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the proven "Nagoshi" new game

Started as a spin-off of the Yakuza series, Judgment, aka Judge Eyes, seems to be increasingly a kind of evolution of the saga. We tested it for a few hours.

It often happens that a development team loses for a long time in a specific series and that becomes recognizable almost exclusively for this. Not even a matter of talent: these developers simply determined at a certain point a perfect center and they were tied in a double line for a particular brand from which it was really difficult to separate. In the case of good equipment Toshihiro Nagoshi, the signal from the Yakuza series has become so indelible that it has led to a rebranding of the entire software house and there seems to be no planned disorder for the future. We, in part, always consider it a sin: o Yakuza team It is made up of veterans who know their stuff and have repeatedly demonstrated that they can develop excellent titles from a technical and narrative point of view; Binary domain, for example, surprised us a lot, but its limited success has only killed attempts to transform the team, almost forcing it to focus exclusively on the world of Kiryu and her color support characters. Maybe it is precisely for this reason that, in the presentation of Judge Eyes, renamed judgment in the West – we expect a totally new and experimental product, capable of separating Kamurocho and its madness. The wind of change, however, stopped almost immediately: the trial is not a "new" title, nor a brave distortion; It is literally a spin-off of the Yakuza series, so close to the series titles that they can easily be considered as a full-fledged follower. Let's see why.

An irreproachable protagonist

If you take into account the now awful popularity of Yakuza's characters, thinking of replacing them seems a battle against windmills. Yakuza's team decided to bet all for an actor who has a popularity in Japan at the limit of the divine: Takuya Kimura (best known for those games as Kimutaku), the undisputed idol of the land of the rising sun thanks to a monstrous amount of TV and movie hits and a "glorious" past in a well-known boyband. He is the main character of the trial, in the role of the brave defense attorney Yagami, and the title turns out to be a kind of exceptional panegyric, it places it constantly in the center of attention and guarantees the maximum satisfaction of its fans. For blasphemy, of course, the impact of Kimura's presence is very silenced, but at least we speak of an actor with a remarkable charisma, which works remarkably as a substitute for Kiryu even for those who do not care about the Japanese television drama.

The centrality of the lawyers in history could, in fact, suggest a narrative structure that is very different from the classic Yakuza, but very little is enough to fit the typical fees, as mentioned above. Kamurocho It is always the neuralgic center of the adventure and the connections with the local clans of Yagami become apparent immediately, with all the foreseeable consequences. The new narrative line, however, offers at least other interesting and less gear-oriented ideas to developers, who then worked on missions with some healthy panache. Between a good deal of strokes and the usual scenes on the verge of absurdity, therefore the trial also offers Investigative phases (sometimes even driving an airplane) chases with dedicated mechanics, and a series of other activities that pleasantly break the rhythm. Of course, there is no lack of usual quest missions and unjustified battles, but we talk about a general evolution of the formula.

Dress to fight

"Evolution" is the slogan, because in the end we speak, describing Judgment. The title is literally a pumped version of Yakuza in almost every aspect, with one map more definite than usual, a greater variety of search, and a series of innovations for the system fight And the development of the character quite interesting. Of Yakuza Zero, for example, the styles return to the battle, but it is necessary to emphasize the number of movements available for the protagonist and have added contextual maneuvers that allow to operate the walls and the complex movement. Within the missions mentioned above there are also quite unique mechanics such as the ability to break the padlocks or enter the roof to pursue invisible goals. They return, then, also the (not so much mini)minigame me, usual in large quantities and very careful. We could only prepare an arcade, but in the game you can lose a lot … do not worry.

All of this obviously comes with a series of non-indifferent technical improvements that will touch everything from the level of Kamurocho's details to the quality of facial animations (particularly curated in the case of Kimura, given his reputation). Only the problem? In the basic PlayStation4 we have seen a large amount of framerate of the game and we have some doubts about the final optimization. By the others, they seem to be in front of the typical product of Nagoshi and beautiful company: an excessive and narrated adventure, with memorable and Japanese characters up to the medulla. It remains only to see what you want to have or not a new title in a series that is now going to life.

For all who have played and appreciated Yakuza, the trial is a known amount: it is literally a spin off that evolves the basic structure of the series in almost every aspect, with a charismatic protagonist to replace Kiryu (at least for the Japanese) and a story as always very careful and exciting. If you are tired of the series, it will not be the title that can revive your spark, given its resemblance to the predecessors. However, we are waiting for it with great curiosity, aware of the average quality of Nagoshi equipment products and the potential of the plot.


  • Interesting improvements for almost every element of the Yakuza series
  • History is always very affectionate and exciting
  • Kimutaku works as a protagonist


  • Some technical problems in the basic PS4
  • If you are tired of Yakuza there is no need to play it

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