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Judgment OT - Launching 06/25/19, update - OpenCritic review compilation


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Judgment (formerly Project JUDGE) is headed to the West in summer 2019!
 
A star-studded English voice cast brings Judgment to life. Greg Chun takes on the role of Judgment’s protagonist, Takayuki Yagami, supported by Crispin Freeman, Matthew Mercer, Cherami Leigh, Yuri Lowenthal, James Hong, Ed O’Ross, Amy Walker, Matt Yang King, Fred Tatasciore, Brian McNamara, as well as guest appearances by SungWon Cho, Cristina Vee, Max Mittelman, and many more.

 

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I (Tim Rogers) played the first three hours of the Yakuza team's new game, Judge Eyes, which is currently available only in Japan. I live-translated much of the dialogue, talked about my experiences living in Tokyo, and generally had a fantastic time. I gotta say, at first it was a little weird talking to myself for three hours into a microphone while also enjoying a video game as much as I enjoyed this one, though I soon got used to it.

 

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Judgment launches in the West on June 25, 2019! Early access to the full game for digital pre-orders starts on June 21!

 

http://yakuza.sega.com/judgment/

 

“We’re gonna chase the truth as far as we can.”

 

Kamurocho isn’t exactly known for being the safest place in Japan, but even for this red-light district, a string of violent serial murderers has the entire city on edge. It’s up to private detective Takayuki Yagami and his partner Kaito to track down the truth using whatever tools they can. Get a look at just some of those tools (including a drone, lockpicks, and the muscles of a huge former yakuza member, to name just a few) in our new Features Trailer!

 

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Game Information

Game Title: Judgment

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4 (Jun 24, 2019)

Publisher: Sega of America Inc.
    
Review Aggregator

OpenCritic - 83 average - 90% recommended

Critic Reviews


GamePitt - Rob Pitt - 10 / 10

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Judgment is basically Yakuza crossed with Ace Attorney, the perfect combination of Power, Corruption, Crime and Mystery. Expanding upon everything we’ve seen the developer do previously, what we have here is a game which is so familiar yet different at the same time – familiar surroundings and places combined with new games, events and people to interact with. Although the game is heavy on the tried and tested mechanics of the Yakuza series, Judgment brings a lot of its own unique gameplay elements such as investigative segments as you stalk your prey, searching for evidence, and even dressing up in various disguises.

 

Judgment has a deep and intriguing story encased within a multitude of separate narratives, not many games can pull that off yet Judgment did it flawlessly. I honestly can’t recommend this game enough to both Yakuza fans and people new to this style of game.

 


Total Gaming Network - Shawn Zipay - 5 / 5 stars

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Judgment is so much more than a simple spin-off of the Yakuza franchise. It is a stellar title that offers a ton of memorable gameplay, an amazing story, and fantastic characters.


Digitally Downloaded - Matt Sainsbury - 5 / 5 stars

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Judgement is a brilliant effort in forging a new path forwards for Kamurocho and its denizens post-Yakuza, with not only a new protagonist and story, but an entirely new genre and look at the world. I


Gaming Gamma - Gammalad - 9.8 / 10

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There comes a time where someone plays a game that defines a generation to them, to me Judgment is that generation defining game. Judgment is a masterpiece.


Paste Magazine - Dia Lacina - 9.5 / 10

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But how do you review the experience of a city? I still don't think I know. Perhaps, as Judgment understands, our experiences are too precious, too deeply personal to do more than hint at suggestions of experience. To anecdote and extrapolate. To let slip the micro moments of intimate connection to a person or space, to leave others with only the wordless emotion of a snapshot.


The Games Machine - Danilo Dellafrana - Italian - 9.2 / 10

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Judgment is another hit for a team that can't seem to miss the target.


Electric Bento - Drew Meadows - 9.1 / 10

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Judgement is a great addition to the Yakuza universe, and an incredible cast of characters make up for some easy combat and touchy controls.


PlayStation Universe - John-Paul Jones - 9 / 10

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A sizeably riotous spin-off to Sega's Yakuza franchise, Judgment combines the series penchant for balancing seriousness and absurdity with a hyper-engaging central protagonist whose deeply charismatic persona freshens the whole affair up massively. Judgment is a toweringly good offering then, and one that we hope leads to its own series with leading man Yagami at the forefront.


Hobby Consolas - David Martinez - Spanish - 90 / 100

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Judgment is the best entry to the Yakuza series for new players. Introducing new characters and storylines, detective mechanics, an amazing minigame selection (including classics such as Virtua Fighter 5, Space Harrier or Fantasy Zone) and, for the first time, spanish subtitles.


GamingBolt - Shubhankar Parijat - 9 / 10

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Simultaneously fresh and familiar, Judgment is an excellent first step forward for the Yakuza universe after the conclusion of Kazuma Kiryu's story.


GameSpew - Chris McMullen - 9 / 10

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Altogether, it’s a thoroughly delightful detective adventure.


GameSkinny - RobotsFightingDinosaurs - 9 / 10 stars

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Though there are some hiccups along the way, Judgment proves without a doubt that Ryu Ga Gotoku studio doesn't need Kazuma Kiryu to sell a great game.


The Digital Fix - Yannis Vatis - 9 / 10

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Detective gameplay mixed in with Yakuza DNA wrapped up in an engaging crime thriller story with superb voice acting and memorable characters.


Twinfinite - Hayes Madsen - 4.5 / 5

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With an entirely original story and streamlined side content, Judgment is easily the best place to get introduced to the Yakuza formula, and for longtime fans it’s the best Dragon Engine game yet. Either way, it’s one you shouldn’t miss out on.


3DNews - Алексей Лихачев - Russian - 9 / 10

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Even though this is not a Yakuza game and we are still running around same old Kamurocho, Judgment still is a fantastic game with an exciting story. Thanks to new gameplay mechanics and some interesting ideas, the game feels fresh and will appeal to both Yakuza veterans and the new audience.


Cubed3 - Drew Hurley - 9 / 10

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The gameplay is massively fun, and there is a positively absurd amount of things to do. For Yakuza fans this is a must buy. For those new to the franchise, this is the perfect opportunity to jump in.


SelectButton - Kevin Mitchell - 9 / 10

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Judgment proves that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's gameplay approach works with a new set of realized and charismatic characters. While it was a shame to see Kiryu's journey came to an end last year, Yagami and his former Yakuza buddy Kaito may be my new favorite duo. The narrative is highly engaging, and whether you use the Japanese or the English voices, the performances are outstanding. There is so much to see and accomplish between main story missions, that it is hard to list even a small portion of what you can do.


GearNuke - Danial Arshad Khan - 9 / 10

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Judgment packs an amazing story with great fleshed out and unique characters in the tried and tested Yakuza mold while improving the semi-open world mechanics and still keeping things fresh.


GamePro - Michael Cherdchupan - German - 89 / 100

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Varied action adventure with an incredibly exciting thriller story and a lovingly staged Japanese neighborhood


Heavy - Elton Jones - 8.8 / 10

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Curious players who’ve never touched a Yakuza game now have the perfect entry point to enjoy.


Spaziogames - Italian - 8.8 / 10

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Judgment is the best Yakuza game ever...expect for the fact that, formally, it is not a Yakuza game. Still, there are enough new gameplay elements to lure new players in, and enough old references for returning fans. Don't miss it.


Video Chums - A.J. Maciejewski - 8.6 / 10

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Out of all the Yakuza games that I've played, Judgment offers the most amount of fun and variety while also containing a gripping story that'll keep you guessing until the end.


Handsome Phantom - Philip Neyman - 8.5 / 10

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Even if you've never touched a game in the Yakuza series, you'll find yourself having an absolute blast with this game.


CGMagazine - Preston Dozsa - 8.5 / 10

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Judgment may be linked to Yakuza's legacy, but it still provides a great reason to explore Kamurocho once again.


