PS3 Previews: Yakuza 3 Preview

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Yakuza 3 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

March 9, 2010

Publisher:

Sega

Developer:

Amusement Vision

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action

The first two Yakuza titles were solid, entertaining action games built on a version of the open-world sandbox style found in experiences like Grand Theft Auto. You can never drive around in cars – all your exploration is done on foot – and you can’t enter most buildings, but running around and becoming familiar with your new environment is always an essential part of the gameplay. Then there’s the hand-to-hand brawling, which of course is the primary highlight. Punctuated by devastating melee strikes, a variety of crushing weapons, and an advancement mechanic that lets you level up your stats and abilities, the fighting in Yakuza is always fun and surprisingly deep. You can even pick up many objects and use them as weapons; anything from bicycles to stand lamps is fair game. Yakuza 3 isn’t radically different from the previous entries; in fact, it’s basically the exact same idea, if the demo is any indication. Well, there are a few differences…and I’m not sure I like ‘em.

Firstly, the game doesn’t look that great. I’m quite familiar with the old PS2 games and they weren’t exactly visual dynamos, but I expected more when Sega made the transition to the PS3. I definitely like the intricate character detail of the faces, but these only become abundantly clear during camera close-ups, and while the animations are nice, the entire environment is a little blurry and underwhelming. There’s a distinct lack of sharpness and clarity wherever you look, but I suppose it’s not a big deal. It certainly looks better than the old PS2 games and although that’s not exactly a big surprise, an upgrade is still an upgrade. Secondly, the general movement seems to be faster. Walking with Kazuma is normal but running is really quick; much quicker than it used to be, and I believe the speed of the combat has also been significantly increased. The problem with this is that I continually found myself in a bad position when fighting multiple foes, and the camera doesn’t keep up well with the action.

I also felt constantly overmatched, with the exception of one random fight in the alley against some regular goons. Now, I think this is because we don’t have the benefit of any of the items or skill boosts we might have in the full game. I’m fairly certain we’re playing a portion of the game that happens well after the introductory sequence(s), so I’m guessing we’ll have health items, weapons, and other abilities for the events that transpire in the demo. This happened with Devil May Cry 4; the demo versus the fire demon was really hard but when you finally face him in the full game, you have all kinds of upgrades after playing for a while, and the encounter goes swiftly and easily. Even so, it felt a little frustrating to fight the two tough battles that are included in the Yakuza 3 demo, and picking up objects to use against super fast opponents seems like a waste of time. You also can’t block if your back is turned to an attacker, and that can easily result in Kazuma on his knees, dizzy and vulnerable. But I struggled my way through and I still really like the entire brawling concept.

You also get sneak peeks at other aspects of the game, like singing karaoke. I know the latter is huge in Japan right now, but there’s something a little off-putting about watching one of the bigger bad-asses in gaming (Kazuma Kiryu is awesome, if you’re unfamiliar with his work) singing in a karaoke club. The mini-game that goes along with it doesn’t work very well, either. But aside from the drawbacks, this is definitely the Yakuza I remember and appreciate. Some may balk at the Japanese voice acting (there will be no option for English voiceovers), but I think it’s crucial for a game like this; the atmosphere is a top priority. And if you’re going to tell a story about the Yakuza, it had better be in Japanese. The story, by the way, should definitely be a highlight as it has always been, and the battle system is just as robust and entertaining as it was in Yakuza 2. I just hope I feel a little stronger in the full version of the game, and the controls might be a little iffy.

We’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out.

2/23/2010 Ben Dutka

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More Previews Of This Game
Date
Game
Reviewer
02/03/09 Yakuza 3 Ben Dutka

Comments (32 posts)

NightHawk17
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 10:03:03 PM
Reply

Dammit why would you post a kenzan pic, I thought it was an announcement:(

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SnipeySnake
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 10:19:16 PM
Reply

I loved the demo, i played it so many times!! I heard you get recaps of the last 2 games which is good news for me cause i never played them.

