Welcome to Izesaki Ijincho, I’ll be your guide.
Lost Judgement is unprecedented digital tourism. Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, the team behind the Yakuza series, has earned a reputation for creating massive games chock-full of side content, and Lost Judgement takes the series to new heights.
I always equate games from RGG studio to a solid night out and Lost Judgement captures that feeling in spades. Lost Judgement is the sequel to Judgement which was released back in 2019 as a spin-off to the Yakuza series. Judgement is the closest the series has ever gotten to dark and gritty, Lost Judgement matches the tone of the original but combines it with the eccentricities of the Yakuza series. A much-needed combination.
I’ve spent most of my week cruising around on my skateboard as skinny jean wearing detective Takayuki Yagami, and honestly, it’s been a while since a game has made me laugh or smile this much. If you feel like taking a visit to Izesaki Ijincho here are some of the best mini-games and side activities to be on the lookout for.
SEGA Arcades have become a staple in games from RGG studio, giving players a deep dive into the past for some retro gaming. Lost Judgement arguably has the strongest slate of games so far. The usual offerings are all here, Virtual Fighter 5, Fantasy Zone, and Space Harrier. Fighting Vipers has been added to the lineup, but the most exciting addition is without a doubt Sonic The Fighters. There’s plenty of reasons to rock up to an arcade and if you’re feeling brave you can take on Hama of The Dead, a spiritual successor to SEGA’s House of The Dead series.
Take the Dance Club to Nationals
Moments like this make up the heart of the game. As part of the main case in Lost Judgement, Yagami goes undercover in a local high school as an advisor to clubs in the school allowing him to take on school stories. In one of these stories, he joins the school’s dance club as he attempts to unravel a case surrounding one of the club’s members. You then get access to a fun rhythm mini-game, hilarity ensues and it’s what the original Judgement was missing. You might be wondering why I feel like a forty-year-old man teaching teenagers to breakdance is so important. It’s about character. RGG Studio have some of the most human characters in gaming and these dumb, fun and silly moments are a core part of these characters and how we connect with them. Yagami missed out on this the first time around and Lost Judgement wastes no time making up for that.
Dice & Cube
Dice & Cube is a returning mini-game from Judgement but much more refined. Players are placed onto a virtual game board with a roll of the dice determining how many spaces they can move in order to reach the goal. In Judgement, Dice & Cube wasn’t very fun due to the added difficulty of a limited number of dice rolls, I lost more games than I won. Lost Judgement switches things up by removing the limited dice rolls, instead placing you against an AI controlled second player for a race to the finish. This competitive aspect makes Dice & Cube far more accessible and enjoyable. It’s a quick way to rack up cash for healing items and even has its own mini-games including parkour and aerial drone battles.
Join The Todoroki Boxing Gym
Never in a million years could I have imagined Lost Judgement would come in and fill the void in my heart left by Fight Night: Champion. I have been longing for any type of boxing game on PlayStation and Lost Judgement’s boxing mini-game is top tier. The boxing gym is unlocked by advancing through School Stories and takes Yagami on another undercover investigation. Yagami has to rise up the ranks in the gym taking on increasingly tougher opponents and is able to learn new boxing skills by spending money. The boxing gym also unlocks a fourth battle style for Yagami which incorporates boxing techniques.
Join The Runaways Biker Gang
Drone races make a return from Judgement but if you fancy something a little more high-octane then you’re in luck, you can sign up for a biker gang. Yagami can take on a series of races against rival biker gangs where he has to do anything neccessary to win. Your bike can also be modified to give you an edge in races and even buy entirely new models.
SEGA Master System
Fans of retro gaming really are in luck as Yagami has access to the SEGA master system in his office, replacing the pinball machine from Judgement. There’s another strong line-up of games here including Maze Hunter 3D, Enduro Racer and Alex Kidd in Miracle World. More games for the master system, the only downside is that you can only access it in Yagami’s office in Kamarucho. Luckily, Lost Judgement has a massive story split between Kamurocho and Isezaki Ijincho so you’ll be travelling between the two cities pretty frequently.
Solve Crimes With The Detective Dog
This is truly game of the year material. Players can meet Detective Dog Ranpo in the early chapters of Lost Judgement. Ranpo belongs to Yagami’s aspiring protege Amasawa and can meet Yagami outside his office for walks. Ranpo is always on the hunt for a good mystery so taking him on walks will unlock new side cases for Yagami. Ranpo can even help you out in combat and take out bad guys in style.
Lost Judgement truly is some of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s best work to date, I have spent hours in Yokohama and I probably have countless more to spend in this world. A great game is almost like a good book, you don’t want it to end. The world of Lost Judgement is truly worth visiting and getting lost in.