With Yakuza 3 releasing in stores on March 9th, 2010 here in the US, it has been out for quite a while in Japan and they are all set for the release of Yakuza 4 already, it’s no surprise that a demo for the upcoming game is available, it became available last week.
Graphically the difference between the original two on the PlayStation 2 and Yakuza 3 on the PlayStation 3 is fairly impressive, the cut scenes are much better quality and the actually gameplay looks much better, but being on the PlayStation 3 it is expected to look better than its previous titles. Once again the voices are in Japanese and the subtitles are in English, so be prepared for some reading, although I think this is the way the game should be.
The demo starts out with a slightly older looking Kiryu once again entering the city and almost immediately spotting trouble and having to visit Stardust, the host club from the previous games, to help out some old friends. Should you decide to go in right away you will get to experience the battle system pretty quickly, which plays like all of the previous games, using “X” and “square” for attacks, “circle” to grapple and triangle for some of your special attacks when your spirit gauge is at the right level. Towards the end of the battle you also get to try out the special finishes for some boss fights which require you to select a finisher and then press the corresponding buttons in time as the two fighters grapple to knock one another out. The battles system is easy to learn and fun, for those of you who have never tried a Yakuza game before.
Some of the mini-games are available on the demo as well, you can visit the arcade to try out a few, but the one that stuck out for me was the karaoke. Kiryu can either sing alone or he can call up a friend to go with him. The mini-game involved pressing the right buttons as a bar ran over them to sing back-up for your partner, or to do the singing when it is Kiryu’s turn. The mini-game was fun, and the music was good, maybe because I enjoy listening to Japanese pop, rock, and other types of music. One thing that did have some people worried was that the hostess club was excluded from the demo, and not only excluded it was not even highlighted on the map like most of the other areas that will be accessible in the full version.
Well that’s all I can say about the demo, for of you who haven’t downloaded it yet, the game is available on the PlayStation Store in the Demo section, and the full game releases on March 9th, the same day as Final Fantasy XIII, for those of you who are trying to decide on a reason to skip Final Fantasy this year.
Yakuza 3 can be pre-ordered from many of your local game stores. Here are the listings for the GameStop stores in the Las Cruces Area, for those interested in picking the game up.
Las Cruces SWM
550 Walton Blvd.
Las Cruces NM, 88001 US
1455 HICKORY DR
Las Cruces NM, 88005 US
Mesilla Valley Mall
700 S. TELSHOR BLVD.
LAS CRUCES NM, 88011 US
Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 12pm-6pm*