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shadowpal2
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 10:30:18 PM
Reply

I remember seeing the whole walkthrough of the demo in Japanese (I mean everything in Japanese) and it looked loads of fun but as Ben says...quite tough at times. Hopefully that's just the demo though...because that would be frustrating for me. I personally would have this on top of my list above God of War III and FFXIII on March since I love the Ryu ga Gotoku series.

Hell in fact once I get a PS3, the first game I would want to get would be Yakuza 3...or it could be MGS 4. Or it could even possibly be FF Versus XIII if it does come out before I get a PS3.

Hmm...what will happen first FF Versus XIII coming out...or shadowpal2 getting a PS3 lol. Oh boy.

Update:

HOLY SH**!!! I just read a report on IGN saying that SEGA cut out some stuff from the western version!!! No Japanese history quiz game - that makes sense...but WHY NO HOSTESSES!!?!?!?! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man...

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/23/2010 11:37:06 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 10:38:56 PM

whats the feet dragging all about shadowpal?

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SnipeySnake
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 10:40:10 PM

That sucks...

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Oxvial
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 11:23:06 PM

"The content between Yakuza 3 US/UK and Yakuza JP is a little different in that we took out certain bits in order to bring the game to the west in the time alloted for us to do so.''

That's the excuse.

LOL

Yeah they just buried the Yakuza franchise in the US.

one year late to release the port at full price, horrid boxart , no dub(I dont care about that but the generic gamers yes) , cut content , the dlc that was free on the jp version you can only get it via preorder in the US, and RELEASE THE GAME IN FRIGGING MARCH.

but still.... I'm gonna pay 60 bucks for it.

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/23/2010 11:26:07 PM

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mastiffchild
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 4:42:30 AM

Oxvial_Sega have ALWAYS done their level best to ensure Yakuza fails in the west. It's almost as if they don't WANT us to get into it!

The delays, the cuts and the stupid release timing will be married to the usual(for this series and in my experience)a lack of serious marketing and patchy stocking of the title(I spent about a month looking for the first game after seeing a review but no ads whatsoever and Y2 was released on PS2 even after PAS3 had been out for ages in the EU!)-they really haven't given the series any chance out here-ever!

No matter-I've played the Japanese demo so many times I'm past caring about nonsense like the Hostesses being cut(yes, it's an annoyance but little more than that and won't stop anyone's enjoyment of what's, in the west at least, a fantastically different feeling game that falls somewhere between being a Japanese GTA(but reflecting the more gun free and Eastern mores of the Japanese crime world)and Streets of Rage for a new millennia!With copious side missions and minigames of course!

Whether it merits a full price release after so long IDK, but I'm still having it as I love the series and hope to see both Kenzan! and Y4 happen one day over here! Looking forwards to it. I'll prolly go through GOW3 once first, though!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 10:39:54 PM
Reply

Pass.

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godsman
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 12:57:46 AM

But you get to sing kareoke with a popular Japanese AV star. *clears throat* .......... from what I heard.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 1:21:38 AM

meh, if I can do her, in real life, then I'll buy it.

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Shams
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 4:25:15 AM

Was that Rina Sakurai, the girl you go on a date with? The in-game character model was quite scary, something from L4D or Dead Rising. Scarier than the Karaoke (x,x, "clap, clap", square "Oy!", tri, tri, tri, "Hiya, Hiya, Hiyaaaaaa!")

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sonic1899
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 4:34:04 PM

"meh, if I can do her, in real life, then I'll buy it."

(=_=)

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Shams
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 10:45:33 PM
Reply

Yeah, I tried the demo and it was underwhelming.

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chedison
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 11:01:01 PM

Why do they keep making ps2 games?!

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Oxvial
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 11:17:09 PM

awesome Ps2 games.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

chedison
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 11:31:10 PM

outdated awesome ps2 games.

