Fans of the Yakuza series have had a good year. Following the successes of Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Kiwami 2 on Steam, Sega decided to bring the entire series to PC. Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 have already been released as part of a remastered collection, earlier this year, and the spin-off Yakuza: Like A Dragon was released on both PC and consoles. But that’s still not all.
Yakuza 6: The Song Of Life, the final chapter in Kazuma Kiryu’s saga, is finally coming to PC. The game, released for the PS4 in 2016, is being ported to PC, where fans of the series can finally experience it. And what an experience it is. It carries all the trademarks of a Yakuza game; the audacious minigames, the ridiculous side stories, and most of all, the bold boisterous over-the-top insane combat. But there is an art to the combat in this game, and here are some things to keep in mind as you go through it.
10 Use Items And Weapons
The first tip that any veteran of the Yakuza games will give you is this. Always use items, whenever possible. You can pause the game at any time, even during boss fights. Stocking up on items before an important story mission or boss fight is also important since there won’t be a lot of time during the mission. Yakuza 6 doesn’t have the weapon buying, equipping, and customization system of Yakuza 0 or other games in the series. However, you can still pick up weapons on the ground during fights, and they can offer a huge advantage. They also unlock some really cool heat actions, which is always fun.
9 A Grab and a Swing
A lot of the combat encounters in the game have Kiryu face off against groups of enemies. Most of the enemies here would be low-level mobs, but enough of them can still overwhelm new players. Kiryu has more than enough skill to take them on though, and some moves can be absolutely devastating. One of the best moves to use against large numbers of enemies is the grab. Grabbing an enemy negates their block and makes them vulnerable to just about everything Kiryu has to offer. And Kiryu has a lot. But if your goal is just to thin out herds of enemies, a grabbed enemy can be swung around, hitting his mates and knocking them down. This swinging can be ended if the grabbed enemy hits something in the environment though, so be judicious with its use.
8 Block a little more
Players new to the series might be tempted to revel in the power fantasy of Kiryu. The combat and the protagonist feel indestructible in the beginning, and Kiryu hits harder than a sledgehammer. Progressing through the game will prove that that’s not true, though. Paying attention to blocking and dodging is important.
The block and dodge in the game can feel a little awkward and pointless early on. However, taking the time to master it will make future encounters (boss encounters, especially) much easier. There are also many, many weapon-wielding enemies that can swarm you, and there isn’t a lot you can do in that situation except avoid getting ganked. So dodging and leaving a little will make you that much more effective in combat.
7 Running hot
The Heat system for the game is about as iconic as the games themselves. Heat is a secondary bar, similar to Meter in fighting games, which fills up as you fight. Filling it to different levels makes you stronger, faster, and lets Kiryu do special moves, known as Heat Actions. It is very tempting to wait for the Heat bar to fill to the maximum and execute a spectacular move. But, in most fights, the enemies are going to be too weak for that to happen. It is much better to spend Heat as you gain it. Gaining it back isn’t too difficult either. Other than fighting, there are recovery items that give a boost to Heat. It’s usually better to expend the heat whenever you have an opportunity to. Plus, those heat moves are cool.
6 Party it up
Food has a variety of effects in these games. Some are simple healing items, while others give a boost to your heat. Still, others give stat bonuses, or in some cases, deficits. Alcohol is a special one in this regard. When Kiryu is drinking, there is a small bottle-shaped indicator, indicating the level of drunkenness. The drunker you are, the more heat you gain in combat. However, people on the streets are far more aggressive and will fight Kiryu more often. It’s not the best idea to be tipsy before a story mission, but when you’re just out and about a little bit of Heat goes a long way.
5 Learning Combos
This one is pretty straightforward. Button Mashing will only be useful for so long. Depending on the difficulty, mashing will start to become obsolete between Chapters 2-4. But the game offers some really good combos to take care of business. And they are easy to boot. Combos are a combination of light attack and heavy attack inputs and vary depending on how many of each are put in.
Some later game combos involve movement or delayed presses, but they aren’t very complicated. Learning combos is not just about knowing the inputs, though. Knowing when to use them is just as important. A good way to learn this is to get drunk and pick fights around town, seeing what works where. The bonus XP you get doesn’t hurt, either.
4 Buy Some Skills
The skill progression system in this game can be a little intimidating in the beginning. However, spending some time in the menus will make it pretty easy to understand. It is very, very important to learn the menus and buying skills as soon as possible. They unlock some really cool moves, and some of the early game skills can break combat entirely. The Dash Attack, especially, is very useful and satisfying to pull off. It sees Kiryu leap from sprinting to do a flying kick, or a football kick to a downed enemy. This kick is pretty easy to execute in combat since Kiryu is always running. And apart from covering a long distance, the kick corrects its own aim. Always keep an eye on your skill tree, and keep buying whatever looks useful.
3 Setting Priorities
As you progress in the game, the basic mobs will start to get harder. In addition to having more health and hitting harder, the number of mobs with weapons also increases drastically. Prioritizing targets becomes more and more important. The weapons wielding enemies are a huge pain to deal with.
They do a lot more damage, and they can stun and knock Kiryu down in a single hit. However, once you do take them out, they drop their weapons. These weapons can now be picked up and used by Kiryu, which is very useful. Weapons not only increase your damage output manyfold, but they also allow a lot of cool heat actions.
2 Area Of Efficient Damage
There are very few one on one fights that Kiryu gets into. Most of them are boss fights and come in the latter half of the game. Most of the encounters are Kiryu versus enemies, usually in the low hundreds. As such, learning and using skills with an area of effect is very important.
Most of your attacks have a slight AoE effect, but there are some specifically that either deal a lot of damage or knockdown multiple enemies in an area around you. Grabbing and swinging enemies around is one. Some combos have you do low spinning kicks that knock down everyone around you. Learn and use a lot of AoE to thin the herd before going into a finisher.
1 Rush ‘Em
Yakuza 6 does something new with the Heat meter. They can be used for individual heat actions, or they can be expended to activate Extreme Heat mode. Extreme Heat greatly increases your speed and damage. Extreme Heat also opens up the option to do a Heat Rush mode, and Heat Rush does a lot of damage. It only hits a single enemy, but it can destroy smaller mobs and mop off huge chunks of health from bosses. A Heat Rush is activated in extreme heat, by going up to an enemy and attacking them a few times. This can lead to a QTE that does insane amounts of damage. It does leave you open to a lot of damage, but the sheer damage output is worth it.