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What can Yakuza 7 do to reduce jank and improve the formula?

banshee150

Member
Apr 3, 2019
877
I was playing through Judgment and it reminded me how janky the series is as a whole. I think the jank grew even worse with the transition to Dragon Engine and my hope is that the switch to turn-based will provide the game with a much needed shot in the arm.

How do I define jank? Well, there is the "eurojank" term of developers like Spiders where a lot of things just feel "off" in terms of bugs, clipping, erratic movements, gaps in the animation etc (Greedfall improved on that but the combat feels off to me).

Then there is the jank commonly associated with Bethesda which is frequently forgiven (besides the last Fallout but that was not the main reason it was raked over the coals...) because their games are massive and in having so many elements dynamically interact, jank inevitably results.

Now, why are Yakuza games janky? It comes in multiple fronts: notice how in Judgment for example nearly every kick clearly clips through the enemies, the objects they fly against wobble and break even if they merely graze them on impact and the running animation basically acts like a tornado when you constantly bump into people, objects, etc which leads to janky results as everything is torn apart in a very haphazard manner (it got worse with the DE transition as the older games did not have quite that much jank happening at any given moment as not everything had that kind of physics applied to it). I mean, imagine games like Astral Chain where running around would bump everything to the sky to the merest touch. That would just look so bad and there is a reason why its not applied to every object and most just stop you dead in their tracks.

The other elements which many may not even consider jank are also that in my eyes:

- The dialogue grunts and general lack of voice acting outside of the main missions (Yakuza 6 was a delight in that regard) with only basic animations that really look bad in comparison to pretty much any major title nowadays (if you skip the dialogue even for a few lines, the animation resets at unattractive angles as if someone was recompiling the scene every time from scratch).

- The side quests where characters suddenly come and go unnaturally (they disappear into the ether and there is always the same stock animation of them kneeling down and holding their stomachs and the same running animation away from the scene which just doesn't look like it fits the current generation). There was this sidequest in Judgement where you beat the guy up, and then went to access the computer. The guy meanwhile comes running (even though he was like passed out) in a very bad camera angle switch and destroys the computer with those precanned animations until you punch him at the very end and the punch animation was just so BAD and every side quests reuses these animations which don't fit dynamicaly into cutscenes that permeate the rest of the main storylines (for instance, in Y0 when at the end Majima punches out the guys who wronged him when he was at his weakest self. It looks painful and impactful and the camera accentuates it all. For the rest of the game, it looks like you are suddenly hitting a feather and the camerawork is extremely weak and amateurish).

- The general flow of the traffic outside where people walk unnaturally back and forth and then turn back for no reason and you can see it in the background at all times (it gets even worse when the crowd suddenly materializes out of thin air when the combat starts and the rest of the background crowd disappears until it ends).

- The unending amount of goons that populate the streets. This is worse than random encounters as there is literally no reason to be interrupted so often other than to pad the playtime. There has to be a better way to naturalize that aspect without making it seem like busywork and interruptions on your way somewhere else.

- The map size in all the games makes impossible to believe that all of these massive shake-ups, story events and reverberations are happening when you can traverse it easily in a few minutes. Compare that to Rockstar games where the map is big enough to make such events believable since the world is big and doesn't feel like you are waltzing through a shoebox just waiting for a jarring transition in a script to yet another cutscene where you have to suspend your disbelief again at what's happening.

- The sudden, jolty animation transitions between regular map and the combat where sometimes you run around for a second or two before the battle even begins until the game loads up the assets to start the combat. They tried to bring the transition time down in Y6, Kiwami 2 and Judgment but at this point it feels less natural than when we had loading screens or when Yakuza 0 had the wind up period before the battle that wrested control away until the combat began proper.

Yakuza 7 is switching to turn based and they said the map is at least twice bigger than in the previous games. I hope this will improve at least some of this jank.
 

