OUR SCORE – 9/10
Lost Judgment is a direct sequel to judgment that was released a couple of years ago. Events from the first title are often mentioned in the form of small details and comments, but for newcomers, it is recommended to complete Judgment first. The story of Lost Judgment starts in December 2021. When a police officer is convicted of assaulting a woman on a train, his trial shows that he has knowledge of a corpse found earlier that day in an abandoned building. He claims to be responsible for the murder of the man who drove his son to suicide. But his assault lawsuit provides him with an alibi for the murder. To Yagami and his partner in crimeKaito’s task is to bring out the bottom stone and solve this mystery.
One of the first missions you get is set in a high school. The school board member suspects that there is systematic bullying and to prevent it from becoming a major scandal in the media, you will have to gather evidence about who the bullies are. The fact that this first assignment gradually gets bigger and bigger and quickly becomes intertwined with the mystery of the main story is one of the reasons that I kept coming back to complete new assignments. And because Yagami is going undercover as the school’s newest guidance counselor, you’ll find yourself in weird situations in no time. That’s how your career starts as a coach at the local Mystery Research Club that takes cases from students as a kind of mini detective agency.In this way you will slowly but surely become familiar with the various clubs that the Seiryu school has to offer. This way you quickly come into contact with the dance club, where you have to coach students to put together a good choreography. By demonstrating dance moves, you then prepare the students for performances that will go from regional to national.
RGG Studio has successfully built upon the things that worked in the original well. Chase sequences have more variety. Because well, a detective has to regularly chase suspicious people, take pictures and every so often arrest a suspicious person after a long chase. In Lost Judgment, most elements of the original can still be found. You can chase suspects by keeping an appropriate distance, hiding behind walls, and striking at the right moments. Sometimes you do that with your camera, and in other cases with your fists. A new addition to the chases is that you can now take an action to appear less suspicious. Depending on the situation, this could include Yagami tying his shoelaces, pretending to be called, or simply trying to take a selfie.
Crane, Tiger, and Snake Fighting Styles
After the most recent Yakuza game successfully made a clear transition to turn-based RPG gameplay, Lost Judgment is a great way to get back to being an old-fashioned brawler beating and kicking opponents. In addition to the recurring fighting styles of Crane, which focuses on fighting against groups of opponents, and Tiger, which focuses on attacking a single specific target, there is now the addition of the Snake fighting style. This way of fighting mainly focuses on converting the momentum of your opponents through counters and throwing techniques.
What is also a nice addition are the so-called Battle Records. That’s a list of objectives that you can try to complete each battle to earn extra Skill Points. Think of using all your fighting styles to defeat a group of enemies, use EX attacks that do extra damage or take out opponents with a hard attack when they are on the ground. You will also need the extra SP that you earn by completing the objectives as there is a huge mountain of skills to unlock.
Visuals and Gameplay
Graphically Lost Judgment has become a great game. The characters all look good and although the lip sync works significantly better with Japanese voices, the English-speaking cast is also excellent. The number of people on the street, the size of the locations you visit, and the eye for detail in the environments are certainly impressive. All those elements coupled with the minimum loading times on the PS5 make Lost Judgment a very nice game to play. On the PS4, the game runs at 900p at 30 frames per second, PS4Pro runs at a slightly higher resolution of 1080p at 30 frames per second, and the PS5 runs at 1440p at 60fps. On the Xbox One, it’s a similar story, only then it’s about Xbox One, One X, and finally the Xbox Series S and X running on the above settings.
Lost Judgment has become a sequel that is bigger and better than its predecessor in every way. The story is a bit darker and even more serious, the side quests are extensive and very entertaining and the gameplay is rock solid in all cases. Lost Judgment is a game that deserves not to be snowed in this fall among the huge amount of games that are still to come out. With dozens of hours of gameplay, interesting characters, and a wide variety of things to do, Lost Judgment is definitely worth picking up.