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Yakuza 0

Release date: January 24, 2017
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Yakuza 0: 5 Tips to Help You Conquer Kamurocho

Quick tips on the basics of the game, entertainment, fights, including Kiryu and Majima’s fighting styles, and side quests to make your walkthrough somewhat easier

The Yakuza series is a strange beast: part brawler, part life simulator, part soap opera. It’s incredible but this blend of genres, coupled with the sheer detail of their open-world maps can make these games daunting to newcomers. With Yakuza 0 hitting PC on August 1, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you get started with the series’ first title.

1. Take Your Time

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Yakuza 0 moves at a breakneck pace but you’re free to take as much time as you want between missions. Kamurocho may be smaller than, say, GTA’s San Andreas, but it’s more densely packed, with secrets around every corner.

There is no missable content in Yakuza 0: every side quest, mini-game, and diversion will still be there later, and you’re given free rein to finish everything up in the game’s final chapter. You should also note that some mini-games only unlock after meeting specific people, so it’s worth talking to everyone you can.

2. Do the Side Quests

Yakuza 0 has some of the best side missions I’ve seen in a game. They’re short, surreal, often hilarious sketches which often give you a lasting advantage. Kiryu can recruit managers to help him make more money, for instance, or you might unlock a powerful new weapon to get you out of a tough spot.

3. Choose a Style and Master the Combos

Both Kiryu and Majima have three fighting styles. You’ll likely pick a favorite early on, so it’s important to learn its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, Kiryu’s Rush style excels at stun-locking a single enemy, but is laughably bad when you’re surrounded.

For the most part, you can beat most enemies by pressing Square three times, then mashing the Triangle button. Try using Majima’s Breaker style and hammering Triangle when his back is on the ground: this combo is wildly overpowered and cuts through most enemies like they aren’t even there.

4. Save Often, But Don’t be Afraid to Fail

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In a nod to retro games, Yakuza 0 has no autosave feature. Instead, you’ll have to save using the phone boxes scattered throughout the map. There’s no reason to worry about dying, though: in every difficulty except Legend, you’ll be able to instantly retry a battle if you lose.

5. When in Doubt, Switch Something Out

Is a particular boss battle making life difficult for you? Try something different! You might not be able to grab some opponents, but can you knock them down instead? Does switching style help? Maybe try getting a couple of hits in and backing off instead of committing to a combo that never lands.

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If you’re really stuck, remember: guns are an easy way to end most fist fights. Additionally, knives have a Heat action that’s very easy to land; just fill your Heat bar with Staminan Royales, stand in front of the enemy, and hit Triangle.

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We’ve only scratched the surface, but these tips should be enough to get you started in Yakuza 0. Now it’s time to get out there, learn by doing, and see exactly why the Yakuza series is such a cult classic.

Ian Garland