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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Main focus is on participating in a variety of activities and enterprises on behalf of organized crime families in Japan. While players are trying to solve a mystery of sorts and stop a gang war, they still must return to their criminal ways to do so.
Positive Role Models
Most main characters that players either play or interact with are members of the Yakuza. A few have their own code of honor but don't give a second thought to their criminal activities.
Ease of Play
No shortage of activities to participate in while searching the city, including mundane (but fun) distractions like playing full Sega classics in the arcade. Some activities, as well as the combat system, require timing and precision, which can take a fair amount of practice to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a brutally violent game. Combat can include all manner of weapons, including knives and pipes, and often features on-screen blood splatter. Special attacks can show more damage with weapons, such as bashing out teeth and pulling off fingernails. Cutscenes also feature even more intense graphic violence, including characters getting shot in the head or blasted with a shotgun.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No nudity, but plenty of sexually suggestive moments. Some characters have lines of dialogue referencing sex. Sounds can be heard in some areas implying sexual activity. A photography mini-game has players take pictures of models, emphasizing cleavage and rear ends.
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Profanity is used frequently in dialogue, including "f--k," "s--t," and "ass."
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Products & Purchases
This is the latest chapter in the Yakuza franchise, which has multiple installments.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are often shown smoking and drinking. Player's character can drink alcohol in bars and even get drunk, affecting in-game performance. Doing so even rewards the player with character experience.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Yakuza Kiwami 2 is an action/adventure game with role-playing elements, available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows-based PCs. The game is an enhanced remake of the original Yakuza 2 game from 2008. The player's character is a member of a Japanese organized crime family, or Yakuza. As a result, criminal activities are often at the forefront of the gameplay. The game features constant depictions of blood and graphic violence on-screen, both in combat and in cinematic cutscenes. There are a few sexually suggestive moments, whether it's in lines of dialogue, background noises, or the sexualized portrayal of some of the characters. Profanity occurs frequently in the dialogue, and both drinking alcohol and smoking are shown on-screen.
Is It Any Good?
For roughly 15 years, this series has told the epic tale of Kazuma Kiryu's struggle to leave behind his past as a member of a crime family and the events that keep pulling him back to it. Yakuza Kiwami 2 turns back the clock a bit, retelling the chapter first told in the PlayStation 2 classic, Yakuza 2. The game has been rebuilt from the ground up, and it shows. The visuals are crisp, colorful, and detailed. It's hard not to spend a lot of time in this open-world adventure just admiring the scenery and taking in everything the city has to offer. Players can stroll into Club Sega and play some classic arcade games, have private photo shoots with a couple of models, or work off some tension in the batting cages. While these mini-games do earn players a little extra experience, money, and other items, they also break up the action and make things feel more real. After a while, walking around the city can lose a little bit of its charm, thanks to the long pauses between activities. Still, it's an interesting way to get a glimpse at some Japanese culture that players might not otherwise experience.
Of course, players don't just spend their time lounging around and taking in the nightlife. There's a lot of action, and it's also been revamped for the remake. Although combat might seem like just a simple beat-'em-up, it's actually a complex mix of timing and chaining moves together. The fighting can feel sluggish at times, and it can be frustrating when an enemy breaks up a combo and beats the player down for a bit. But there's also a thrill in things falling into place, watching a foe get beat in a successfully executed Heat Attack. Over time, players will start to get used to the more methodical combat system, making it easier to fine-tune Kiryu's martial arts prowess, though it never feels quite as responsive as it should. Rounding out the content, the added Majima Saga scenario is almost a full game unto itself. While the gameplay doesn't necessarily feel like anything new, it's a lot of fun to step into the shoes of the outlandish, half-crazy "Mad Dog of Shimano" and see the fan-favorite character get some real development.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.