It was just too good to be true.
Sega seemingly going all out on releasing Yakuza 3, not just outside of Japan, but with everything intact. At least that's what the recent demo displayed. Subtitles instead of a hammy dub, hilarious karaoke mini-game, and the plethora of different merchandise visible.
But, wait, it's Sega.
Hostesses out, strippers still in.by Greg Miller
February 23, 2010 - With the release of Yakuza 3 just two weeks away (March 9th in the States and March 12th in the U.K.), fans are beginning to go off the deep end about the beat'em up/RPG-like/Grand Theft Auto-like game that has you wandering the streets of Japan and wailing on bad guys silly enough to get in your way. However, one of the biggest questions on the minds of readers like you is did everything that made the game a hit in Japan make it into the U.S./U.K. versions?
The short answer is "no," but it's not as bad as you might think, according to a SEGA representative.
"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. The parts we ended up taking out were parts that we felt wouldn't make sense (like a Japanese history quiz game) or wouldn't resonate as much (such as the concept of a hostess club)," the rep told IGN. "We didn't replace the parts we took out, but we made absolutely sure that the story continuity stayed intact so that the story experience was the same as the Japanese version and that it didn't take away the human drama so inherent to the Yakuza series."
The good news? Even though the hostess clubs are out, you can still go on dates with the girls. Better news? The strip clubs are still in Yakuza 3, so plan on dropping some Yen there.
Usually when games are delayed between Japan and the rest of the world, like say, over a year in the case of Yakuza 3 new content is added. I don't care how irrelevant what was cut was cut: If Persona 4 taught us anything regarding localization, there is a very competent way of dealing with cultural differences. For those of you who think the all the questions and answers given during the classes in Persona 4, were the same in the Japanese release, your in for a rude awakening.
What's even weirder is that I've heard that the hostess mini-game was actually in the previous Yakuza 2, and apparently it was an incredibly large component.
The discovery of the cuts initially did not come from Sega of course, but from keen-eyed gamers who were comparing the JP demo and the US demo. (Roughly the same demo) Trophies regarding the hostess mini-game were cut, and well, let's just say the sega forums have appropriately not reflected very happy customers.
For me it's all very confusing why such cuts are being made, and it seems counter to what Sega was marketing with this game. Not exactly a deal breaker for me, but annoying nonetheless.