I’d been playing Yakuza Kiwami 2 for only a few minutes when I stopped and did a double-take.
My in-game character was standing in the exact same spot I’d been standing in real life six months ago, in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.
Here’s Karaoke Kan on that street corner in the game:
And the same corner in real life:
The game’s recreation of Tokyo is impressive, featuring a replica of the Shinjuku district that feels alive, buzzing with activity and undiscovered adventures.
Here’s Shinjuku’s Don Quijote in the game alongside the real one in Tokyo:
Japan is arguably the most cat-friendly country in the world, with cat imagery everywhere, cats as pop culture icons, pet parents pushing their coddled kitties in designer strollers on the streets of Tokyo, and entire islands populated almost exclusively by cats.
I knew it wouldn’t be long before the game brought a cat into the mix, and it didn’t disappoint. In one scene, a character asks you to find his dear little girl who has been kidnapped, and you’re under the impression you’re searching for his daughter — right up until you find the kidnappers, give ’em a good old Yakuza beatdown, and realize your acquaintance’s “little girl” is actually a cat:
The game, which is little-known in the US but hugely popular in Japan, also features a, shall we say, less amiable encounter with cats: