Lost Judgment Review – Fight Back To School
After Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s newest project is Lost Judgment. It uses the same engine and has the same technical specifications as its predecessor, and it supports 60 frames per second on the PS5. Graphically, the games are becoming a touch antiquated, but in terms of content, they are still massive expansive titles with a lengthy plot, side missions, and mini-games.
Ryu Ga Gotoko Studio has carved out a niche for itself among Sega’s developers. They are constant not just in terms of game quality, but also in terms of production. They are maybe one of the few Japanese developers that did not feel the strain of the COVID-19 limitations because they were able to release two lengthy games during the period when the pandemic swept the world, causing numerous big games to be delayed.
Lost Judgment begins with a basic tailing mission. Takayuki Yagami, a private investigator, and his colleague Masaharu Kaito are looking for someone who is said to have lost money gambling. This also serves as a tutorial, teaching you how to do things like chase suspects, discover points of interest, and parkour. With the new tailing missions allowing you to walk about while completing tasks such as capturing camera pictures of a certain event or attempting to blend in with the crowd by executing certain actions, stealth now plays a major role in the game.
Yagami has abandoned his lawyer origins to embark on a new career as a detective, founding an agency alongside his partner, Masaharu Kaito. They are still not well-liked in the community, prompting them to take on a high-profile client. This leads them to a case involving a school principal who is tasked with identifying the perpetrators of bullying at his school. Yagami must operate secretly in the school to locate the people accused of bullying, and thus collaborates with the students in a variety of ways, such as joining their clubs, assisting them with their activities, and so on.
The biggest strength of Lost Judgment is concealed in the side content rather than the main storyline. Twists are scarce, and the plot falls short of the high moments of the Yakuza series. It even lags below the original Judgment, but the side missions make up for it. As Yagami begins to operate discreetly in the school, he can participate in a variety of side cases involving students. Most of the time, this results in humorous consequences or unexpected twists. You may also join minigame clubs such as the Robotics club or lead a team in the Dance club. There are also lots of additional minigames to try, and the trusted Arcade is back with classic Sega games.
The fundamental gameplay loop involving Stealth has been enhanced, but it still seems, for lack of a better word, mediocre. When you are tailing someone, you may press a button to behave casually when they are suspicious about your character. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it does make the game a bit more active during certain missions. Parkour can also appear regularly, and its design can be rather perplexing. Yagami cannot climb up and down by himself, therefore the game expects you to come across areas of interest in the hopes that Yagami will be able to use them. If you don’t, you’ll wind up running into something.
This time, Yagami may utilize a new combat style in addition to the Tiger and Crane styles. In the Crane style, he can perform quick offensive assaults while also acquiring defensive skills like blocking and evading. He unleashes his inner beast by throwing hard-hitting blows in Tiger style. Yagami can also grab objects from his surroundings and use them as weapons against his foes. The new Snake technique falls halfway between these two and may become a lot of fun to employ if you learn how to parry and counterattack your opponent’s movements. If you figure it out, it can be extremely powerful.
When it comes to investigative work, Yagami has received some upgrades this time around. He can run about swiftly on a skateboard and summon a dog to assist him in finding hidden things of interest. While the skating isn’t nearly as good as Tony Hawk’s, it suffers from the same difficulties as Parkour, namely that it may be cumbersome to manage, requiring some weird animation and button input to make it work. A drone may also be summoned at any time through the in-game phone. Yagami needs skill points to level up his character, which he may obtain by completing the main plot, side missions, or specific activities.
In many ways, it appears that this sequel added a slew of new features, but these required more time in the oven. It would have improved the experience if they had been given more time to polish and enhance them. As it stands though, they feel a little stiff to enjoy but that doesn’t mean it is not possible to get through the game. There is more than 20 hours worth of content based on the main story alone in Lost Judgment, and if you want to get everything, you will likely end up spending a lot more time in this world.
On the technical side of things, I was pleased to play it at 60 frames per second. You give up a little on the resolution, but the performance is enough for an action brawler like Lost Judgment. The majority of the time, the game looks stunning, but the nighttime scenery is just breathtaking to see in action. The load times are fairly quick, so sitting through the game is a breeze.
Lost Judgment Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher