As a lot of people here know, I have a huge thing for games out of Japan. I love the Japanese culture and language, and games fall into my interest area. One series I have loved for a long time is the ryu ga gotoku series, known in the west, aka North America and Europe, as Yakuza. This is a series of action games for sony's line of consoles. They aren't just straight beat em ups, however. These are games which are pretty much crime mysteries based on the japanese underworld of the Yakuza, which would be the equivalent to our Mafia. These games are pretty well-known for their free-roaming aspect and lots, and I mean lots, of cutsceens. All the story, dialog etc is actually written by a famed yakuza novel-writer.

I talk about this series because although they aren't playable in and of themselves by totally blind folks, those who have sighted people around might find some interest in these games. There is a lot more to do in the game than just beat up thugs... there's minigames, sidequests, shopping, hostess clubs... tons of stuff to do, all in the district of Kamuro, which is a fictional recreation of Tokyo's kabuki. It's a great series, and should be looked into by anyone who likes exploration and who has some sighted help willing to help.

The gameplay vid below is a sample of a sidegame in the series, called Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan. This game is a spinoff of the main series, and features the same style of gameplay, exploration etc. But the time is 1605, and the game features samurai as opposed to gangsters. This is one of the best examples of the game and series imo, and takes place in a part of the story where Miyamoto musashi is fighting a man named Sejuro yoshioka.

Enjoy. Comments or questions about the series welcome as always.

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