Hands On

Yakuza 6 – Minigame Extravaganza

Hey, it’s Jason here and I have the responsibility… nay, the privilege of reviewing Yakuza 6.  But you’re going to have to wait a little while longer for the full review. What I’m actually doing today is giving a short preview of all the minigames you should have access to within the first hour of the game.  Think of it like the appetizer to the main course. This is by no means the majority of what Yakuza has to offer. It’s just that there’s so much content in Yakuza that I feel it would be almost negligent if I didn’t give all of the minigames their own preview article so you can get a feel for some of the freebies included that you’ll have access to.

 

Out Run

In my opinion, this game plays very similar to Rad Racer.  You get in a car and keep driving to each checkpoint before the time runs out.  The goal is to make it to the end of the level, but you are given the option to take different paths if you get far enough into the race.

 

 

 

 

Space Harrier

 

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This game is an oddity to me.  It’s a third-person rail shooter. You play as some kid that can fly around with a jetpack and shoot energy-like projectiles in front of you.  The game has terrain and projectiles coming at you quickly and at times it can get rather hectic. The game has terrain and projectiles coming at you quickly and at times it can get rather hectic. You need to avoid running into anything or else you’ll lose a life.  Before I got my game over, I noted each level ends in a boss battle.

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Fantasy Zone

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This game just looks super cutesy.  You pilot a small ship that can shoot lasers in front of it and drop little bombs down below.  From what I played, it appears your goal is to destroy the enemy spawning ships while avoiding running into said ships or getting hit by their projectiles.  You have 360 degrees of mobility and can go left or right (similar to Defender, the Atari game) as you traverse the terrain.

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Enemies drop coins you can pick up to spend at the shop. You can visit the shop in between levels or by running into the big red balloon that says “Shop” during a stage.  Each stage, of course, ends in a boss battle.

 

Super Hang-On

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A motorcycle racing game.  The easiest way to describe it is it’s basically Out Run, but with motorcycles.

 

 

 

 

It seems that SEGA wanted to bring back some of its classic arcade games for this entry in the Yakuza series.  Out of this retro arcade selection of Out Run, Space Harrier, Fantasy Zone and Super Hang-On, my vote for most enjoyment goes to Fantasy Zone.

 

 

Darts Live

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A Yakuza game classic, darts are back.  The game has you position your throws while accounting for small motions from breathing and a bar that gauges your accuracy.  Get both perfectly centered and you’ll win every time… provided you know the rules to the game you’re playing.

 

 

 

Batting Cage

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The batting cage felt much more difficult than previous versions I’ve played in Yakuza 4 and 5.  A wide variety of pitches can come your way and it’s your job to get your swinging reticle as close to the ball’s center of mass as it comes across the home plate.

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The hardest thing to learn – at least for me – is getting the timing down on when the ball is actually crossing the plate so I know when to swing. Sometimes I get too focused on following the ball’s trajectory that I lose focus of where it is in regards to distance from the home plate.

 

Karaoke

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Ah yes, a Yakuza classic.  The karaoke bar is a very basic rhythm game.  If you have any skill at rhythm games you should find yourself doing well.

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Just time your button presses as they line up with the bar on the left. Though the song lineup is a bit bare, the songs included are nice to listen to.

 

 

Mahjong

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Ah yes, the timeless classic.  This game actually does a better job than previous Yakuza games (from my experience) at teaching you the basics.  Unfortunately, I’m still but a bud in the middle of winter with my skills. This game is difficult and as I found searching online, some people were watching youtube tutorials from actual mah jong players just to learn how to play it because of the Yakuza games.

 

 

Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown

 

The cool thing about Virtua Fighter is that it’s accessible before you even start the game.  There’s an option on the start menu called “2-player vs. minigames” that will allow you to play this game without even loading up a save file.  The only issue with this mode is that it ONLY lets you play 2-player. If you want to play single-player, you’re going to have to load up your save file and find an arcade cabinet at your local SEGA arcade parlor.

If you’ve played Virtua Fighter before, you know what you’re getting into. This version of the game is pretty basic for a fighter.  There are only 3 button inputs and the d-pad. Personally, I did not find a lot of depth in this version of the game and I’ll be honest by saying Virtua Fighter was never really my cup of tea when it comes to fighting games.

 

 

 

Puyo Puyo

 

This is my personal bread and butter of the bunch.  I enjoy Puyo Puyo games. Now, this game is JUST bare-bones Puyo Puyo.  If you’ve played Kirby’s Avalanche, that’s pretty much the level of depth you should expect.  Remember that these are made to represent arcade games and won’t have as many options/modes as a console version.

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On the bright side, this game is also playable from the start menu without even having to load a Yakuza save file, but, like Virtua Fighter, it will ONLY allow you to play 2-player.  If you’re looking to play solo against the computers, you’ll have to find your local SEGA arcade.

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Solo mode has you playing against computer opponents non-stop.  Once an opponent is beaten, the game continues right where you are without stopping.  That means you can set up a chain beforehand and set it off just as your new opponent introduces themself to let them really get to know you.  Honestly, I found the difficulty of the computer AI very easy at first, but progressively getting tougher the more opponents you defeated.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, I did not find any options for online play for any of the above mentioned games so you’re going to have to settle for either robotic opponents or in-person friends for Puyo Puyo and/or Virtua Fighter.  My feeling is that all of these games are more of a supplement to Yakuza 6 and not a centerpiece. These minigames will keep you entertained for a while but don’t expect more than a few hours of enjoyment out of even the best of them.  But don’t worry too much about that because there’s plenty of other content that Yakuza 6 has to offer… You’ll just have to wait for the review to find out!

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