Before yesterday's ESRB leaks (opens in new tab), I'd given up hope of ever seeing the Judgment games on PC. A dispute between the agency for Takuya Kimura—who plays the game's lead character Takayuki Yagami—and Sega seemed not only to have killed hopes for a PC version stone dead, but possibly killed the Judgment series entirely (opens in new tab).
Well, life comes at you fast. Because Judgment (opens in new tab) and its sequel Lost Judgment (opens in new tab) are both available on Steam right this second. Whatever problems Kimura's agency had with a PC version must have gone out the window, because we can finally get our hands on Yagami's adventures, including The Kaito Files expansion (opens in new tab) for the second game. Judgment's looking pretty good for something dead!
The first game puts you in the shoes of Yagami, a disgraced defence lawyer turned private detective, as he uncovers the truth behind a string of murders in the ever-recognisable home of the Yakuza games: Kamurocho. They play a lot like the pre-7 Yakuza games: combat proceeds in real-time and occurs frequently as you run into the various bands of thugs that litter Tokyo, but playing a lawman instead of a veteran yakuza bruiser lends the game a fresh and enjoyable edge.
Lost Judgment is similar, except this time you're going undercover at a posh high school to peel back the mysteries behind a bullied student's suicide. It can get pretty dark, but it's alleviated by the trademark goofy humour you'll recognise from the Yakuza games, and the story is well-told. The classic Yakuza gameplay formula gets mixed up too, with stealth, light platforming, and tailing missions across both games. It's up to you to decide if that last one is a positive addition, though.
You can buy them both now to find out. Judgment costs £34.99/$39.99 while Lost Judgment costs £49.99/$59.99, and you can pick up its expansion for £24.99/$29.99. You can also buy the whole lot as a bundle (opens in new tab) for a discount.