DualShockers - Logan Moore - 8.5 / 10

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Judgment is another winner for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and provides dozens of hours of mysteries, hijinks, and flying fists to keep you entertained.


PlayStation LifeStyle - Lucas White - 8.5 / 10

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This is the Yakuza experience, but with a refreshing change of character, tone, and voice. Judgment has a familiar skeleton, but the flesh and blood housing it is new. Longtime Yakuza fans have a lot to look forward to here. But, admittedly, having a new setting, new characters, and new mechanics laid over top of the same framework dulls some of that “fresh” feeling.


IGN Spain - Javi Andrés - Spanish - 8.5 / 10

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Sega has released too many Yakuza games continued in the West, and this Judgment is mostly like them stories and gameplay. However, the plot with Yagami is exciting and investigating every corner of Kamurocho makes the game richer. A perfect first step for a new player. A different perspective for the fans.


PushStartPlay - Richard Lee Breslin - 8.5 / 10

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Judgement is fun, filled with suspense, drama and humour, and more then stands-up alone in its own right as a great alternative to the Yakuza series.


ThisGenGaming - Justin Oneil - 8.5 / 10

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Whether you a fan of the Yakuza franchise or jumping into this world for the very first time, Judgment shouldn’t be missed.


Niche Gamer - Rory Hutchings - 8.5 / 10

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Judgment has its faults that are hard to ignore, but its deep story, intense combat, and a wide variety of side activities kept me glued to it for days on end. Judgment is a great game that is well worth the attention to Yakuza fans and newcomers alike.


Worth Playing - Chris "Atom" DeAngelus - 8.5 / 10

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All in all, Judgment is a solid addition to the franchise. Like Yakuza 0, it is kind of a back-to-basics offering, and it's self-contained in a good way. It contains pretty much everything you'd expect from a Yakuza title. It's well designed and easy to play, and that makes it a boatload of fun. If you like Yakuza, then you'll like Judgment and if you've never played a Yakuza game, then this is a great place to start. Additionally, you get a free copy of Virtua Fighter 5 in-game, and who can complain about that?


Everyeye.it - Giuseppe Carrabba - Italian - 8.3 / 10

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With its strengths and weaknesses, Judgment confirmed to us that it is certainly worth taking the umpteenth journey to Kamurocho


RPG Fan - Zach Wilkerson - 83 / 100

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Despite some repetitive gameplay and a story that sputters out, Judgment is a worthy successor to the Yakuza series, with engaging side content and a world that feels truly alive.


New Game Network - Peter Ingham - 82 / 100

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Despite being a spinoff game, Judgment does everything that merits it standing on its two feet. An engrossing narrative, great characters, and a wealth of side content make for a thrilling adventure - despite some niggling story beats and under-utilized mechanics.


IGN - Tristan Ogilvie - 8.2 / 10

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Judgment is a superficial detective experience, but an extremely good Yakuza one.


Just Push Start - Mark Fajardo - 4.1 / 5

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For better or worse, Judgment is a lot like Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. Everything about it screams Yakuza, even if the finer points are a little different. I don't mean this as a criticism, as the Yakuza series did a fantastic job, just don't expect Judgment to be totally different. Now, if you want a new take on the franchise you love, this is something that will almost certainly delight. However, if you didn't care for the Yakuza series, you likely won't like this one either.


Gameblog - Rudy Jean-François - French - 8 / 10

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Judge Eyes / Judgement is a very nice gift from the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Even though it may feel at first like it is only a skin based on previous Yakuza games, it feels fresh enough and brings in brand new ideas that make for a great gaming experience. We would have simply liked that its characters spent less time talking and more time kicking asses, this is where they truly shine!


Push Square - Robert Ramsey - 8 / 10

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Judgment may be a Yakuza spin-off, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best games in SEGA's series. Barring some gimmicky gameplay additions and some unnecessary story padding, it's an absolutely ace detective thriller. As we've come to expect of Yakuza Studio, Judgment's writing and characters are top notch, and it's arguably a perfect place to start if you're looking to explore the streets of Kamurocho for the first time. Another great showing from a developer that's at the top of its game.


