Content of the article: "Yakuza 0 – For the first time in a long time I felt completely satisfied after a dramatic ending to a good game."
Or how setting some false expectations due to spoilers can make story so much better.
Probably a bit of a (randomly deviating) outpour of emotions rather than sensible "essay".
Obviously spoilers. Not talking about what happened but talking about how happened. This might change your expectations and perception of the ending. Don't repeat my mistake – do not read this or anything else about story of this game and just go play it if you want some masterpiece tier story. Seriously. Play it. You might not be into the gameplay but just play on easy and buttonmash through combat and skip openworld just for that sweet story.
I cannot put to words how perfectly directed Y0 is. It is THE emotional roller coaster. None other game had me griped at one moment, then blown away at the next, then literally in tears in the following cutscene (I might be a bit touchy but rarely a piece of media gets me and Y0 got me at least twice or thrice) and then doing little jumps in my seat after a happy resolve on the next plot point. It's a masterpiece in regards to the story and presentation. And ending is the highest point of the entire thing.
But the thing is – I'm not sure if I'm not overreacting, because, as a patient gamer I got the experience lightly spoilered here and there. And then, when it all turned out way better than I expected and imagined, ending felt way much better.
Completely honest – I've been patient in this case unintentionally – wasn't paying any attention to the series until youtube started to suggest me "funny majima goro popping out randomly everywhere making funny faces and noises" videos. And then Sega anniversary happened and associated steam event with it. And then I realised that Y0 is a prequel and I haven't seen anything from it yet. And I bit the bullet. And now regretting not picking up Kiwiami 1 and 2. But I digress.
What I got spoiled to me – 2 things – Majima goes nuts (thanks to those youtube videos that came literally out of nowhere for no reason) and I randomly read somewhere someones opinion that in the end Majima gets shit end of the stick and his ending is dramatic.
I mean, not completely, ending sure was dramatic but not like I anticipated.
It's honestly was almost too good and kinda cliche-ey. Bad guys got what they deserve, good guys are fine, they grew as characters and got the life they wanted. Except for one guy, but I'm not sure if I would call him a good guy and I guess he had something coming. It's just that, while he doesn't really grow himself, he grows up on you (at least he did grow on me) pretty hard in a short time and his part of the ending was rather unceremonious.
But Majima, who I was worrying about the most? Because I instantly fell in love with his character. Not the "classic" one, the classy one. Knowing that he will turn into "mad dog" was kinda sad. That knowledge made me expect a turning point where he just "snaps" at literally any plot point. And nearing the end that expectation made me uneasy.
"So he was played all along. Not really that surprising but it seems like it shook Majima a lot. I bet it will happen now" … "…that was joker-ish but he still has his hair? Ok then"
"That very important to him person almost died, it's gotta be right now!" … "…he's just sitting on a couch with hair intact…" (On this note, I was also expecting her to die at any point. Because it was clear that if anything makes Majima snap, it's her death. Her not jumping from that roof was such a relief.)
"Well, I bet if I walk out of the door he will do it before going into the last act" … "…ponytail is still present. What is going here?"
And then the ending happens and he doesn't snap and everyone is happy and apparently he didn't snap but just changed style, signifying his…growth? I guess?
While that was kinda underwhelming, I was so revealed that all ended good for him, besides a touchy point of love but that wasn't too bad and it was his, understandable, decision.
All in all, while maybe a bit bland, "goody two shoes"-ey I'd call it, ending was a grand culmination to such a ride that I'm still a little bit shocked by how good it was. And usually, after getting so many emotions, so many likeable, even lovable characters, so many epic moments, funny moments, cute moments, fights, dances, songs, erotic videos, arcade games and whatever else – absolutely insane variety – after all of that I do not crave more. I feel satisfied, at peace. Never before an ending to a game I love gave me such a feeling. Just for example: Saints Row 3 – I love the ending, perfect choice of the accompanying soundtrack made it rather emotional for me and after I wanted more. Witcher 3 – even tho I spent almost 150 hours in the game, after touchy ending I was broken because it was over. Shadowrun: Dragonfall – great ending (depending on which one you get of course) in my opinion but I wasn't satisfied and wanted more of that setting and characters. You get the idea.
But Y0? It was so good I'm not sure I want to play Kiwiami anymore.
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