Lost Judgment

Lost Judgment

released on Sep 24, 2021

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Lost Judgment

released on Sep 24, 2021

Lost Judgment once again puts players in the sneakers of lawyer turned street-fighting detective Takayuki Yagami. Joined by his partner, ex-yakuza Masaharu Kaito, the crime-fighting duo is called on to investigate a seemingly perfect crime whose lead suspect has an airtight alibi. What starts out as a tale of revenge reveals a tangled web of conspiracy involving several unlikely factions taking advantage of a broken law system. But as victims pile up and Yagami unravels the truth, he must choose between defending the law or exacting justice.

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I ended up with about 81% complete (I question it because the final screen said I completed 3/10 school stories, but I finished that entire thread).

Lost Judgement is the least good RGG game. All the edges have been sanded down so smooth that there isn't a lot of actual game in here. There are stealth, following suspects, investigating, and climbing mechanics, all crucial to the plot, but they are barely utilized. Most of the school story mini games were half baked, fun for a minute, but quickly tiring, with built in methods to just win. Robot wars, motorcycle races, and boxing were all way too long, and photography, the most enjoyable one, was way too short.

The fighting isn't crunchy like previous entries, I never really felt like I was in full control of Yagami, in part because almost all the fights were melee against groups, like Kiwami 2 and Yakuza 6.

There was very little one on one, so most of the fights really were just button mashing affairs, even on the highest difficulty. Because of this, there was no time to really refine fighting, so the first few boss fights were really hard because I didn't know how to fight just one guy.

There's also a Master System emulator and boy are those games bad. Playing Alex Kidd, it's a fucking miracle we ever got to Mario. There's a rewind button, but even with that, the game is impossible. What a turd of a system.

The story was very good, however. Nice and twisty and grimy, a solid crime story, with a solid conclusion, and a plot where you follow the "all the way to the top".

This will probably be the last Yakuza/RGG game I play in this style. I've played all 10 of them (Yakuza 0 - 6, Judgement, Lost Judgement, Fist of the North Star) at this point, and I think it's just done. I don't think there's anything else to do here, and that's okay! They did 10 of these things!

After another 4 - 8 months (about how long I take to recharge between entries), I'll be ready to do one more and play Like a Dragon. I hear that the shift in styles reinvigorates the series.

RGG Studio is just keep getting better at this and I honestly don’t know how it’s possible with already so many great games but it absolutely freakin’ rules

Really wasn't feeling this one. Bit of a disappointment after the first game. I'm over Yagami as a character. The story here is just... I don't know. It is profoundly dumb, dull, and toothless to me. And not dumb in a good way, like RGG games usually are. I just did not care about any of it. The side stories here are some of the worst ones in the series to me. The combat is good. Maybe I played this too soon after Like a Dragon, but I quickly grew tired of Yokohama. It's always a plus when you're given a skateboard in video games, though.

such a bizarre main narrative this time around. opens with nary a hint of subtlety as per usual but, on the contrary, suggests its writers have direct experience with the subject matter in a way that hasn't exactly been the case for any RGG title prior to this. despite proudly displaying this burgeoning inkling of something rather unique, it shows every card in its deck by the time the second half rolls around and we're made to watch the narrative spin its wheels fruitlessly time and time again. pair that with a modicum more self-awareness than usual and you've got a somewhat frustrating and cumbersome package - the hyperreality of these games is often ill-suited to meaningfully address any issues plaguing modern society because you know the way you'll end up mechanically addressing this is by putting some middle aged guy who represents an extreme solution to the core problem in an armbar. which is still fine, don't get me wrong, but opening the final boss by spelling out 'well, maybe he's got a point here...' feels very much like they don't trust me to reach my own conclusions. obviously it's all endowed with the usual charisma and strength of direction but it's an amateurish legal drama and very likely a weak detective narrative depending on your perspective.

thankfully, lost judgments buoyed by the strongest combat in the dragon engine yet and by its compelling extension to the originals approach to side content. much of the original judgment's side content revolved around currying favour with your community and in building up your reputation bit by bit as you work to dispatch the keihin gang, arms-dealing nuisances who functioned as massive thorns in your side. lost judgment sets much of its side content within the walls of seiryo high school, wherein yagami serves as an advisor to the mystery research club and is made to infiltrate various other clubs and societies at the school in order to investigate a school-wide conspiracy. this facet of lost judgment is often really good! extrapolating a lot from the tenets of substories in previous games is greatly enriched by this adolescent context, which seems to serve as an excellent opportunity for the series' characteristic optimism and humanism to surface while still retaining a lot of the same devil-on-your-shoulder humor. the high school setting obviously never strays too far from the JRPG subconscious, but it's nice to participate in these activities as an adult where the goal is not to lead a kind of fulfilling life but instead to help these kids grow and to tell them to take it easy sometimes cause life ain't easy. a lot of it ends up being touching in ways i didn't expect, and chronicling the journeys of all these respective students and clubs culminates in yet another effective substory finale, something i wish these games would do more rather than throw amon at me and call it a day. some infelicities with some of these minigames - it's both extremely funny and entirely predictable that you're expected to remember more about stray cats than you are about any of the hostesses from girl's bite - but for the most part lost judgment shines in this department.

reminded me a lot of Y5. that's a good thing! appreciated that RGG studio seems to slowly be going back to the Y1/Y2 model of being rewarded for exploration with the judgment subseries; there's still work to be done in this respect but anything beats the borderline mobile game side content structure of, say, Y:LAD. that said im told they hid a fourth battle style behind dlc and that's unforgivable. loved skating through ijincho and kamurocho, weaving through crowds to keep up momentum. similarly enjoyed putting the fear of god into high schoolers.