza 0 is a step up from many console port, but it’s still preferable to use a controller – even SEGA told us so. All keybindings can be changed, including mouse buttons thankfully. Combat works pretty well with mouse and keyboard, though directional movement is limited without an analog stick. Even menus can be navigated with the mouse, something that is unfortunately a rarity in most console ports. Camera movement is the biggest issue when not using a controller, and it can feel hard to control when running around or in battles. Those that don’t have access to a controller will certainly be able to play through 0 relatively easily, but it’s certainly the lesser way to play.

Conclusion

The PC version of Yakuza 0 is easily the best version you can buy, if only to support more ports of the series. Offering far more options than the average console to PC release and being much cheaper than the original release last year, Yakuza 0 is worth it for both PC players that have been interested in the series and those that just want to experience the game again. Hopefully the quality of future SEGA ports can match the high bar that this port has set.

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