Lost Judgment proves that, not just because it’s a sequel, but because it’s a damn good game that feels like it contains all the elements that have made the Yakuza series great while maintaining its own identity. The detective gameplay still needs some work, and the plot stumbles a bit from time to time, but I have never been happier to dive back into this world, nor sadder to leave it once the game is finished.
I don’t regret my stay in Providence Oaks, but like most vacations, I wish I had gotten to do more in the short time I had with the game. If you’re looking for a slice-of-life experience in a peaceful lake town and you don’t mind some bumps along the road, Lake might just be up your alley. If you want a narrative game with replay value where your choices affect the story, this vacation might leave you a little wanting.
Despite a few quibbles and an endgame that doesn’t hit quite as hard as I hoped, I enjoyed Chicken Police – Paint it RED! The characters are kind of the star of the show, and the fantastic writing and voice acting compliment the noir-style visuals. If you’re looking for a classic detective story with a unique twist, then you might be interested in the adventures of the legendary Chicken Police. Overall, it’s a clucking good time!
I walked away from Backbone puzzled about the ending, and in truth, I was a little disappointed. The game kind of squandered the excellent setup it spent hours developing, but because the setup is so good, I don’t feel totally let down. I still enjoyed my time in this dystopian Vancouver populated by animals, and I would almost certainly play a sequel if one were ever developed. But there’s the rub. Backbone feels like it needs a sequel. The story just doesn’t feel complete right now, and given that the game is pretty short (you can probably beat it in about 5-7 hours), it’s hard for me to enthusiastically recommend it. If you’re still interested despite the issues I’ve outlined, make sure you’re prepared for an abrupt conclusion. If you’re on the fence, well… maybe wait for a sale.