SEGA's Yakuza series hardly needs its praises singing, but with its years of build up of lore and growing sprawl, it can be a little intimidating to newcomers. Yakuza 0, though, is a perfect jumping-on point for those looking to get a taste of this much lauded series.
It's a prequel, meaning that the accumulation of story need not be a barrier to entry. It takes players back to the 1980s, and the humble beginnings of Kazuma Kiryu, rising Dragon of Dojima, and Goro Majima, before he became known as the Mad Dog of Shimano. In this origin story, they must hustle, flirt, dance and (of course) fight their way through the open world of Kamurocho, Tokyo in December 1988.
The world has been pared back a little size-wise, too, making it more accessible. It remains, however, a den of neon opulence and character. The decadance of the 1980s is on full show here with a thousand ways to make, take or spend money.
Combat has also been streamlined a little too, so those not versed in the game's mechanics will find an easy entry point.
This is still a full-bodied Yakuza game, however, and long time fans will not be disappointed by this dip into the past, with the opportunity to play as veteran NPC Goro Majima for the first time.