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Hands-on

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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