When the Japanese demo of Yakuza 4 was released back in 2010, I navigated my way through the Japanese PSN Store towards the download link. It was an all encompassing demo which gave a sizable sampling of what Yakuza 4 was about.
They separated the demo into “Story Mode” and “4 player battle mode”. Story mode showed off voice work and Sega’s latest cutscene presentation skills. The latter showed off the four protagonists and their fighting styles along with the minor tweaks they made to the fighting system in general. It was still brutal and context sensitive, but I felt it was a bit more polished this time around.
LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.
Yakuza 3’s release was not guaranteed after the poor sales of Yakuza 2. But after enough hounding from fans, Sega decided to bring it over to North America. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a straight forward localization — they decided to make a few changes. The removal of the hostess clubs was the most significant change, but did it impact my enjoyment of the game? On one hand, it saved me from those ghastly looking floozies, but on the other, I missed out on one of the most interesting segments of Yakuza 2. I was genuinely curious if they improved that experience or simply ported it over to the PlayStation 3.
The quality models of key characters and the cutscenes made it clear that this was a PlayStation 3 game. In fact, the visual improvements were so drastic compared to Yakuza 2, I didn’t even recognize a couple of significant characters like Daigo Dojima or Kaoru Sayama. The one key area Sega absolutely nailed were the characters’ eyes. Subtle movements and convincing expressions of emotion were conveyed convincingly thanks to the impressive tech.
But that was it. Everything else felt like this game was a higher resolution Yakuza 2.