RPG Site - Kazuma Hashimoto - 8 / 10

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Judgment brings new levels of narrative and mechanical intricacies to the familiar setting of Kamurocho in Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's latest title.


USgamer - Caty McCarthy - 4 / 5 stars

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Judgment is very much a Yakuza game in detective clothing, but with some clever twists and a killer mystery at the center, it ends up feeling surprisingly distinct. While some of the detective-specific mechanical additions are a drag, everything else vibes really well with the familiar Kamurocho setting. It's easily the best of the recent line of Dragon Engine-developed games in the series—even without Kiryu Kazuma at the center, and even without a karaoke minigame.


TheSixthAxis - Aran Suddi - 8 / 10

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Judgment is another great Japanese crime drama that will grab your attention as the stakes get bigger and bigger, but it's not quite on par with the Yakuza series. Some of the private detective busywork could make way for more of RGG Studio's trademark goofiness to cut through the seriousness of the main story, but anyone who has any interest in Far East crime dramas or the Yakuza series should pick Judgment up. Judgment has been judged and has been found worth playing.


VideoGamer - Colm Ahern - 8 / 10

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Judgment tinkers with the Yakuza template enough that it provides something for fans, as well as those who have always thought about visiting Kamurocho.


OnlySP - Amy Davidson - 4 / 5 stars

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That Judgment drops the Yakuza moniker from the title is surprising, as the game feels like a Yakuza game through and through, with the signature sprawling open world of Kamurocho, combo-based brawling combat, and kooky sidequests. Yagami’s new detective abilities add some enjoyable variety into the mix, but the title would have comfortably fit into the main franchise. That being said, Judgment stands out as one of the very best in the series and serves as a perfect entry point for anyone curious about the Yakuza games.


IGN Italy - Alessandra Borgonovo - Italian - 8 / 10

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Regardless some flaws, Judgment holds up even when compared to the best entries in the Yakuza series, on both narrative and gameplay side.


EGM - Mollie L Patterson - 8 / 10

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Making a spin-off to a beloved niche series that then drops its most popular character seemed like a crazy idea at first, but Judgment is a success beyond what I could have expected. Though it never quite escapes the shadow of its older siblings, this tale of a fallen lawyer and his refusal to let go of the truth provides an experience that has a lot to offer both Yakuza fans and newcomers alike.


TrustedReviews - Jade King - 4 / 5 stars

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Judgment is a brave departure for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, temporarily leaving Yakuza behind to craft an engaging detective thriller that not only stands on its own, but introduces a breadth of new ideas I'd love to see expanded going forward.


Gamer Escape - ECShadow - 8 / 10

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If you’re looking for a more accessible bar of entry to the Yakuza franchise, this is a strong entry with the studio stepping outside of its comfort zone a little bit. Thankfully, their experiment is a success.


GameMAG - Russian - 8 / 10

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Despite the new name, Judgment is the next chapter in Yakuza series with a great story, excellent English voice acting, realistic graphics, charismatic characters and addictive gameplay.


GameSpace - Joseph Bradford - 8 / 10

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If you like previous Yakuza games, Judgment is right up your alley. A spin off that holds its own in the fictional Kamurocho, Judgment is a worthy entry in the world of Ryu ga Gotoku's Yakuza world. And while I found the story to be sluggish and in its own way at times, it's excellent combat and unique detective mechanics kept me engaged in my more than 20+ hour playthrough. Judgment is outrageous fun at times, relaxing at others and above all else tells a great story. It's definitely one I'll be coming back to over the next few months, uncovering more of Kamurocho's secrets with its favorite detective.