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Oxvial
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 @ 11:35:56 PM

outdated awesome ps2 games>nex gen rippoff/fps/360 port games

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Shams
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 4:26:29 AM

Sometimes, I guess. GOW collection was cool. I think I'd rather play that, though.

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cLoudou
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 12:29:31 AM
Reply

They should add some multiplayer for this.
Imagine joining a Yakuza/Clan and having massive rumbles ( Outsiders? ) in the streets, a bar, a club, w/e.

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Oxvial
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 12:57:19 AM

Yakuza 1 was like 30 hours and Yakuza 2 was 70 hours for me and I didn't do all the quests and I read that Yakuza 3 its like 40.

you don't need mp to feel more value in the game...of course it would nice to have it but the sp its more than enough .

Last edited by Oxvial on 2/24/2010 12:59:24 AM

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cLoudou
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 1:02:51 AM

Just a thought, not a big MP person myself.

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godsman
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 12:51:33 AM
Reply

Did they compress the texture and cutscenes in the Demo by ALOT? Everything look so washed out. I remember the trailers had awesome graphics and colors.

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___________
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 1:11:45 AM
Reply

i really do not get segas logic.
they refuse to release this game because the first 2 did not sell well outside JP.
than they FINALLY! release it 1 year later with.
1 in the busiest month of the year.
2 charge us full price when i could import it for like 60 bucks less.
3 cut out some of the games content.
hell it still does not have a release date here, its still TBC march well were 4 days out from that so they better hurry up!
i really dont get their logic.
there worried the game wont sell so they do everything in their power to make sure it does not sell.
hell might as well change the name, hell scrap the whole game and just put cat a polt in there to replace it.
probably would sell better too!

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 7:24:00 AM
Reply

Ben you sound like your sh** at this! I was never felt over matched, it flowed brilliantly.

2ndly.... calling it a brawler or GTA-like is a complete disservice to this unique if not, shenmue style game.

This is probably March's best game, the demo was yet another breath of fresh air from Japan and god how i have missed em this gen.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 10:19:39 AM

...you know, liking games the mainstream doesn't like doesn't automatically make you "l33t." You seem to have this erroneous belief at heart. I guess this because you think Yakuza 3 will be better than God of War III and I'm sorry...that's bizarre.

The demo is hardly a "breath of fresh air" when it's exactly the same as the PS2 Yakuzas with a mediocre visual makeover and somewhat erratic controls.

It doesn't "flow;" you just WANT it to flow because it's "different." I'd suggest actually playing games for what they are, not what you want them to be.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/24/2010 10:20:25 AM

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Juanalf
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 2:18:05 PM

I don't think there's any other member on this site that gets under Ben's skin more than Lotus :D

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 2:47:39 PM

Not true at all.

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Juanalf
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 3:30:19 PM

Hey it was just a guess :)

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Darwin1967
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 10:28:03 AM
Reply

The demo was bizarre. Subtitles I don't mind, but complete silence as they type out while at other times you can hear them speaking w/ subtitles...It was a flash back to 80's games. Also, news that yet another game is slashed to "accomodate" players is just a bit much.

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piratedrunk
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 @ 12:10:12 PM
Reply

This game has a lot of cool ideas thrown together in a just alright package. it feels like everything it does has been done better just in seperate games.

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kraygen
Thursday, February 25, 2010 @ 2:06:26 PM
Reply

I gotta say i had never played any of the yakuza games and was excited to try this demo out. Gotta say i was not impressed. Felt like i was playing my original xbox again. Mediocre graphics, mediocre combat, just nothing that made me look forward to it.

Good idea, poor implementation.

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mastiffchild
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 @ 4:50:46 AM

Give it a chance-the combat feels stiff at first but it's a question of feeling the right pace and then it comes alive and addictive-trust me. Loads of people have the same impression as you got right off the bat but it's not really fair and, usually(obviously it might just not be your thing-and remember this WAS the first PS3 game in the series)the result of not "getting" the pace of the fighting-imo.I was the same til I got used to the first one myself.

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