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The Yakuzas expansion for Cash 'n Guns is an interesting idea in concept, but has a lot of things going against it that makes it hard for me to recommend buying the expansion to anyone.
Yakuzas expands the game to accommodate up to 9 players, who are split into three teams. Two teams keep the signature foam pistols from the original game while the third team are the yakuzas and get foam swords and ninja stars.
For the most part, the game plays the same. The pot is revealed, people load up a bullet/sword card and the Godfather counts down from three, whereupon everyone points their weapon at another player in a chaotic Mexican standoff. After another count of three, players immediately throw their hands up or shout BANZAI! and hope that they won't die.
Cowards gain a shame token, but Yakuzas lose a finger, symbolic of lost honour. Any player that was victim to a loaded weapon takes damage and, along with the cowards, sit out of the split. If any portion of the pot can be split evenly among the survivors, then it is done so. Left over cash is added to the next round's pot.
The major changes in the game come from the yakuzas and from the team play itself. At the start of the game, you meet in secret with your team to discuss strategies. At this time, secret signals to your teammates are used. Things like placing a bullet card right side up = real bullet, and touching your right knee to indicate the target being the person on your right helps to synchronize attacks, making them more scarier and effective.
At the half point of the game, your team gets to meet again to finalize plans. The winners of the game are determined by the team with the most cash.
As for the yakuzas, aside from losing fingers, they are also hampered by their weapons somewhat. Their swords can only attack those immediately next to them. However, they do get one ninja star card that allows them to stand up, take three steps back, and physically throw it at another player. Should it hit a player (even a teammate!) that player takes damage.
Most of the fun and enjoyment that can be had with the original Cash 'n Guns is still in Yakuza. However, there are a few things that ruin it. I personally feel that adding the Yakuza characters changed the game unnecessarily. It would have been more fun if everyone were the same. The Yakuza expansion is a lot like the Cities and Knights expansion for Settlers of Catan to me, it changed the game so that it lost a bit of its soul and original appeal. Of course, this is a subjective thing and some people absolutely love the swords.
The other thing that Yakuzas did to Cash 'n Guns that doesn't agree with me is lengthening the game. The two meetings and eight rounds makes the game go way too long. This is bad for any players knocked out early on in the game as they will have nothing to do while the eight other players continue. The original Cash 'n Guns game could be played out in 20-30 minutes, but eight rounds for 9 players is just a bit too much.
What really works against Yakuza is Cash 'n Guns Live, the party version of the game, which works great when you have too many people to play the original game. There are only five rounds in Cash 'n Guns Live and players are never eliminated. Games play out chaotically and quickly and people are normally up for another round.
While Yakuza changes the base game too much with unnecessary complications and lengthiness, a better alternative for your money is available in Live. This is why I find it hard to recommend Yakuza, as there is something much better that will give you more bang for your buck.
I pretty much agree, though I like the additional special powers and such that come with the game. The other problem I see is with the throwing stars; while the mechanic of the swords is interesting and fun, the throwing stars are almost always a miss if you play by the rules, as they're simply not aerodynamic enough to throw with any accuracy. As opposed to the Bang!Bang!Bang! cards, the throwing stars are a step down in usefulness instead of a step up from the regular attack cards.