Lant_War

The Fallen
Jul 14, 2018
9,082
- The map size in all the games makes impossible to believe that all of these massive shake-ups, story events and reverberations are happening when you can traverse it easily in a few minutes. Compare that to Rockstar games where the map is big enough to make such events believable since the world is big and doesn't feel like you are waltzing through a shoebox just waiting for a jarring transition in a script to yet another cutscene where you have to suspend your disbelief again at what's happening.
Only finished Kiwami so far (making my way thorugh 0), but that's precisely why I was able to believe the stories. It all feels like something that could only happen on a small city.
 

andymcc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,287
Columbus, OH
- The map size in all the games makes impossible to believe that all of these massive shake-ups, story events and reverberations are happening when you can traverse it easily in a few minutes. Compare that to Rockstar games where the map is big enough to make such events believable since the world is big and doesn't feel like you are waltzing through a shoebox just waiting for a jarring transition in a script to yet another cutscene where you have to suspend your disbelief again at what's happening.
Have you ever been to Kabukicho? it's close to a 1:1 replication of it. The area is alive in a way most western cities NEVER will be.
 

Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
24,914
bork land
They tried to bring the transition time down in Y6, Kiwami 2 and Judgment but at this point it feels less natural than when we had loading screens or when Yakuza 0 had the wind up period before the battle that wrested control away until the combat began proper.
i am on the complete opposite end of this

going back to the loading screens from the past games is frustrating as heck, especially when it came to loading in and out of shops
 

chrisPjelly

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
6,518
I agree about the sidequests. Since this is an rpg with larger maps now, I really hope they rework the sidequests to be like actual rpg sidequests (i.e. NPCs stay and give you tasks)
 

Ravelle

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,774
I don't need all the side quests to be voiced, there's a shit ton of them and having to voice them is a lot of work and a lot people to hire to voice them. Besides having them not voiced means I can have the sound on but also not feel guilty to skip through the next because I read faster than the voice acting.
 

CopperPuppy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,989
- The map size in all the games makes impossible to believe that all of these massive shake-ups, story events and reverberations are happening when you can traverse it easily in a few minutes. Compare that to Rockstar games where the map is big enough to make such events believable since the world is big and doesn't feel like you are waltzing through a shoebox just waiting for a jarring transition in a script to yet another cutscene where you have to suspend your disbelief again at what's happening.
Strong disagree
 

Segafreak

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,053
OP is basically suggesting a realistic big budget GTA style Yakuza game without the quirks that make it. Literally everything that comes after this sentence: "The other elements which many may not even consider jank are also that in my eyes: " is part of why I love Yakuza. If lack of voice acting is considered jank then I'll take the jank. I love hearing Kiryu suddenly say NANI in a random side quest.
 
OP
OP
banshee150

banshee150

Member
Apr 3, 2019
877
OP is basically suggesting a realistic big budget GTA style Yakuza game without the quirks that make it. Literally everything that comes after this sentence: "The other elements which many may not even consider jank are also that in my eyes: " is part of why I love Yakuza. If lack of voice acting is considered jank then I'll take the jank. I love hearing Kiryu suddenly say NANI in a random side quest.
I love those unique elements as well and they wouldnt go away if more budget was dedicated to making the game more polished. Some of these elements havent changed for the past 9 games.
 

Akumatica

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,190
It feels like you want the series to be less "gamey" and more realistic.

-More voice acting would probably mean less substories overall.
-More voice acting and a larger city would make the development cost more.
-The series is an evolution of the "Beat em up", with a large focus of fighting. Less goons roaming the streets is strange to want.
-The compact size of Kamurocho is great. There's all kinds of stores, restaurants, games and more. It's dense and you learn where everything is pretty quickly.

The Yakuza series has humor, charm, great combat, fun mini-games, cool characters, excellent controls, isn't afraid to get weird and comes out very regularly. They're AA, low AAA games that sell ok. Chasing Rockstar levels of polish will kill the series.
 

spam musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,732
All of these are complete non issues for me. I would rather they focus their efforts on making the core experience feel good. This would require a significantly larger budget per game which means they would be less likely to succeed, especially in the west.
 