The Escapist - 4 / 5 stars

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Judgment is as magical and grounded as true city life


Cultured Vultures - Jimmy Donnellan - 8 / 10

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While mechanically flawed, Judgment bridges the gap between new and old Yakuza fans marvellously and points towards a confident future for a new franchise. Court adjourned.


AnaitGames - Víctor Manuel Martínez García - Spanish - 8 / 10

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Another fascinating entry for a series that masterfully blends the kind of drama you might expect from a soap opera with absurdist comedy and the fascinating exploration of Kamurocho, maybe the real protagonist of the Yakuza series.


Easy Allies - Ben Moore - 8 / 10

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Judgment's take on the style of the Yakuza series is well crafted and absorbing.


Game Informer - Jeff Cork - 8 / 10

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Judgment is a Yakuza game in all but name, offering the same dizzying array of action, side content, and a lengthy (and convoluted) story


Hardcore Gamer - Jordan Helm - 4 / 5

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There's an argument to be made that Judgment does at points let the familiar get the best of itself — confusing the mere sake of additional features and mechanics for those that genuinely feel like fresh changes.


AusGamers - Kosta Andreadis - 7.8 / 10

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Lengthy, and full of twists and turns, Judgment might offer up mostly basic detective sequences but there’s plenty to love about the world depicted. Twisted Trio included.


Destructoid - Chris Carter - 7.5 / 10

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I appreciate that the Yakuza studio wanted to try something different with Judgment, even if the biggest deviations are the absence of the bankable character Kazuma Kiryu and the addition of some detective busywork. Given that said work is typically brief, this is an easy one to recommend to Ryu Ga Gotoku acolytes and folks with patience.


Digital Chumps - Eric Layman - 7.5 / 10

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Judgment swerves Yakuza's circuitous criminal conspiracies a few degrees off course before turning up at familiar intersections of violence, eccentricity, and drama. Novelties surrounding its private detective facade, however, breakdown into tests of patience instead of pragmatism. Judgment may be an honest amendment to Yakuza's doctrine but its most refined and exciting practices are also its most routine.


The Outerhaven Productions - Diego Perez - 3.5 / 5 stars

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Judgment is without a doubt the best playing Yakuza game to date. It has all of the quality of life improvements of the Dragon Engine alongside a host of new welcome features. The combat and minigames are the best they've ever been. The narrative is interesting overall, but can feel misguided and aimless at certain points.


VGChartz - Evan Norris - 7 / 10

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By combining the legal proceedings of Ace Attorney with the visceral combat and open-world hijinks of Yakuza, developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has turned in a new, but familiar property.


Metro GameCentral - 7 / 10

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A fun spin-off that takes some of the best parts of Yakuza and weaves a story that's at least as compelling – even if a lot of gameplay elements are becoming overfamiliar at this point.


God is a Geek - Chris White - 7 / 10

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Judgment is a new direction for Ryu Ga Gotoku, and whilst it isn't on the same level of Yakuza just yet, there's plenty of room to grow.


Gamers Heroes - Blaine Smith - 7 / 10

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Judgment is a must-play for fans of the Yakuza franchise and a fantastic entry level title for those a little put off by the time required to catch up with the Yakuza series. It offers a fun and challenging dive into a wonderfully crafted game world, whose only disappointment is the result of the quality of past works.


GameSpot - Edmond Tran - 7 / 10

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Lovable characters and an intriguing mystery-drama elevate this otherwise run-of-the-mill Ryu ga Gotoku joint.


GamesRadar+ - 3 / 5 stars

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Despite the fantastic story, Judgment stops short of being a must-play thanks to its shallow and unfulfilling crime-solving gameplay.


Eurogamer - Martin Robinson - No Recommendation / Blank

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Sega's spin-off has a few ideas of its own as it takes a detective's perspective on Kamurocho, though it all ends up feeling a little flat.


Polygon - Jeffrey Parkin - Unscored

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This is the same city, just seen from a very different perspective.


ACG - Jeremy Penter - Buy

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Video Review - Quote not available


GameXplain - Liked-a-lot

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Video Review - Quote not available

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