Yakuza Continues To Impress Critics
North American gamers may not be familiar with Sega's excellent franchise, but that's because a game based on the Japanese mafia will probably resonate more with a particular audience.
However, that doesn't mean you should ignore these titles. Not only do they boast some absolutely brutal and very satisfying combat, they also provide you with GTA-style sandbox settings and very solid and engaging storylines. The only bad news for US fans is that Yakuza installments are typically a year behind in this region; while Yakuza 3 just launched yesterday, they're already reviewing Yakuza 4 over in Japan. According to the latest Famitsu issue, the new entry pulled down a 9, 10, 10, and 8, for a grand total of 37/40. Now, that's a point lower than Yakuza 3 scored in Famitsu last year but all that means is that Japan really adores this series. As for US critics, you can find about a half-dozen reviews scattered around the Internet; the game is scoring very well so far. IGN awarded it an 8.5, Eurogamer gave it an 8, GamePlayer gave it a 9, and Play UK scored it an 82 out of 100. So maybe Final Fantasy XIII just isn't your bag; if that's the case, you should absolutely consider a Yakuza 3 purchase.
There's a demo on the PSN if you're not convinced, but we've heard the final version of the game is indeed better. Some of you might be surprised by that one, you know...
3/9/2010 9:15:11 PM John Shepard