Yakuza 3 is just outstanding.

Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

PS3 box art (cropped)

I found this in a bargain bin last week for $10, and it was a pretty blind-buy for me. I'd heard of it, but I had always (mistakenly) thought it was some kind of Japanese GTA. So glad I was so wrong.

For the first hour or so I was honestly pretty bored and thought the game would end up in my "death-bin" with other lack-luster, unfinished titles; the two most recent being Fairytale Fights and Genji: Days of the Blade. Luckily, I stuck it out for a little while longer and saw the gem here. Put simply, this is one of, if not the single-most engrossing narrative I have ever experienced in a game.

Not only have I not skipped a single cut-scene here (which I am very prone to do in a lot of games), I found myself actually sitting and watching an hour or so of cut-scenes from the previous two games just to get a better understanding of the characters and story-line leading up to Y3. If you had told me I would be doing that prior to playing this, I never would have believed it. The story here is just so engrossing, and the whole level of immersion or feeling of actually being in Japan is just amazing.

This game is slow going at first, especially to a new-comer to the franchise, and I just hated the fight engine when I first experienced it; it seemed really boring and repetitive. Fortunately, as with any good RPG, the system evolved with my character, and after a few hours playing it, I started really enjoying the battles. The environments and interaction with them quickly became the star of the show, and now the somewhat limited mechanics of the actual fighting system are more of a means to an end. You smack guys around a little till you can finish them off with one of the outstanding environmental attacks. The sheer amount of options for both fisticuffs and weapon-play almost rivals Dead Rising, and I spend more time just looking for a fight now as doing anything else the game has to offer.

And speaking of things it has to offer... I'm just blown away. I'm sure I'm not even half-way through this title yet and I've already played excellent, almost fully realized games of Golf, Pool, Darts, Baseball, Cee-Lo, Bowling, and a few other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. Plus there are video games, dating simulators; the list just goes on and on. The amount of content and stuff to do here is just staggering.

It's a little clunky to control, and some of it feels a little dated to me, but it's not hampering the experience at all. I am just having a total blast playing this. Next to Mortal Kombat (9), this is easily going to be one of the games I spent the most time playing this year, and I have no doubt that it will be one of those special games that I fondly remember playing years later.

It's unfortunate that I'm hearing bad things about part 4. It would have been really exciting to have another game to jump to when I finished this one.

#1 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

PS3 box art (cropped)

I found this in a bargain bin last week for $10, and it was a pretty blind-buy for me. I'd heard of it, but I had always (mistakenly) thought it was some kind of Japanese GTA. So glad I was so wrong.

For the first hour or so I was honestly pretty bored and thought the game would end up in my "death-bin" with other lack-luster, unfinished titles; the two most recent being Fairytale Fights and Genji: Days of the Blade. Luckily, I stuck it out for a little while longer and saw the gem here. Put simply, this is one of, if not the single-most engrossing narrative I have ever experienced in a game.

Not only have I not skipped a single cut-scene here (which I am very prone to do in a lot of games), I found myself actually sitting and watching an hour or so of cut-scenes from the previous two games just to get a better understanding of the characters and story-line leading up to Y3. If you had told me I would be doing that prior to playing this, I never would have believed it. The story here is just so engrossing, and the whole level of immersion or feeling of actually being in Japan is just amazing.

This game is slow going at first, especially to a new-comer to the franchise, and I just hated the fight engine when I first experienced it; it seemed really boring and repetitive. Fortunately, as with any good RPG, the system evolved with my character, and after a few hours playing it, I started really enjoying the battles. The environments and interaction with them quickly became the star of the show, and now the somewhat limited mechanics of the actual fighting system are more of a means to an end. You smack guys around a little till you can finish them off with one of the outstanding environmental attacks. The sheer amount of options for both fisticuffs and weapon-play almost rivals Dead Rising, and I spend more time just looking for a fight now as doing anything else the game has to offer.

