Tempering Yakuza 3 Excitement


hostess-no-gotoku

Remember Afrika? After extended begging for a western release, they finally shipped it, and no one cared. All that mystique that had been built up from extensive preview coverage and extensive begging instantly fizzled into nothing and everyone promptly forgot about it.

Having briefly played Afrika and completing Yakuza 2, I can personally vouch for Yakuza being a much better game that more people will actually like.

But I would still like to temper some expectations a little bit:

  • Yakuza 1+2 were brawler RPGs. The setting and story was GTA, the combat was Final Fight, and the majority of the gameplay was Final Fantasy.
  • Yakuza 1+2 had B-level production values. The 3D models, animation, action mechanics, menu systems were well behind the cutting edge PS2 games of the time like Jak & Daxter, God of War, Metal Gear Solid or to a lesser extent GTA or Final Fantasy. I’m expecting Yakuza 3 to have similar production values that are behind the cutting edge but with a major leap to PS3 standards (HD, order of magnitude higher poly counts and texture quality, improved menus and action mechanics, etc).
  • The story reminds me of the dated John Woo movies I used to watch 10-20 years ago, which is kind of fun and kind of corny.
  • There is plenty to legitimately dislike: the action isn’t as polished/balanced as other melee action games, there are tons of crude mini-games, the game is very long and progresses somewhat slowly. I liked the game, but plenty of people will not like for very valid reasons.

That said, this series has lots of unique one-off charm and I am definitely pre-ordering. I had more fun with Yakuza 2 than most other games, and getting an upgraded PS3 version of that is worth it.

You also don’t have to be a Japan-o-phile to like this. I never play JRPGs (except Demon’s Souls), I hated Valkyria Chronicles, didn’t get Ico or Okami or Zelda, Ratchet and Jak trump Mario, etc, but this was pretty good.


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Trev on December 8th, 2009 [ 26623 Points ]

    shouldn’t it be Tempura-ing Yakuza 3 Excitement ;)

  2. #2 by Darrin on December 8th, 2009 [ 17143 Points ]

    Good pun :)

  3. #3 by sam on December 8th, 2009

    ” I never play JRPGs (except Demon’s Souls), I hated Valkyria Chronicles, didn’t get Ico or Okami or Zelda, Ratchet and Jak trump Mario, etc, but this was pretty good.”

    so what do you play? sports games and first person shooters? your opinion pretty much became null and void when you said ratchet and jak trump mario. never got zelda, ico or shadow? who are you and what makes your opinion onthis relevant. you don’t seem like much of a gamer to me

  4. #4 by Sinlock on December 9th, 2009 [ 7625 Points ]

    Some how I doubt I’m the only one who gave that photo a double (or tripple) take. I WTF!! did Darrin go crazy by posting that.
    I guess thats what I get for surfing the site on my iPhone’s little screen. :D

  5. #5 by Darrin on December 9th, 2009

    Sorry sam, wasn’t trying to bash those games. I know most people prefer Mario and worship Zelda and Ico, etc… So what, plenty of people hate the games I love.

    The point I was trying to make was that Yakuza does have genuine appeal beyond just the import obsessed Japan-o-phile crowd.

    BTW, I love *tons* of games (I don’t like sports games). I can name a dozen new releases this year that I loved, and I generally only like something if it does something unique and many of those don’t fit within a standard genre:

    Sorry Sinlock. I think I did go crazy when I posted that photo. You were the only person who noticed.

  6. #6 by Trev on December 9th, 2009 [ 26623 Points ]

    the pic is pretty much NSFW!

  7. #7 by elite and old on December 12th, 2009

    You are an idiot. Yakuza remains one of the best franchises ever. Yakuza provides more satisfaction than any of the games you mentioned.

  8. #8 by saminseattle on December 12th, 2009

    Well you certainly did a good job of convincing me to not buy Yakuza3 o_0 lol, not quite, you did slightly discourage my excitement. But, none-the-less I am very excited to try Yakuza3 as it will be the first Yakuza for me to have played.


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