Yakuza 3 (PS3)

Forgive me if I was wrong, but I was expecting Yakuza 3 to be a violent look at the Japanese mafia families, and missions would be lots of punching, fighting, and so on. Perhaps with some nasty plot twists involving betrayal and murder. And blood.

In fact, the stories of the first two games (which I haven’t played, but are included in video form in this game) would imply that I would be correct to assume Yakuza 3 would be all of those things.

So why, then, having played 10 hours so far, have I spent most of my time doing the following:

Playing golf. Fishing. Running after cats and dogs. Collecting lost locker keys. Shopping for clothes for a 10 year old boy. Playing baseball. Sifting through items that have washed ashore on the beach. Looking for lost children. Delivering noodles. Buying milk. Playing hide-and-seek. And many more non-Yakuza-centric tasks, a number of which involve the orphanage my character seems to have ended up running, following the events of Yakuza 2. Popular career choice for retired gangsters, perhaps.

I have, of course, punched some faces, and kicked some faces, and stamped on some faces, but somehow even though that makes up some of the story, somehow I’ve been sidetracked into all the other stuff. The billions of side stories which don’t seem to have any bearing on anything. Like finding a matching liondog for a couple reliving their honeymoon. And trying to catch a tuna for a man who wants a big fish but can’t keep the bream he’s been sold as the fishmonger wants it back. Or solving the mystery of a locker which talks. Yes, really.

Most disturbing, was the event where me, as owner of an orphanage remember, had to peruse the shady backstreets of Tokyo looking for a schoolgirl, so I could take pictures of her with my mobile phone, and then upload them to my blog. Kazuma is a massive perv.

In amongst all this nonsense, I’ve actually found a story to follow. A sort of friend has been shot by a guy who should be dead, at the same time the head of the Yakuza clan I used to be head of was also shot by the same dead man, only hundreds of miles away. So I (finally) made it to Tokyo to find out what is going on, where I was nearly shot by a helicopter gunship, then had to run away from the police (who have flashing red lights on their heads) before¬†incomprehensibly¬†bumping into an old friend and then set off to a local “couples” hotel (which I was only allowed entry to by faking I was gay) where I had to kick doors down exposing amorous (and bizarre fetish) couples searching for a Yakuza family patriarch to punch in the face, before finally fighting said fat man in a bathroom while he wore only a towel.

Wow. Just wow.

To sum up: game is UTTER NONSENSE, yet somehow AWESOME.

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