released on Dec 13, 2018

Judgment is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective. The game is a legal thriller set in the Yakuza world of Kamurocho and follows private detective Takayuki Yagami as he investigates a serial murder case. It stars Japanese actor Takuya Kimura and employs a fighting system similar to that of Yakuza 0 where players can change into different styles, namely crane-style which is more focused on fighting groups and tiger-style which is more focused on fighting individuals. Additionally, the game features an investigation mode where the player must find traces of the criminal.

Also in series

Lost Judgment: The Kaito Files
Lost Judgment: The Kaito Files
Lost Judgment
Lost Judgment

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The story is easily some of the best work RGG has put out. A solid, engaging mystery drama revolving around a massive conspiracy without any mind numbing plot points. It wasn't a surprise to me when I found out Yokoyama didn't write this...
My story complaints are fairly minor:
The pacing for the first few chapters is quite slow.
A lot of the supporting characters just don't do a lot. Especially Kaito who is presented as Yagami's partner doesn't get much time in the spotlight and feels like kind of an errand boy at times.
The Mole is deliberately lacking in characterization, the story even refers to him as a mere "tool". Would've liked it if he had bit more going on.
Throughout the game there's numerous points you're forced to do random side cases as as a part of the main story despite the side cases being completely unrelated and them clearly not being written with this in mind. Seems like something they just threw in to pad out runtime, not that it was needed.

The side cases as a whole were pretty underwhelming, just a lot of been there done that stuff with some incredibly unfunny comedy thrown in, nothing was really memorable.
The detective gameplay overall isn't great, it's very basic and the trailing and chasing segments definitely overstay their welcome.

I say this in every review of every Dragon Engine game but I fundamentally despise the engine's physics. Everything about it is just so unpredictable and Judgement makes the bizarre decision of having Yagami's attacks "bounce" off the enemy when they're blocked or they have armor which makes things feel even worse. The game also makes the same mistake as Yakuza 6 with it's upgrade system, Yagami starts off extremely weak, your combo speed, damage, abilities are downright pathetic, it makes the early hours a chore to play. The entire SP system is fucked, street encounters give you laughable 9 SP per enemy and the only realistic way to fully upgrade Yagami is through chugging grocery shop SP potions (forgot what they're called) which cost a lot of money.
With that being said, once you do get upgrades the combat does get pretty fun. Yagami is easily the most technical and stylish RGG character, he gets access to so much stuff it almost becomes overwhelming, in a good way. Leapfrog and wall jumps alone add so much by giving you more ways of approaching fights than just doing a rush combo. He feels way more "at home" in the Dragon Engine than Kiryu ever did. The incredibly bizarre thing about Yagami's kit are the 2 styles. Through the upgrades app, tiger style gets like 50 skills while crane style gets... absolutely nothing. Not sure what the thought process behind that was but crane is basically pointless beyond some niche EX switcheroos.
also mortal wounds lol!!
At the start of the game there's very few street encounters which I thought was refreshing but once the Keihen Gang mechanic got introduced that changed very quickly. I thought you'd just beat em once and they'd fuck off but there is literally no way to permanently get rid of them.

If Judgement was only drone racing it'd be the easiest 5/5 stars in my life. Such a fun idea that's executed extremely well. The only slight issue with it is the abrupt difficulty spike in the championship league as the AI racers are straight up faster than you even with S speed. It's still very much doable with a good balance of skill, luck and save scumming between races.
Paradise VR is Judgement's money making mini-game. It's the type of thing I didn't really wanna play again after playing once but considering the amount of money you need for upgrades + quickstarter, that's not really an option (god forbid 100%ing the game with the drone part cost). The Kuro-Nyan mode started feeling more like a punishment because the 2 (two) unique encounters it has get old very very fast.

Great game with some really bizarre design decisions.

Judgment is like a darker, grittier Yakuza spinoff, and I loved it! You play as a detective investigating a twisted murder case, which takes you deep into the Kamurocho underworld. The combat is super satisfying, tailing suspects is surprisingly fun, and the story kept me hooked the entire time. Some of the minigames and side cases can be a bit hit-or-miss, but if you like crime dramas with a hefty dose of Yakuza flavor, Judgment is definitely worth checking out.

After finishing Yakuza 7, I was left without any other Yakuza game to play, so I went looking for something similar and found this game. Let me tell you, it's a great find. Just like everyone says, the missions are repetitive, and not just the tailing missions; the game itself has repetitive parts in gameplay. However, the story of this game is really good, and the dynamic between the two main characters is excellent.

The first few chapters drag a small bit but the rest is amazing, the plot makes sense even with how massive it is and uncovering the story is really entertaining. Also the final boss is amazing and one of my favourites in yakuza. The combat is very fun, intricate and is my 2nd favourite in the series. Very excited to play LJ later today.

The first few chapters drag a small bit but the rest is amazing, the plot makes sense even with how massive it is and uncovering the story is really entertaining. Also the final boss is amazing and one of my favourites in yakuza.