Something momentous happened for Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. He finally was able to manage his own clan. Which also happened to involve dealing with a number of wrestlers from New Japan Pro-Wrestling. In Yakuza Kiwami 2, Clan Creator comes back, but this time it is even better. Why? Because this it is about 50% more tactical and has 100% more Goro Majima.
Clan Creator is introduced as part of Yakuza Kiwami 2’s storyline. In the fifth chapter, things tend to proceed as normal. Kiryu will head to Purgatory and meet with Majima. There will be a tournament fight, during which Majima absolutely steals the show. Then, we are treated to a bit of exposition where we see how Majima can sometimes be a better judge of character and have a keener eye than Kiryu when it comes to spotting people’s intentions and getting a read on what is really happening during this war between clans. It is during this talk that an alarm goes off. A rival construction company is coming to crash Majima’s Kamurocho Hills construction process. After a bit of convincing, Majima declares Kiryu the foreman and tasks him with managing the troops in battle.
Yakuza Kiwami 2’s Clan Creator has a different focus than Yakuza 6’s. This time, it is all about defending. Majima Construction’s materials are in danger, as waves of enemies sent by Keiji Mutoh’s Mutoh Reality, Masahiro Chono’s Color Gangs, and the Three Musketeer lenders will come to cause trouble and perhaps get the company to give up so they can swoop in and get Kamurocho Hills for themselves. (These are the featured NJPW guys this time around. You might know Mutoh as Great Muta and Masahiro Chono as Mister Black Jack or Tokyo Chono.) In addition to defending, the structure has been simplified, so you just set up three possible teams of eight to choose from, rather than arrange people in a family to try and determine stats.
I loved this change. It made Clan Creator actually feel more challenging. In Yakuza 6, it was very easy to barrel through. (Especially if you used the codes to get NJPW or Yakuza characters!) In Yakuza Kiwami 2, it feels more like a tactical tower defense operation. Each wave will have varying numbers of opponents, each with different skills, strengths, and approaches, trying to target equipment at the site. Your up to eight units need to stand against the punks and bosses heading right for them, getting in the way of their destruction. Everything is clearly labeled. You can set which first four appear in the ranks, which determines the four skills you have access to in the field. Different hotkeys allow you to snap to certain characters or the equipment. Plus, the equipment lifebars are always shown on screen, letting you see exactly how much danger you are or aren’t in. It made playing through the missions and going online to participate in events and matches more appealing.
But the best part about tying Clan Creator to Yakuza Kiwami 2 is the levity it lends to the situation. This is a minigame about people who are normally NJPW trying to beat you down with waves of punks and bosses. You are recruiting people who might also be NJPW members, like Tetsuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi. You are defending construction equipment. Adding Majima’s brand of madness makes it even more enjoyable. When you go to the recruitment gacha, the ad has a smiling Majima on it and says, “Join the Team! We Build Shit! Now hiring buff dudes and tough guys!” Everyone is happy and ready to beat enemies to a pulp. After every win, your entire team gets together to sing the Majima Construction theme song, complete with Majima hamming it up in front. In short, it is absolutely great.
Kiryu and Majima are an absolutely fantastic combination. Having the duo team up for Yakuza Kiwami 2’s Clan Creator really enhances the experience. This minigame did seem like it left a lot of room for improvement after its Yakuza 6: The Song of Life appearance. Altering the gameplay to make you think more about defensive tactics and making Majima a big part to add a little humor do a lot to make it more captivating.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 is available for the PlayStation 4.