‘Here’s how we gon’ do this’ – there are three categories: star quality, match quality, build. For each we’ll assign a score out of ten. To get a total score with which to rank the matches.
Star quality is within the company/to the company’s fans. A ten does not mean they’d be known on the street like Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin. If scores are even, matches’ll be ranked according to preference.
We’ll then predict the winners of each contest.
Without further ado.
cHAPTER 3 - FREE TIME, BULLIES & BAD GUYS
A political storm is brewing. It's centre? Okinawa. Two primary candidates for Prime Minister are on either side of building an American military base or a holiday resort on the island. Or so the opening cut-scene tells us.
More immediately, Shiro - for ease of quick description a 'nerdy' kid - is being bullied by the teacher's son, who's threatened to get the orphanage shut down if Shiro 'tells'. A phone-call finds that the teacher is a bigger turd than his son, and after politely declining two of the other kids' promise to put the bully in a headlock, Kiryu decides to meet with his local councillor, a man who, to quote Nas, 'stays on the golf course'.
CHAPTER 2 - kk on vacay
Now back in Okinawa, Kiryu's left the yakuza life behind to follow in his mentor Kazama's footsteps, setting up an orphanage. Hinting at what becomes the clear message of the game by the end: Fatherhood.
The Dragon's cooking in the kitchen, while Haruka, already an adult for all intents and purposes, is the big sister to all the orphans, one of whom, Izumi, has run off onto the beach.
Returning, Izumi in tow, Kiryu finds that despite all being starving (figuratively), not a single soul has touched their meal, because they eat together. Jeez, presh.
Activities-wise, you can now fish on the beach. Which takes a little getting used to (the older games tend to be more difficult than the newer) but is an easy way to make bank.
Unfortunately, much like the Godfather, Kiryu always ends up 'pulled back in.' There's an eviction notice and some strange guys always parked outside. Which is when we first venture into town.
Ryukyu is very 'seaside' - brightly coloured shops and attractions, sunshine, ice-cream and boba, even the warbling tone of arcades. Throw in KK's Hawaiian shirt and khakis combo; it almost feels like you're on holiday. A little like Fukuoka in Y5.
Turns out the strange guys are local yakuza. Determined to see the boss, we're told we'll have to go through the captain, Rikiya. Cue the stripping and six-packs.
Boy these early boss fights suck. After the inevitable victory, we're circuitously taken to see the boss. Along the way discovering these guys aren't very 'yakuza': informal and friendly with the local shop owners. And when we arrive at their less than majestic HQ, there's a little girl drawing quietly.
Turns out the Ryudo Clan, as they're called, own the land the orphanage is on, and, under pressure from the big boys, can't say no to selling it. It seems we're set for another fight - what would be our third with no chance yet to level up - until Kiryu talks the boss out of it as the short chapter ends.
At this point, if you're invested in the kids and the orphanage, you're still interested in the story. If not, you're probably screaming that this isn't the Yakuza you know and love.
1995. A young Yakuza named Kiryu is about to inherit his own Family. There's a girl he loves; she loves him back. Then there's his best friend - more like his brother - who's been by his side since childhood. Peachy right?
But much like Yakuza 0, shortly after collecting a debt it all falls down.
After serving ten years in prison, the Dragon of Dojima emerges to find that Nishikiyama - his best friend and the only thing left from his 1995 idyll - has changed, violently. And from there it all builds towards the inevitable.
Double or Nothing 2022 Preview
We’re finally here. After three Covid-assaulted years, AEW are finally back where they began. Complete with their usual strong line-up for the big shows. So, here’s how we’re going to do this: run through the matches, previewing and predicting, in order of interest level.
SOUthampton vs liverpool, matchday 37, 17/5/22
There was something special about last night's game. One of the more enjoyable in a while ('we just won the FA Cup!', I know, I know...). It felt like we all needed to rally: fans... players... all needed to get behind the side more than ever with the first team still gasping for breath after a hectic fixture list. It showed the spirit in the squad.
Nowhere more than in midfield. Figuring during the day that Milly and the youngsters would get the nod, I became more and more convinced that Elliott and the veteran would relish the opportunity to rally on the first team's behalf, and let's face it, force their way into the side's late-season plans. Big tick.
Type 'Ranking Yakuza Games' into a search engine and there are two certainties. Up there on a pedestal will be Yakuza 0, smirking at those below.
The second is that even the updated Yakuza 3 will be propping up the rest of the franchise. Some lists go as far as to rate it below the original Yakuza and Yakuza 2, despite being released on vastly inferior consoles.
Surely it can't be that bad?
Which is what we're here to investigate.
Paul, 30-something from Liverpool, a place to spit out my thoughts, if you like/don't like something or have a suggestion, gimme a shout