The Yakuza series started all the way back in 2006 for western audiences and has grown ever since, with the franchise’s popularity particularly booming in recent years. The release of the next installment, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, is only days away and this marks the first time that a Yakuza title hasn’t debuted as a PlayStation console exclusive.
The Yakuza titles have always delivered fun arcade-style combat, with engaging storylines and plenty of quirky Japanese humor. Some of the funniest parts of the games come from the sidequests and minigames, of which there are many. While there are plenty of games to keep fans engaged, not all of them are enjoyable. Here are some of the top picks, as well as some of the more irritating ones.
10 BEST: Darts
Darts is a minigame that has appeared in a lot of the Yakuza games, but it’s a mixed bag in all honesty. In some titles, such as Yakuza 0, it is a pretty decent game to play and isn’t too difficult to master. This comes as a surprise given that many of the other “physical sports” minigames, such as golf and baseball, are known to be a pain to master.
However, in Yakuza Kiwami 2 and Yakuza 6, the Darts minigame seems to have a bit more difficulty attached to it and so players might find it a little more tedious. Regardless, the game is made ridiculously easy once a player unlocks the right darts, so it’s a moot point.
9 WORST: Clan Creator
The Clan Creator minigame appeared in Yakuza 6 and Yakuza Kiwami 2. Though each version is a little different, they are both top-down RTS games that see the player control different types of units to defend the map/specific items.
Players can recruit new units through various methods, such as completing certain side quests. While RTS games have a strong fan-following, this particular minigame is a little lackluster. The upside is that completing these various minigames leads to some additional side-story content relating to Majima Construction.
8 BEST: Disco
The Disco minigame was introduced in Yakuza 0 and allowed players to see their favorite characters strut their stuff on the dancefloor. The Disco game is rhythm-based, though it has a different set up from the franchise’s karaoke minigame.
Some players might dislike the Disco minigame as the timings often seem a little off, especially when compared to those of karaoke. However, once it is mastered, the Disco minigame is pretty straightforward. The minigame’s selling point is getting to see the cheesy and hilarious moves the characters bust out.
7 WORST: Golf
The Golf minigame appeared in a few games, with Kiwami 2 and Yakuza 5 both having a driving range, while Yakuza 4 and Yakuza: Dead Souls have full golf courses. Much like other sport-themed minigames within the series, Golf is particularly hard to master and can easily leave players feeling frustrated.
Unless a hit is timed perfectly right, the ball will go in completely the wrong direction. Even when it feels as though the timing should be spot on, players might find themselves messing up regardless.
6 BEST: Pocket Circuit
Pocket Circuit debuted in Yakuza 0 and went on to feature in Yakuza Kiwami as well. It’s an interesting little game that sees players make their own custom build karts to race on various tracks. Along with just being fun, Pocker Circuit has some hilarious story content that is tied to it as well.
While the minigame can get pretty in-depth, there are some really easy to follow guides online that explain which setup to use for which race. These make the whole minigame quest arc an absolute breeze.
5 WORST: Telephone Club
The Telephone Club appears in Yakuza 0 and is a telephone dating simulation game. While fun and quirky at first, it gets old fast and is very repetitive. The different girls aren’t especially unique, with many of them having overlapping phrases or facts about themselves.
The player has to shoot at the moving dialogue sentences that move around the screen in order to pick their next chat-up line. The irritating thing is that the line someone needs often gets hidden behind another sentence for quite a while, burning through the timer.
4 BEST: Karaoke
Karaoke has appeared in all of the Yakuza titles. Well, technically it wasn’t in Yakuza or Yakuza 2, but it did appear in their Kiwami remakes. Everybody loves a good rhythm-based game, and the Karaoke minigame offers exactly that.
The Karaoke minigames often deliver hilarious scenes, not just of the characters performing, but also montages of their lives. For avid fans, many of the karaoke songs re-appear throughout the series, though sometimes under different names.
3 WORST: Catfight
The Catfight minigame can be found in Yakuza 0 and is similar to that of the Mesuking minigame that later appeared in Yakuza Kiwami, as both feature scantly clad women fighting using a rock, paper, scissors-style situation. The Catfight minigame can be quite unfair, as the RNG is particularly horrendous.
If a player is not careful, they can lose a lot of yen betting on this minigame. It seems so broken, there are times when the opponent should be defeated, but they get back up and immediately pull out some sick move to defeat the player instead.
2 BEST: Cabaret Club
There are two Cabaret Club minigame variants, Cabaret Club Czar from Yakuza 0 and Cabaret Club Grand Prix from Yakuza Kiwami 2, both of which are very similar. As the name suggests, players run a cabaret club with a whole team of hostesses, looking to please the customers and rake in as much cash as possible.
Players can give the hostesses makeovers, both their make-up and hair, and they all have their own different strengths and weaknesses. Extra hostesses can be unlocked, some of who depend on the side quests. This minigame is a lot of fun and also an easy way to earn a ton of cash.
1 WORST: Batting Cages
The Batting Cage is the baseball minigame that challenges the player to hit the ball at precisely the right moment to land a home run. This minigame has appeared in all of the main numbered titles, as well as the spin-off Yakuza: Dead Souls, though it does vary slightly throughout the series.
This minigame is one of the most difficult to master, and as such, it is one of the most disliked in the entire franchise. There are four difficulty levels, as well as a hidden fifth difficulty that players can unlock after mastering all of the others.
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