Reader Review: Yakuza 3

Reader Review: Yakuza 3

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Henry does, as he kicks thugs in the face all over Japan.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Henry Chung. If you’ve played Yakuza 3 (or Ryu ga Gotoku 3, as it’s known in Japan), or just want to ask Henry more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Ryu ga Gotoku 3/Yakuza 3 (PS3)

Sega’s fourth entry in the series finds Kiryu Kazuma turning over a new leaf, running the Asagao (Morning Glory) orphanage in Okinawa. News of the Orphanage closing down and an assassination plot against his friend forces Kiryu to once again return to Japan’s underground scene.


Battles: Improvements in locking on to your nearest enemy and the greater ability to parry enemy attacks allow for easy Chinpira (Thugs) skull-cracking action. Gone is the “now loading” black screen with seamless transitions into battle sequences. More Heat moves (introduced in the previous games) allow for more variety in turning your foes into mince meat.

Immersion Through Authenticity: From the lazy streets of Okinawa to the hustle and bustle of Kamurocho (fictional Kabukicho) everything in this game screams Japan. How about a bottle of Suntory Hibiki 17 year old over the rocks or maybe you’d rather try your luck at the Sega arcade or maybe you’d prefer to hit the red light district for something more intimate. In my opinion there is nothing quite like regenerating your health over a thirst quenching bottle of C.C Lemon.


Sloppiness: Why isn’t the whole game voiced? Apart from key scenes and cut-scenes you’ll find yourself reading text accompanied with the occasional two-second voice file. The game also suffers from blurry textures; with the inclusion of a first-person camera mode you’d think they’d be more careful to hide such textures.

Simply “great” would not be enough to describe such a game. Thank the heavens that Sega have decided to release this game in English, because otherwise many of you may never experience a unique take on the open-world genre.

Reviewed by: Henry Chung

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


  • A ‘unique take on the open-world genre’ is probably an excellent way to describe this series. Possibly the closest thing we’ll ever get to another Shenmue.

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