PS3 Previews: Yakuza 3 Preview

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Yakuza 3 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA

Publisher:

Sega

Developer:

Amusement Vision

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action

Perhaps it never received enough attention because the series came about right around the time a new generation was getting into full swing. The first two installments were on the PS2 while everyone was clamoring for new PS3 releases, and ever since, the unfortunate overlooking of the Yakuza franchise in North America has continued. But hopefully, this solid series will finally come into the limelight when the third entry makes its way to the U.S. and Europe; it’s scheduled to release this month in Japan. Typically, this is one of those Japanese-oriented titles that always has a massive head-start in the Land of the Rising Sun, as gamers elsewhere around the world have to wait a very long time to play the latest installment. Therefore, we have to assume we won’t see Yakuza 3 ‘round these parts until later on this year, but even so, we have to give attention where attention’s due: it could very well be one of the best action titles of the year, especially based on the significant improvements we can expect.

Due to the game’s impending launch in Japan, the media has gotten a much closer look at this game, and that includes a recent IGN hands-on session. After having played and enjoyed the first two Yakuza titles, we really wanted to learn more about this sequel, and our questions revolve around the storyline – always a central theme in these games – and any enhancements made to the brutal combat system. Well, Kazuma Kiryu will return as the main hero, and the game starts out in what should be a familiar location to veterans of the series. Kamiyacho is only one of several cities Kazuma has visited in the past, but it’s one of the more prominent, and home to the popular Stardust Club, which is your first destination in Yakuza 3. From there, you are once again plunged into the dark underworld of the Japanese mafia, which should include plenty of eye-opening cinematic sequences and plot twists, both of which were extremely well implemented in the first two games. Really, although there is plenty of exploration involved, the focal point will certainly center on the story and fighting.

Speaking of the latter, the combat here won’t prove to be that much different, even though it should boast better graphical quality and overall fluidity. You square off against your foes in a variety of locales; everything from the inside of buildings to alleyways in the city are fair game, and you can use your immediate environment to your advantage. Not only can you pick up any number of objects to use as weapons (anything from lamps to couches), but you can also smash enemies into such obstacles. In other words, if you’re near a telephone pole out in the street, or even just near a brick wall, you can plant your victim harshly into the unwavering obstruction. On top of which, the hot buttons assigned to the d-pad will be at your command; you can assign different weapons in your inventory to each button. So if you’ve got a samurai sword and brass knuckles, you can assign one to the Up button and the other to the Right button. The only significant change is that instead of a three-quarters view that we’ve always had, the camera will now sit directly on Kazuma’s back.

Another bit of good news concerning the fighting mechanic is the addition of the learning technique: in Yakuza 3, if you watch your surroundings closely, you’ll be able to learn new moves and skills for Kazuma. IGN uses the example of watching a scene where a girl frees herself from the clutches of an attacker, then tosses him over and kicks him. When it’s happening, you will be given a series of “quick timer” inputs and if you can press them successfully, you will learn the move you just witnessed. Apparently, the most significant improvement in this PS3 iteration is the absence of annoyingly long load times. In the PS2 titles, you had to wait a bit for random encounters on the street to load, and you also had to wait for certain sections of the city to load. Thankfully, Sega is taking advantage of the vast capabilities of the PS3 hardware and now, there won’t be any loading when moving from exploration to combat. You’ll be wandering around, a thief will come at you with a knife, and you’ll immediately be in the midst of a fight. Also, moving about the city should be a more fluid experience, too.

Yakuza 3 holds a February 26 release date for Japan, and we’re really hoping it won’t take too long to arrive on North American shores. We’ve been about a year behind in this franchise so far, but maybe because it’s more of a high-priority next-gen release, the game might arrive for the summer. If you’ve never played any of the Yakuzas so far, now might be the time to pick one up cheap. They’re really quite entertaining and even unique in some respects, complete with kick-ass brawling and surprisingly excellent storylines. Yakuza 2 might be worth a look…

2/3/2009 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
02/23/10 Yakuza 3 Ben Dutka

Comments (30 posts)

NightHawk17
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:31:50 PM
Reply

Darn you for posting this Ben, I want this game so bad but Sega has no plans of releasing this in the west :( and I don't believe it'll be import friendly

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convergecrew
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 3:24:24 AM

I hope Sega was just saying that cause they havent announced it officially yet..or whatever reason, but I do hope they bring it out here.

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rell
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 7:40:16 AM

I do to I hope sega don't forget NA and Europe

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Orvisman
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 11:12:54 AM

I'm importing it.

Play it now.

Play it again in two years when it's released in the States.

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Bo0mKiiD
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:35:55 PM
Reply

Wasn't that big of a fan of Yakuza, So I can live without it.

