Like my runtime isn’t 90% running my own cabaret club, please…
This game definitely catches my attention. What deeply strikes me about going into Yakuza Kiwami and Kiwami 2 from 0 is how much interest the series plays to the police force. Far more attention feels like it is given to Makoto Date in Kiwami than it is to Kiryu in terms of character development and plot focus, which is a marked shift from 0 (which has a single named police officer and focuses much more on the inner workings of the different yakuza groups). I find this somewhat frustrating and is part of the reason why I had some difficulty following the story from 0 to Kiwami.
With that said, Project Judge/Judge Eyes will also simply give the Yakuza team a clean slate to work with. Rather than having to try to wrestle with some of the Yakuza series’ early clunkers (the out-of-nowhere ‘colour gangs’ that appear and disappear within a chapter in Kiwami is maybe some of the most jarring PS2-era content in that game), a clean slate means that team can take the experience they have learned over 7+ games of Yakuza and start out with a well-practiced writing team who know how to hit the tone they want.
If Yakuza 0 is what they were able to do by giving Yakuza a new foundation, that fresh start might just be enough to deliver a real home run performance.