And speaking of things it has to offer... I'm just blown away. I'm sure I'm not even half-way through this title yet and I've already played excellent, almost fully realized games of Golf, Pool, Darts, Baseball, Cee-Lo, Bowling, and a few other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. Plus there are video games, dating simulators; the list just goes on and on. The amount of content and stuff to do here is just staggering.

It's a little clunky to control, and some of it feels a little dated to me, but it's not hampering the experience at all. I am just having a total blast playing this. Next to Mortal Kombat (9), this is easily going to be one of the games I spent the most time playing this year, and I have no doubt that it will be one of those special games that I fondly remember playing years later.

It's unfortunate that I'm hearing bad things about part 4. It would have been really exciting to have another game to jump to when I finished this one.

#2 Posted by Ivos (79 posts) -

4 is amazing. Don't know what bad things you've heard, but if you enjoyed 3 this much, 4 is highly recommended.

It's got an extended and awesome cast of characters who all fight differently.

#3 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

Nice, that's good to hear. As far as bad things I heard, I'm basing that mainly on the video reviews of it I watched on IGN and GameSpot. Not that I really consider either of those to be great sources of information... IGN seems to continue their hating everything that isn't a military FPS, so I don't think that review holds a lot of water, but they didn't have many nice things to say about it. 
 
GS was a little "nicer", but the things they said about it weren't exactly enticing me to run out and buy it the day I finish this one. It sounds like the main problem people have with it is that it's part 3 recycled, with a less interesting story. I don't really dig on the idea of playing with 3 other characters either, but maybe that's because I'm new to the franchise and not sick of the main dude.  The whole idea of playing for 30 hours just to have to start over from scratch with a new character sounds a little off to me... 
 
I just read some user reviews here that made it sound a little better, so I'm sure I'll end up playing it eventually. I'm just going to give it some time to come down in price and put a little distance between the two run-throughs. It sounds like if I jump right into 4 the day after I finish this, it might feel a little rehashed. 
 
Regardless though, I just can't say enough good things about 3; what an amazing experience.
#4 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2375 posts) -

It's the volume and quality of content that really sells it.

#5 Posted by Ivos (79 posts) -

@Noct: Don't let the fact that there's 4 characters scare you off. All of them have really enticing parts in the game, and I'd say that it's hard to decide which of 3 and 4 I think had the better story.

4 is certainly not part 3 recycled as you put it. Sure it takes place mainly in Kamurocho again but that's about it.

#6 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

4 is great too

#7 Edited by Noct (306 posts) -

@Xpgamer7 said:


It's the volume and quality of content that really sells it.





Yeah, the sheer volume of stuff to do is just insane...  Next to (purposefully) getting into street-fights, I've definately spent more time just playing the "mini-games" then anything else. I just love the pool game especially. Reminds me of NES days or somehting when that was all I needed to entertain myself.
 
The more I see of Y4 though, the more it seems like they just used all the same content... I'm not sure that's a bad thign really, and I'm sure they added more stuff to the fold, but in the video hands-on I just watched, I felt like I was watching DLC for Y3, not a new game... Again, I'll wait a while till it's cheap and I've put some distance between the two games and I'm sure I'll love it.
 
All in all, this is the sequel to Shenmue I've always wanted; I'm shocked it took me this long to find/experience this gem. Heh, I just read that part 5 has zombie actioon as well. SOLD! Hope that comes to the US.

 

#8 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -
@Ivos said:

               

@Noct: Don't let the fact that there's 4 characters scare you off. All of them have really enticing parts in the game, and I'd say that it's hard to decide which of 3 and 4 I think had the better story.

4 is certainly not part 3 recycled as you put it. Sure it takes place mainly in Kamurocho again but that's about it.


           


Awesome, glad to hear it. I don't think its very high-profile, so I'm sure it'll be coming down in price pretty soon as well. I'll probably snatch it when I finish up this one. Btw, does this one have a New game + option or anything? If it does, I may never tire of this thing. ;) 
 
Has anyone heard whether they intend to bring part five to English speaking lands?
#9 Posted by sarge1445 (676 posts) -

happen to me last christmas got it in the buy 2 get 1 at gamestop and bought it jsut hearing the name and amazing things from noobtoob and i played it ended up being in my top ten for last year

#10 Posted by BrickRoad (702 posts) -

Yakuza 4 is one of my favourite games, it's great. I really recommend playing 4 once you've finished 3. Sure it's set in the same place, but the characters are great and the storyline more involving.