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Reccaman18
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:42:51 PM

I played the Jap. demo a while back, and its nothing like the other 2. Which might be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

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NightHawk17
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:57:48 PM

you played the demo to Yakuza Kenzan, a spin off about Musashi Miyamoto

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djduke316
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:51:50 AM

That's the game pictured on the column, not Yakuza 3.

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Qwarktast1c
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:42:37 PM
Reply

i've never played the yakuza series......

all i now is that the yakuza themed PS3 looks freakin sweet!!!!!!

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blitz30952
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 10:59:52 PM
Reply

Sounds like an awesome game :D

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Tha_Joker_186
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:11:49 PM
Reply

Hi, I'm new to this site, and I really like this site :D

Anyways back to the topic, since I'm going to Japan this spring break I'm planning to pick this game up. I cannot wait for this game!!

Oh yea and my PSN is unlimited18

Last edited by Tha_Joker_186 on 2/3/2009 11:15:17 PM

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 11:13:54 AM

Welcome to PSXeXTREME!

They call me Wizard, because when I touch a dualshock3, MAGIC Happens!

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Bo0mKiiD
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 2:40:23 PM

Kinda cheesy dontcha think wizard? Haha. I like it though, but you'll never get a girlfriend that way. Jk, lol.

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Tha_Joker_186
Thursday, February 05, 2009 @ 12:42:56 AM

Hi PS3_Wizard lol, you are pretty funny lol and yes it makes magic in my pants when Dualshock 3 rumbles to me too XD. Oh yea and BeezleDrop you know Kureyon Shinchan!? The kid in the avatar, if you don't know its a really funny anime in Japan, I used to watch it when I was like 10. It was an awesome cartoon hehe

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Tha_Joker_186
Thursday, February 05, 2009 @ 12:43:21 AM

Hi PS3_Wizard lol, you are pretty funny lol and yes it makes magic in my pants when Dualshock 3 rumbles to me too XD. Oh yea and BeezleDrop you know Kureyon Shinchan!? The kid in the avatar, if you don't know its a really funny anime in Japan, I used to watch it when I was like 10. It was an awesome cartoon hehe

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PS3_Wizard
Thursday, February 05, 2009 @ 12:19:41 PM

yeah and in my pic I'm laying in MY GIRLFRIEND's lap, evidenced by her french manicured nails.

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BeezleDrop
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:18:57 PM
Reply

Greetings joker, the first Yakuza on the ps2 was a solid action title, well excluding the gun-play. I don't believe it will dissapoint considering the devs mush have learned quite a bit from the other 2.

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ps92117
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:36:20 PM
Reply

this game suppose to be big in japan

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LCF
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:37:22 PM
Reply

Hopefully this is the saving grace for Sega. They sure need it.

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coverton341
Tuesday, February 03, 2009 @ 11:53:06 PM
Reply

I would stand out side in sub sub zero temperatures soaked in layers of clothing until I was breakable if Sega would release this game in the States. I will go to Antarctica and like a freaking light pole. I will urinate on myself and wear the same clothes for six years..... Ok that is a little overzealous but you get the point. I WANT THIS GAME BBBAAAAAADDDD!!!!!!!!!!!

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NightHawk17
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 12:39:40 AM

You and me both brother:)

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SpinningBeat
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 1:58:30 AM

For me yakuza 1 and 2 were the best ps2 games. I loved the over the top action mixed with great story + characters. I am pissed at western gamers for not buying great games like yakuza and valkyria chronicles in droves.

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fundando
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:34:31 AM
Reply

Yeah I have been watching aall kinds of footage. I want this game.

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seedaripper
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:34:59 AM
Reply

hi guys...been lurking around for ages now, and this is my problem...i signed up with my psn name : seedaripper1973 a while back but didnt get an invite via my emai, i decided to leave it, but after coming back and trying to use that nick it wont let me? as if it had registered,but not my email..is there anyway a mod could PM me (im new as i stated) in order to get my full name back i.e seedaripper1973

other than that, keep up the excellent site lads, and i hope to be a bit more contributing in the near future

inabit
see

Last edited by seedaripper on 2/4/2009 5:36:11 AM

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coverton341
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 3:06:17 PM

Welcome to the comments section good to have another new person.

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TEG3SH
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 8:48:38 AM
Reply

josh360 will be missed, lol

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wano
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 3:47:56 PM

Yeah, like a bad case of the sh*ts ;-)

Last edited by wano on 2/4/2009 3:48:43 PM

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yakuza
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 10:31:22 AM
Reply

the other yakuza games are better because the others were modern but the 3rd is in the past

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Tha_Joker_186
Thursday, February 05, 2009 @ 12:44:54 AM

umm yakuza, I think you are talking about Yakuza Kenzan! Which is a spin-off series of the game, so its not the real sequel, the real sequel is coming out February 26th in Japan.

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kprambo
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 @ 5:24:10 PM
Reply

I hope this game does very well in japan so we can get it here in the states.

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