Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yakuza 3 reviewed by real-life Yakuza

As pointed out by regular reader Zack, BoingBoing has a fascinating feature up where they get three real-life yakuza members to play Ryu ga Gotoku 3 and give their opinions.

Midoriyama is a now-retired former mid-level faction boss. Shirokawa is a high-ranking boss from a different group connected to Midoriyama through a ritual sake exchange. Kuroishi knows them both but is also from a different group.

This is an ingenious feature, and a fantastic example of proper investigative games journalism. While most print publications are happy with their annual April Fool gags, phoned-in email interviews, and outdated news, it's great to see something serious like this being attempted.

My favourite section of the interview is towards the end:
Ironically, the sections that Shirokawa seemed to enjoy the most were cut out of the US version: mahjong, the sexual massage parlor, and the hostess clubs. After I explain to him what Sega cut from the US version, he said: アメリカ版を買った奴がかわいそうだ。セガUSAが最低だね.(Translation: I feel sorry for the people who bought the American version. SEGA USA sucks.)

Yes indeed, Sega USA does suck. I for one loved the mahjong in Yakuza 2.

Read the full feature HERE.


  1. Yeah, I would really love to see more people get features like these! EGM had an article where they had a US mobster play GTA and some other games (turns out his favorite game was Animal Crossing 0_0) but these are few and far between.

    Oh and apparently SEGA USA says that Yakuza 4 won't be cut at all. Success?

  2. I really enjoyed this article. My favorite part is the "gaikokujin" exchange

  3. oh and sorry for the double post, but get a load of the article's formatting! It's exactly how one should translate print-worthy material to the web. This article clearly was a passion of love, and now I want to buy this guy's book.

  4. I'd heard of that book before, but now I might check it out.

    I'm happy about the reports of "no cuts" in Y4, but I do have to say one thing: does anyone actually like dealing with the Hostess Clubs (outside of managing them)? That was where I thought the Y3 cuts were a GOOD thing.

  5. Saw the thread about this article on the forums; enjoyed it quite a bit.

    @Joseph Joestar: I've played all Ryû ga gotoku games, and the hostesses have always been the most uninteresting aspect about the games to me. Yakuza 3 took the annoyance to a new level, though, with the sidequest where you have to manage your own hostess and train her. Contrary to what some people may believe, you don't just make a hostess in a character editor and watch her make money. Instead, you have to walk around the club and listen to what the customers are looking for and then respond to it by dressing your girl appropriately. And while a dress that's described as "cute" is obviously the way to go if your customers want cute, it gets really frustrating once you get to the make-up. Eye shadow or not? Which of the 16 colors is cute? Lipstick? Which of the 16 colors? Glossy or not? And so on, and so forth.

    Oh, and don't think that all you have to do is check gamefaqs. There is no FAQ for this crap. Considering that it's a normal sidequest, you HAVE to complete it in the Japanese version to get the fight with Amon/the reward/the trophy for completing all sidequests.

    Sega actually learned from their mistake, making "Create your own hostess" its own, seperate thing in Yakuza 4, i.e. it's no longer a normal sidequest.

    Also, them not cutting it from the western release of Yakuza 4 isn't really a victory of some vocal internet-minority. One of the four main characters in that game runs a hostess club, and the tutorial for "Create your own hostess" is part of his main storyline, so cutting it is not really an option.

  6. @Martin Penwald

    Mostly I thought the Host Club (and managing the hostess club) missions were amusing in Y2; from your description, I'm absolutely glad the hostess club was cut from the US release. While mahjong and the "handjob by a trap" minigame would have been cool I suppose, they're acceptable losses considering the horrific alternative (about 30-40 hours of dealing with spray-tanned tramps with coral reefs for fingernails).

    I've bitched about this countless times (at least 3 or 4 times on this blog, but hey) I guess I'm mostly glad that an English release of Yakuza 4/RGG4 wasn't derailed by people who hadn't played the game, didn't realize the nature of the cuts beyond "we got gypped!", or were just plain haters.