Yakuza 3 User Review
I will go down the ratings check list and give my impressions on this terrific entry into the Yakuza series. Keep in mind this is all my own personal experience with the game and my bias. I will not speak about any story elements as to not give anything away.
First up are the graphics and while they are by far not the worst I have seen this generation there is nothing here to wow the gamer either. The cut scenes are nicely done as is the game play graphics but I kept noticing that cars on the street seemed overly boxy. NPC design for the random passers-by on the streets is sub-par by recent standards but then again the game was developed over a year back so there is a little forgiveness for this.
Gameplay, wow, what can I really say about this? The game play is magnificent, with a blending of so many different elements one might worry that there is too much happening or too much to do but Yakuza 3 pulls it off nicely. You can easily lose large chunks of time playing billiards, hitting a round of golf, or hanging out in the Karaoke bar. Couple this with the cityscapes and all the little hidden things to find and the side missions, called substories in game, and you can easily put down 10 hours and barely progress the main story at all. The fight sequences are engaging but not very complex. The camera can become a bit of a nuisance during them leaving you open to blind side attacks but overall it isn't that bad of an issue really. One thing I am a bit upset with is the exclusion of Mahjong for the western release. It isn't a big thing but Mahjong is one of my favourite games for just killing time so it may be better that it was left out or I may have never gotten anywhere story wise.
The game's sound is pretty darn good. I enjoy hanging out in the Karaoke bar simply for the music though I could be a bit biased as J-pop is one of my favourite genres of music. Also, playing the game in surrounds sound really brings the cities to life. All the voice acting is in the original Japanese and it is very well done.
The games control is very straight forward. During fight sequences you have two attack buttons, guard, dodge, and grapple. During minigames your controls are explained before you begin and at any time you need you can press start and refresh yourself on the specific controls of that game.
As for replay value, there are unlocks for beating the game on higher difficulties. Also, if you just rush through on your first playthrough there are a plethora of hidden things to find on a second go. Not to mention the insane amount of minigames and side missions. If you are bored and just want to play some pool but don't have a pool game Yakuza 3 has you covered. Want to play golf but don't want to bad enough to give EA money for a Tiger Woods game? Yakuza 3's got your back. Want to go fishing? Y3 for the win. Want to do a lap around Laguna Seca? Wait for Gran Turismo 5. Sorry, with all this game does have there are still some things that it just doesn't do.
So what do you get when you mix a ton of game elements, add some Japanese flair, and give one bad a-- Yakuza licence to kick butt? One helluva game, that's what.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.