OP
OP
banshee150

banshee150

Member
Apr 3, 2019
877
All of these are complete non issues for me. I would rather they focus their efforts on making the core experience feel good. This would require a significantly larger budget per game which means they would be less likely to succeed, especially in the west.
Does anyone know the budget of the games so far?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,652
Honestly, sorry if this sounds redundant, but a lot of the Yakuza jank for me was most prominent in 3D movement, aiming, and item pick ups during fights. Shifting to turnbased/menues for battles should alleviate a lot of it.
 
OP
OP
banshee150

banshee150

Member
Apr 3, 2019
877
I may have given the wrong impression. I just want less jank that wouldnt take away from the elements that make this a Yakuza game.
 

convo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,795
I feel Eurojank applies mostly to weirdly behaving NPCs and those aren't that interactable other than making them fall by running too close to them. The physics of these games have been too rigid to really compare to the jank that eastern european games are known for. Vibrating at a 1000 HZ or launching into the stratosphere have been very rare things but sorta more common now since the dragon engine actually has physics closer to reality. Yokohama is going to be 4 times the size of Kamurocho so more ground for dumb shit to happen. However i'm not too hung up on the amount of dumb stuff you can run across in these "small" locations, these are special places with a concentration of dubious activities if it's full of scammers and Yakuza's and the like. Running around the city will feel pretty similiar i imagine. If you feel battle transitions don't improve much in Judgement and the more modern stuff from when loading screens were a thing then getting put into random rpg battles aren't any different to the later, we'll see how fast that will go. At least we got auto-battle features but i imagine a speed up feature would be also very desired.
Personally i have probably spend more time doing side-stuff than the main combat in some games, some people really get into the mini games and what can you say when we have this to look forward to now
.
 

convo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,795
You know the most jarring thing to me personally would be the stock conversation animations where the mouths flap and little else, some parts of the new trailer where ichiban talks from getting up from the trash actually look like new animations for the "low budget" conversations, which gave me slighty more hope for the base level of animations these games have been reusing from the very beginning.
 
OP
OP
banshee150

banshee150

Member
Apr 3, 2019
877
You know the most jarring thing to me personally would be the stock conversation animations where the mouths flap and little else, some parts of the new trailer where ichiban talks from getting up from the trash actually look like new animations for the "low budget" conversations, which gave me slighty more hope for the base level of animations these games have been reusing from the very beginning.
Hopefully we will know more in a few days
 

LazyLain

Banned
Jan 17, 2019
1,413
I've never personally thought of the Yakuza games as being particularly janky, so I'm not too concerned about what Yakuza 7 might or might not do to address that issue.
 

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,383
Nothing. Just fix the thing where pedestrians keep turning around when you are in a cutscene and they come near.

And bring back the old combat next time.

The reason I love Yakuza is because of the gamey design and the fact they have lots of asset reuse in clever ways. Voice acting in sub stories would lead to less sub stories. Bigger map would mean a more barren world (FOTNS Lost paradise comes to mind).

Making the game "less jankey" would only lead to less content and less games. It could also potentially make the games less focused on the fun (see Red Dead Redemption 2's focus on lengthy realistic animations).
 

Dr Doom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,592
My only concerned is how much story filler Judgment became.
Some stories in the main missions that went nowhere.

Ex: Second visit to ADDC followed by Kaito’s friend
 

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,383
OP is basically suggesting a realistic big budget GTA style Yakuza game without the quirks that make it. Literally everything that comes after this sentence: "The other elements which many may not even consider jank are also that in my eyes: " is part of why I love Yakuza. If lack of voice acting is considered jank then I'll take the jank. I love hearing Kiryu suddenly say NANI in a random side quest.
This would never be funnier if we had fully voiced sub stories:


It's just perfect.
 

Cantaim

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,169
Are you okay?
Honestly the combat in the Dragon engine games just needs more time in the oven. They tried out a brand new style for it and it’s clear that it’s taking everyone involved on that end some time to get used to it. Depending on the character you play as it just feels stiff. I feel like if they just made your fighting style slightly faster it would alleviate some of the issues.
 

Dphex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,005
Cologne, Germany
it does enough to improve the formula: it changes to a complete new combat system which is needed because since transitioning to dragon engine the combat is simply garbage.