In Kamarucho, they say if you walk around the streets there, the locals typicall dressed in suits and sunglasses will pick fights with you!  I NEVER knew that…until now!!

Yakuza 3 is one of those games I always had collecting dust on my shelf, but ALWAYS wanted to play, but never got around to playing!  Well, the wait is over!

Coming into this, I was only familiar with what I’d learned about Japan from my trips to Fukuoka, Tokyo and Sasebo.  (More on that, at a later time!)  So this game was a bit of a treat to me and a lesson from what I did and didn’t know about Japan!

Right away you can see how the developers truly reflects Japan’s obsessions with photo-realism.  All of the streets in downtown Kamurucho and Okinawa are full of life, activity and truly feels like there was a lot of love when they made this.  Before GTA IV, I think this was the first realistic take of actual cities, which to me is pretty amazing!  (Obviously, GTA IV was in New York City, while V was in Los Angeles)

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SOURCE

Playing through the game, I noticed was bit shocked by the overall volume of the story and it seemed to play like an anime or soap opera, but in a good way!  Luckily, the game allows you to view the previous two games’ cutscenes to fully understand what is happening in the story.  Yet the game never takes itself seriously and adds plenty of comedic moments being chased by a very buff lady fan!

Starting off, the game was dragging a bit, with Kazuma (the player character) having to be babysitter and having to wrangle your kids up.  (He runs an orphanage, which is one of the primary plot devices in this game.)

Once, I got finished doing that, the city opens up and I was free to explore!  This leads to loads of shops, sidequests and many things to see and do.  Some of it was a bit limiting at first, but when I got further in, the game just got even bigger!  I never truly felt overwhelmed, but it was big enough to almost feel that way!

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The details in the city are really nice!  – SOURCE

Among some of things I loved, where the distractions the game had.  Minigames in many RPGs or sandboxes tend to be quick and menial.  While in this, I was challenged and engrossed all at once!

Among some of things I loved, where the distractions the game had.  Minigames in many RPGs or sandboxes tend to be quick and menial.  While in this, I was challenged and engrossed all at once!

I got sucked into the battin cages and playin Texas Hold Em! for hours!  But eventually I realized I had to get back to the story.  Which always seemed to be shallow enough that I could pick it back up and remember where I left off, even if I’d put down the game for weeks!

Combat is also a large part of Yakuza, as well you’re a…YAKUZA (Japanese mafia wiseguy) I’ll fully admit, the combat was pretty fucking repetitive when pulling off combos.  But when you add in the new skills I learned through questing, using weapons and environmental objects.  I never realized how enjoyable it was to beat the shit of people, until I played this.

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Hank Hill would be proud with the usage of his premier grade Strickland Propane! SOURCE

This really reminded me of River City Ransom, which was an AMAZING Nintendo game for the NES!  There, you were to guys in high school against a city full of gangs, very similar to the movie “The Warriors”.  If you’ve never gotten to experience either; I highly encourage that you do!

Ultimately, Yakuza 3 was a joy to play even though it isn’t the prettiest lady at the Karaoke Bar, but she will give you a wild ride!  Be prepared, you’ll be using all the range of emotions on this one!

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