Review Inception: Review of a Game Review

After reading Janine Hawkins’s review, I was rather disappointed and felt a shallowness of the review. Her knowledge of the game lacked depth, as the whole review sounded as if she only experienced the game through someone else’s review.

When someone reads a game review, especially like a story driven game like the Yakuza series, the reader would expect how the story have been strengthened or some aspects of the game that have been changed since the last installment of the series. From the beginning to the end, she describes the game and actions the player can do as ‘cool’. One example being,

“I also wasn’t expecting to invest so profoundly in the struggles of a small nightclub and its staff, either. And I absolutely did not expect a story with so much of what I would usually describe as “tough guy bullshit” to draw me in so completely. But here I am, and Yakuza 0 has blown my expectations out of the water. IT’S JUST SO … COOL.”

I understand that every reviewer cannot play and fully experience each and every game they come across to review. But, as a reader, I would expect to see some deep thoughts or information about the game. Here is a link to a Korean review of the game.

In this review, the author describes how the game takes place in 1988, which he explains that this installment is a prequel to the last game, Yakuza 6. Also, he explains the location where the game takes place, Kamurocho and Sotenbori, is in fact, based off of real parts in Japan, by using different names, which in this case, Shinjuku’s Kabukijo and Osaka’s Dotonbori. Furthermore, he explains that the story and game mechanic is based on the economic boom Japan had 10 years before the ‘Lost Decade’ .


Stock market crashing, value of Yen burning along with it.
Yakuza’s Kamurocho’s inspiration, Kabukijo, Tokyo
Yakuza’s Sotenbori’s inspiration, Dotonbori, Osaka

He continues to narrate that the whole game evolves around spending money to unlock features and experience points to level up and it is easy to earn money in the scale of ten, hundred thousand yen, because of the economic boom Japan was having. He uses an interview with the designer of the game to further explain that having to earn money and spend money with such ease is the whole point of the game basing off of Japan’s history at that time.

Easy come, easy go
During the boom of 1980s, people would waive 10,000 Yen bills (equivalent to $100 US) to get a cab’s attention.

Maybe I was just disappointed at the fact that a game I really enjoyed was not covered thoroughly. However, even if I were new to the game, I would have enjoyed the Korean cover much more giving me fresh and interesting points on the game rather than reading a review that someone thought it was ‘cool’ to swing around a bat and beat people up.

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