We will solve this mystery!
In Lost Judgment, we take the same and start over: the player encounters Takayuki Yagami, a former lawyer who became a private detective in Kamurocho, with some delight. But the latter, accompanied by his friend Kaito, will have to quickly go to another city for an apparently trivial matter. Apparently, because just like in the Yakuza, things will quickly become more complex and this matter will eventually prove to be much more extensive than one might think at first glance. And, always as in the Yakuza, danger is never far away …
For this sequel, the developers have decided to primarily address a topic that is sadly too current in Japan and around the world: harassment and the damage it causes. A particularly sensitive subject but which, as always, is treated to perfection by the Ryu Ga Gotoku studio, which once again shows all its talent in writing but nevertheless does not forget to add touches of absurd humor and over-the-best moments. The story is exciting to follow, full of twists and turns and other revelations, the staging is successful, and the acting is once again very compelling (the voices are available in Japanese and English, and the lyrics are in French). Which reinforces the impression of being in front of a very large series or film, the studio has always been inspired by the cinema for its achievements.
Small gray cells
But Lost Judgment is also a solid combat system that is particularly enjoyable to learn. We always control Yagami in real-time confrontations during which we can use the environment in our spare time against bullies, yakuza, and other high school students (yeah yeah) messing with us. In addition to these objects and weapons that are found everywhere, we can also have three different styles of combat. Three, because a new child has been added to the Tiger and the Crane: the Serpent. Based on the deviations of enemy attacks, this style is formidable against armed opponents and therefore complements as it should the other two, which are more focused on one-on-one and groups. And to go from one to another, nothing is simpler since you just have to press the dedicated button.
The Lost Judgment story is exciting to follow, full of twists and turns and other revelations.
Apart from the arrival of this style, which of course comes with its specific and always very impressive movements, there is not much more to tell about the confrontations. Therefore, we are left with a system that has proven its effectiveness and that is edgy and particularly pleasant to operate, in particular thanks to the presence of EX Actions. If the conditions are met, these contextual actions are unlocked and Yagami performs a very specific little move, for example a slide that ends with a knee kick to the face of an opponent on the ground. Eventually, the detective gets harder and harder as the points earned are spent on his skill tree type, for example unlocking new attacks or passive bonuses (longer life bar, increased damage, etc.).
As in the Yakuza and the first Trial, the player is free here to do more or less what they want in the open world of Lost Trial. The good news is that Kamurocho is no longer the only neighborhood you can walk through as adventure takes place in Ijincho as well. A district of Yokohama that we already explored in Yakuza: Like a Dragon and that, therefore, it is quite logical to find here. The place is always full of groups of opponents, shops to buy or restaurants to try to replenish the bar for life. A good dose of secondary missions are also part of the game, along with the traditional more or less absurd minigames (dance, UFO hunter, arcades, boxing, etc.). What to relax between two scenes, the latter being often very long, Lost Judgment becoming perhaps the most talkative game in the studio.
Without much surprise, players will also find all of Yagami’s private detective skills that will allow him to solve his investigations: chases, tracking suspects with photo taking, infiltration or even looking for clues. Some new features are still in the game here, for example with Parkour, which is nevertheless still very interventionist, the ability to appeal in the style of a lovable Shiba detective or searching for the buzzing keywords to have a clue of where certain missions are carried out. News that, however, are very thin and that come more to complete than to renew the experience.
Like a detective
Technically, Lost Judgment is a bit of a disappointment, the fault of the Dragon Engine, which is starting to age. So we ended up with something very similar to Yakuza: Like a Dragon, with the same qualities and flaws. Thus, the environments are always reproduced with great fidelity, the animations are fluid, the games of shadows and lights are quite convincing and the facial animations make the performance even more believable.
But below, we do not escape the textures that sometimes spit, the clipping that makes the NPCs appear right next to or even the modeling of said NPCs that is sometimes very rough. Too bad, especially if you get a chance to play on a next-gen machine …
This test was carried out from a physical version, provided by the publisher, on PlayStation 5.