Look, we like Judgment protagonist Takayuki Yagami — even though he was a bit of a wet blanket in Lost Judgment — but he's been completely outdone by Masaharu Kaito, the man who usually plays second fiddle as Tak's roughhousing sidekick. The ex-yakuza is the star of the show in his very own expansion — appropriately named The Kaito Files — and his superb performance carries the whole thing.
Kaito is the kind of guy who listens to his heart rather than his head — an impulsive beast of a man who's ready to pursue justice at any cost. He's not your typical detective, then, and that's partly what makes him such a good lead across this ten hour adventure. He also knows how to have fun — his often goofy demeanour bringing a welcome degree of humour to what is otherwise another serious Yakuza-style narrative.
The Kaito Files spins a great story — even if some of the key plot points are somewhat predictable. Our hero stumbles into an all-new case which unearths uncomfortable parts of his past, making this a surprisingly personal escapade. It starts off pretty slow — as is the Yakuza way — but the stakes really spike as everything unfurls in later chapters. Unlike Lost Judgment, The Kaito Files doesn't get bogged down in unnecessary details. Its shorter story is told at a much better pace, complete with a healthy balance of dramatic cutscenes and skull-cracking action.
Kaito's fighting style is unrefined and reckless, which makes for some brilliantly boisterous battles — especially with bosses. In fact, this DLC features several top tier encounters — arguably some of the best that the Judgment series has offered up thus far — and Kaito's bestial approach only adds to the excitement.
In contrast, the return of Lost Judgment's half-baked and boring stealth system immediately sucks the fun out of things. Mercifully, these sections are very few and far between — but it doesn't stop them from being crap. Similarly, there's an overly long tailing mission and a couple of slightly tedious scene investigations to slog through — but they're not enough to stop the story's intensity from building.
Aside from the near total lack of side content, The Kaito Files has everything that you'd expect from a Yakuza-style experience. Its shorter length actually works in its favour, allowing for a well paced story that doesn't get caught up on overplayed plot points or filler missions. As RGG Studio's first crack at a proper expansion, it's a roaring success.