Friday, September 23, 2011

And Now, I Have Weathered Sega's Worst

So, I'm in the final stretch of Yakuza 4, and with that comes the end of sub-stories and of challenges, which brings rewards and the best challenges that can be offered. Finishing the sidequests is no exclusion to this and is actually probably the best example of when Sega really brings the thunder and puts the 'challenge' into it.  It does this as it has done for the last three Yakuza games (well, possibly five.  Dunno about Kenzan and Of the End) and how it will likely do it again and again for the next however many Yakuza games come from the studios:  With a bang.  A bang by the name of Amon Jo.  (By the way, this is technically spoiler-ish stuff in the very mildest sense, so if you're a purist...)

The backstory to Amon Jo, from what I can tell, is that he is an assassin who has been trying to take down Kazuma every year since he first came back to Kamurocho.  Obsessed with power, he claims that he and Kazuma must continually fight until one of them is dead, but Kazuma refuses to kill him and Amon never defeats him.  (Well, canonically, of course.)  He does, however, put up a hell of a fight; I remember my encounter with him in Yakuza 3 and it.....well, it's not something I'm looking forward to doing again, even though I must.  Not that I would want to do Yakuza 4's encouter again either.

See, now that Yakuza 4 has multiple characters, they had to change up the formula a bit.  By 'had to change' it, I mean, in fact, that they didn't have to change it at all and they just wanted to prove that they can indeed give you yet another reason to shatter a controller into a million pieces.  (Thankfully, Char has not received the same treatment as Sechs.  You remember Sechs, right?)  So when Kazuma gets the customary letter from Amon Jo telling him where to meet, he mentions that he'll be (conveniently) bringing his three apprentices for the fight.  While Kazuma wants to take on the Amon clan by himself, his three companions don't let him and go along with him to the designated meeting spot.

From there, there's a little banter that ends in the idea that everyone will take on one of the individual Amons and you run the gauntlet as Akiyama, Saejima, Tanimura and finally Kiryu.  So instead of a prolonged battle against Amon Jo, you have four, admittedly smaller and slightly easier fights.  Akiyama's fight, unsurprisingly, is based around speed, Saejima's is based around, er...power, in a sense.  Moreso that the game wants to reinforce that it hates Saejima, which I will explain about at a later date.  Tanimura's just kind of against a guy with guns, where Kiryu takes on Amon Jo, finally.  I won't spoil how the fight goes, but I will say that, as Amon fights go, it wasn't the hardest, but it was definitely the cheapest.  Which I guess makes it the hardest by default.

Regardless, the moral of the story here is that I beat Amon Jo and that is always, arguably, the hardest fight you'll face in a Yakuza game.  Sure, the rest of the game isn't going to be a cakewalk, but the difficulty won't come from battles, that's for sure.  If anything, I'm more dreading the next time I go into Club Sega than proceeding with the story for the eventual boss fights.  Goddamn crane machines.  And oh god, Bowling.....and darts.....goddamnit, Mini-games.

Directly after my encounter with Amon, I walked about as Kiryu again and encountered some left over gang members from Kiryu's Gang War challenge, which, compared to what I had just been through, was nothing.  In fact, it was almost annoying, but being able to finally tap into some of the more devastating Heat Moves that I couldn't execute against Amon was well enough of a reason to be good with it.  And to enjoy it, much as I did.  If anything, I should feel grateful though, since from now on in the game, I can feel like that much more of a badass.

Now, let's just see how many more of the side-quests and such I'll get distracted with before I finally just beat the game.  And possibly Platinum it.

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