I'm still trying to complete Yakuza 3 before anything big comes in for review, and I'm almost done. If my guess is correct, there are only one or two chapters left, so I'm hoping to wrap it up tomorrow. I've got to say, out of the three Yakuza titles I've played so far, this one has definitely been the weakest.
Although there are some must-reviews coming down the pipe pretty soon, the industry is more or less in a big lull right now, and that's perfectly okay with me. I've really been enjoying knocking games out of my backlog, and the latest one up at bat is Sega's Yakuza 3. Straight up, I love Yakuza.
We've all heard the numbers. Billions of yen needed to repair Japan. Millions of Japanese citizens without power or drinkable water. And a nuclear reactor, that appears to be rescued from collapse on a daily basis. This makes what I'm about to write seem trite by comparison. While not as dire a consequence as lack of food, water and shelter, the Japan disaster has resulted in delays and even cancellations of major game titles.
Haven't had a whole heck of a lot of time to game this week, but what little time I did have was devoted to Sega's Yakuza 2.
This guy is one seriously badass motherf*cker
I'm not going to talk a lot about it right now because I feel an ethical responsibility to review it and I want to save some ammo for that future piece, but I will say that I think it's great. For those who don't know, the game is basically a real-time brawler with some light RPG elements bound together by an extremely well-written crime drama storyline -- and in this case, i do mean well-written. It's not a parody or a caricature of a story twisted around and made to fit all sorts of absurdly contrived game nonsense... it's a real, honest-to-goodness, straight-up serious crime drama.
Simply put, the game is fantastically entertaining. I had doubts as to whether or not a brawler could keep my interest for any length of time, but Yakuza not only went the distance, it had me coming back post-completion and smacking down fools after the credits rolled—something I rarely ever feel compelled to do.
In this age of cynical disillusionment, the Yakuza is perhaps the only international crime organization that North Americans can still look on with any kind of nostalgia. The once mysterious tongs are now thought of as little more than drug running slave traffickers. The Mafia’s suave counterculture image replaced by balding men with four fourth-grade educations clad in track suits, partially because they're too fat to wear anything else and but mostly because they just don't care about their personal appearance.
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