The Appeal of Yakuza: Always Extraordinary

This is not a sponsored piece: I felt like writing this article since Yakuza 6 is coming out soon and I personally want to write about the series and its appeal and the growth in popularity in regions outside of Japan.

I’ve always been a fan of open-world games but Yakuza hits a special spot for me. Unlike many open-world games, your best mode of transportation is your feet. You run around the hyper-realistic town of Kamarocho, Japan and take in the scenery of shops, convenience stores, buildings, and the random thugs who keep wanting to fight Kiryu Kazama even though he doesn’t do a single thing to them.

 

Source:Funhaus Yakuza 6

 

Kiryu as your main protagonist is really interesting compared to most open world games. Since most open worlds allow you to mess around with the environments, your playable character can seem like a monster. The only people Kiryu beats up are people trying to mug him or generally evil characters. Around the city, he just walks around, eats, does karaoke, play games and interact with the people. Despite being a former Yakuza and a having a scary face, you can call Kiryu a hero. He goes out of his way to help people solve their problems and protect others. Even other characters call him a bad Yakuza member because he doesn’t like to shake people down for money or follow the code. He just wants to take care of children, sing karaoke, race children’s car games, fish, etc. His stoic attitude and sense of justice are perfectly generic compared to the absurd side-stories, characters, and the main stories in the 7 main games.

The stories of Yakuza really bring the game together. The side-stories are absolutely ridiculous. Whether its stopping people from joining a greedy cult, beating up perverts who harass women or helping a street performer use the restroom by distracting the audience with horrible dance moves, Yakuza always has a way to distract you from the main plot. The mini-games are also distracting from the main plot. Not that the mini-games are extremely fun but more about how absurd the scenes become when you are successful. Kiryu’s reactions about winning or losing at a side activity are hilarious. Karaoke is the best because when you are doing well, you enter a weird music video. The unique stories keep the game from becoming mundane and they are short and sweet so it requires little commitment compared to many Japanese games.

I can’t recommend Yakuza enough. Its one of those games where I’m constantly laughing or reacting to the game. With a sea of amazing games out currently or coming in 2018 like Far Cry 5, God of War, or Metro Exodus, it is always fun to sit back and enjoy an absurd game like Yakuza. Yakuza 6: Spring of Life comes out April 17th.

Two Chances for 20% off Codes for PlayStation Network

If you’re looking to save money on some PlayStation games or movies, Sony has two free opportunities to earn 20% coupons. You can simply click the links below. One will link to Far Cry 5 trailers and the other is for MLB: The Show 18. MLB’s chance to obtain it will expire tomorrow but be usable until the end of March. The Far Cry 5 coupon will last until the end of April. They can be used for any game but they don’t stack. It will look similar to the image below.

coupon.png

https://live.playstation.com/

https://live.playstation.com/mlb-the-show-18

Details on Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. World Tournament at E3 2018!

Nintendo will be hosting a tournament at E3 for Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch. The tournaments will be hosted at E3 2018 in Los Angeles on June 11th and 12th. There will be two different formats for both games. Nintendo has announced they will continue to release E3 announcements next month.

Splatoon 2:

Splatoon 2 will be 4 way round robin tournament with 4 teams at E3. One form Japan, the U.S./Can, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. Winning the Splatoon 2 US/Canada Inkling Open 2018 online qualifiers will qualify your team for a spot. Qualifiers begin April 21, 11 a.m. PT, and finals will take place on April 28 at 8 a.m. This will be Splatoon 2‘s first World Championship. There is no entry fee and rules are in the link below. You can register online via this link http://e3.nintendo.com/splatoon-2-inkling-open

Super Smash Bros:

Nintendo has announced that the Smash game will be for Nintendo Switch. It will be a invitational with a non-disclosed amount of players invited by Nintendo. Details on whether its a new Smash game or a port of Smash 4 for the Wii U is still undetermined. The tournament will appeal to casual and competitive Smash players. Bill Trinen, Nintendo’s senior product marketing manager, said it will be similar in structure to the E3 2014 Super Smash Bros. invitational. Top players from the Smash community such as Mango, Hungrybox and ZeRo won in E3 2014 for the Super Smash Bros for Wii U.

Sources:

Nintendo

Ubisoft defends itself from Vivendi and why its important

Despite creating amazing games and long-lasting franchises, you would be surprised to hear Ubisoft was trying to avoid a hostile takeover of their company for several years from Vivendi. Vivendi is a French multimedia company. They are active in music, television, film, and video games. They were the previous owners of the most shares for Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft, OverWatch) before they became Activision Blizzard. Vivendi began to purchase shares of Gameloft and Ubisoft to own the companies. CEO of UbisoftYves Guillemot and Michel Guillemot, viewed their acquirement as a hostile takeover and worked together to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more stocks.

What do Shareholders do?

Investors can purchase a majority of shares than others to have influence on the Board of Directors (BoD). The Board of Directors vote to determine which direction a company should move and they represent the shareholders. Depending on how much a person invests into shares determine the amount of power within their votes. Vivendi attempt to buy more shares was to own Ubisoft just like they bought most of the shares for Gameloft. Vivendi denied the accusations on December 2016. They had owned 27.5% prior to the current news. France laws states if a person owns more than 30%, they are obligated to offer to buy the company.

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Tencent’s portfolio in 2014

Yves worked with individuals to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more shares. Vivendi is now selling its 27% shares for 2 billion euros. Ubisoft and the Guillemot Brothers C.E. (Representative company of Ubisoft‘s founders Guillemot family) will acquire 15% of Vivendi‘s shares.  Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan — an independent organization that administers pensions for about 318,000 teachers in Canada’s most populous province- and Tencent (League of Legends, PUBG China), a Chinese conglomerate will purchase the 3.4% and 5% of the remaining stock but won’t have seat on the BoD. The rest will be sold through accelerated book building.

Why is this important?

The Board of Directors have huge influence on companies but they may not follow the same views as the CEO or how people want the company to act. Their biggest focus is on the companies to earn as much money as possible. With Ubisoft owning most of the shares and already setting plans for 2018 – 2020, they can choose their own business practice. Shareholders won’t have the influence to force Ubisoft to use “dirty” business strategies such as releasing more DLC, releasing unpolished games or creating more mobile games. We want gaming companies to choose their own business goals without compromising their principles because of the shareholders.

Sources:

Global News Wire

Polygon

Overclock

Invenstopedia 2