It was only last year that the future of the Judgment series was looking extremely dicey, courtesy of a legal battle over star Takuya Kimura’s likeness. Looks like that’s all been cleared up, though, because both games aren’t just coming to the PC, they’re already here.
According to weekly publication Nikkan Taishu, a Japanese entertainment insider is quoted as saying that the upcoming Lost Judgment will be the last entry in the series. “Because,” the insider explains, “those on the side of the game developer and those on the side of [Kimura’s talent agency] Johnny’s are said to have been unable to reach an agreement regarding the platforms to sell the game.”
Today, though, that’s all water under the bridge, because both 2018's Judgment and its 2021 sequel, Lost Judgment, are now up on Steam and available for purchase.
This is fantastic news! I’ve reviewed both games for Kotaku, and had a blast with both. Here are my closing thoughts on the original:
Playing Judgment and Yakuza are like looking at the same photo—in this case the streets of Kamurocho—through two different filters. The presentation might be slightly different, and the tone a little off when you’re comparing them, but the underlying image is identical, from their geography to their face-kicking.
The Yakuza formula, so unchanged here beneath the additions of detective distractions, is still a very good one despite its age. I really enjoyed my time with Judgment, partly because I took a shine to the new, more human cast, but mostly because the basic Yakuza building blocks of “smashing traffic cones into ribs” married with “a soap opera about angry dudes” is still loads of fun.
And here’s my review of the sequel, which is even better:
If you own a PC, have been remotely curious about the Yakuza series but haven’t known where to start, or if you even should, I’m going to be brave here and suggest that in 2022 these games might actually be the best jumping-off point. They’re smaller, more focused experiences, they’re free from the burdens of the main series’ lore, and the action-based combat here is as fun as it has ever been in the Yakuza games.
They’re some of my favourite PlayStation games of the last five years, and now that they’re out on PC—given Sega’s more recent Yakuza ports have been pretty good—they’re now instantly some of my favourite games on PC as well.