Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Yakuza 3 demo impressions

Like any kid who ploughed hours into decking sailors as Ryo Hazuki, the dream of a brand-new Shenmue game is always in the back of my mind. Whilst Sega keep cock-teasing the prospect of finding more sailors and actually getting to smack the shit out of Lan Di, they are more than happy to provide us with another Yakuza game. Quite how this franchise is more bankable than Shenmue is beyond me, seeing as they share almost identical elements, but the Yakuza series has so far reached 5 iterations in Japan and shows no signs of stopping.

The only reason that I am remotely interested in Yakuza 3 is due to it's similarities with Shenmue and this, you see, is the problem. My longing for another Shenmue game clouds my judgement to the extent that I am willing to settle for what is essentially, a poor man's GTA, sans the auto and plus some virtua fighting. I may be judging a mere demo a little too harshly, but it's like I've had some sort of awakening. Imagine if Zach Morris settled for Jessie Spanno. Sure, they get on, they've known eachother long enough and she's far from ugly, I mean we all saw Showgirls, right? But Zach is meant to nail Kelly Kapowski goddammit! And I want my slice of all-American pussy! Never settle for second best.

Simply put, Yakuza 3 lacks the heart of the Shenmue games. This is easily attributed to the lack of involvement from Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki, now in a somewhat diminished capacity at Sega. It breaks my heart to know that a genius such as Suzuki is now relegated to throw-away arcade-only titles, whilst twats like Peter Molyneux are given free reign to make nonce simulators and faggy cockney zelda knock-offs.

Yakuza 3 is a seemingly linear affair, albeit one with many amusing distractions. Whilst Shenmue itself always received attention for it's wonderful distractions -toy collecting, arcade games and forklift driving- it was the simple things that made it the unique experience that I still hold dear. Worrying about upsetting Ine-san by coming home late, finding clues around your family home, taking in the beautiful scenery or feeling like you'd done a day's hard work, rewarding yourself with an hour at the arcade. These were the elements that made Shenmue such an incredible game. It was a game full of more than just distractions - they were elements of a life that you chose to lead. Maybe it's asking a lot of Yakuza 3 to match it but until it does, my money will be remaining firmly in pocket and my memories will be remaining with Hazuki-san.


cr0nt said...

You know you could just try to buy the rights to Shenmue and make one yourself. They aren't using it for anything.

32gb sdhc card said...

Yakuza hands on demo impressions. With the potential to be one of the most anticipated games of the year, with a free roaming environment the likes of Fallout and the GTA series, Yakuza could be be one great game.

Bojack85 said...

Never got into Yakuza for the exact same reason. Just seemed like Shenmue-lite. Why dont Sega just pull thier fingers out, sign an exclusivity deal, and make Shenmue 3. Just dont give the exclusivity to the Wii!!!!!!

Bad News said...

Hey Ryo...... How about a dog