XBox 360, PS3
Role Playing Game
The third game in the Yakuza series sees typically stoic protagonist Kazuma Kiryu abandoning the violent inner city streets for a peaceful retreat on the islands of Okinawa, where he runs the Sunshine Orphanage(which the government are planning to tear down to build a resort) with the help of his adopted daughter Haruka.
The game quickly boils down to a series of rinse and repeat minor fights, interspersed with more difficult boss battles and wandering around the large environments in adventure mode. The scope of Yakuza is commendable on the one hand but that bloat can easily become overwhelming and the tiresome mechanics make the experience less than it might have been.
Tedium is the name of the game as each fetch and carry mission requires you to travel to town and back, sometimes several times, to achieve a goal which does nothing except frustrate. And that’s without taking into account the random battles you’ll get into.
As an interactive Japanese gangster movie with some enjoyable ultraviolence, some fun quirks and occasionally stunning presentation, Yakuza can be recommended as a diverting alternative to the Western action game norm.