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PS3 Impressions – Yakuza 3

February 16, 2009Written by Anthony Severino


On February 26th, this hotly anticipated title for our beloved console was released. It is a PlayStation exclusive, but you’ll be surprised to find out that it isn’t Killzone 2. You’ll also be surprised to hear that this game’s marketing has far exceeded Killzone 2’s and is more on a par with the campaigns we saw leading to the launch of Halo 3.

Ryū ga Gotoku 3, or Yakuza 3 to gamers in the west, is set to launch in Japan to critical and public acclaim and is being touted as the killer app for PlayStation 3 owners.

While the heavy marketing campaign (including, but not restricted to, concept bars and cafes, samurai noodles, health drinks, karaoke bars selling Yakuza-themed food and drinks as well as a partnership with a tanning salon chain) may be a story in its own right, it’s important to take a look at a game which, from various reports, promises to be rich in depth and variety.

Yakuza 3 is the fourth game in the series developed and published by SEGA. This third installment of the continuing adventures of Kazuma Kiryu (from Yakuza and Yakuza 2 on the PS2) is set this time around on the tropical island of Okinawa. While the Yakuza titles have been famed in the past for their brutal mix of martial arts and street fighting, this installment is certain to be remembered equally for its side games including darts, pool, mahjong, baseball, bowling, fishing, golf, black jack, karaoke and in typical Japanese fashion… yup you guessed it, dating games.

The voice acting cast includes a stellar line up with Jouji Takahashi, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Shidou Nakamura and Shigeru Izumiya in tow adding authenticity to the new emotional direction of storyline, while our eyes will also be treated to digital interpretations of seven of Japan’s favorite supermodels Sayaka Araki, Eri Touka, Rina Sakurai, Shizuka Mutou, Riho Nishiyama, Rina Aikawa, and Nemu.

Put plainly, this game looks to be nothing short of a masterpiece and worthy of a slot in your collection. However with no plans for SEGA to release it this side of the world coupled with SEGA’s recent financial failings your only option will be to import.

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