#11 Edited by Jayzz (591 posts) -

Ugh, I've watched so many gameplay videos of this game, I just couldnt get into it. EDIT: and rented it from gamefly.

It felt so janky, weird combat, not a big fan of the art style/characters.

Hate to be a downer on a thread that is (so far) very positive about the game, but that's just my 2 cents!

#12 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -
@Jayzz said:


                   

Ugh, I've watched so many gameplay videos of this game, I just couldnt get into it.

It felt so janky, weird combat, not a big fan of the art style/characters.

Hate to be a downer on a thread that is (so far) very positive about the game, but that's just my 2 cents!



                   

               

I could totally see that. Honestly, if I had watched gameplay footage prior to buying it, I never would have... It's definately dated and clunky, but it's really not hurting the experience for me one iota. This might sound stupid, but it really just adds to the JRPG feel.  
 
I'm REALLY not a story guy, and I almost always skip cutscenes (don't think I;ve ever made it though one in GTA), but something about this game just sucked me in and immersed me in the story like nothing I've experienced since like FF7. This game's selling point is not it's combat, although it is fun, it's this just staggering level of immersion in the story and the culture. Again, I feel kinda stupid saying it, but I feel like I'm in Japan when I'm playing this, and I actually care what happens to these characters. That just doesn't happen to me, ever.
#13 Edited by Noct (306 posts) -
@sarge1445 said:



                   

happen to me last christmas got it in the buy 2 get 1 at gamestop and bought it jsut hearing the name and amazing things from noobtoob and i played it ended up being in my top ten for last year



                   

               

I totally agree. Not only will this definately end up being one of my personal "GOTY" (for me its this year), I have a really strong feeling this is going to be one of those games I never forget the experience of playing. 
 
@BrickRoad said:


Yakuza 4 is one of my favourite games, it's great. I really recommend playing 4 once you've finished 3. Sure it's set in the same place, but the characters are great and the storyline more involving.





Heh, ok, you guys have convinced me. If this many fans of 3 enjoyed 4 this much, I'm on-board. I can't believe I didn't even really know this franchise existed, or at least, didn't care. What a great find out of the blue.  
#14 Posted by Ivos (79 posts) -

@Noct:

Both 3 and 4 have NG+.

#15 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -

I really enjoyed it. 
#16 Posted by AjayRaz (12416 posts) -

glad to hear you liked it! it's one of my favorite PS3 games. although, i've been slacking on getting 4. agh. 

#17 Edited by Bribo (589 posts) -

Yakuza 3 is probably the weakest of the series in terms of plot and the fact they cut out a lot of content that was "too Japanese" for western audiences but it's still effin' awesome.
 
2 is best, follwed by 4 then 1 .

#18 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I just finished it, immediately put the disc in for 4 and started installing. That's how good I thought it was, and that ending...wow!

The cutscenes and voice acting are industry leading if you ask me. The animations are only second to L.A. Noire. I cannot believe this game isn't more popular, it deserves every bit of praise it musters up.

and 4 has finished installing. Woohoo.

#19 Posted by therabidfrog (349 posts) -

Funny enough I should be getting this in the mail from Gamefly today.

#20 Posted by StrikeALight (1112 posts) -

I started the game yesterday, and I'm enjoying my time with it. Will definately be picking up Y4 and DS, when funds allow.

#21 Posted by Noct (306 posts) -

I happened to buy Y4 yesterday myself, and it's just as great. Feels a little bit too similar to 3 at times, and maybe it's cuz I'm still on the first characters story-line, but the game feels a little bit nerfed as far as the selection of activities and junk. Still outstanding though. The story is what drives these games, and so far Y4 is just as compelling as 3 was.

Such a great series; it's too bad about the zombie flavor turning out so crappy. I had high hopes for that.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.