Sega has made cuts to the Western version of gangland brawler Yakuza 3. The publisher says that hostess bars are gone. People playing the game say a lot more than that is missing.
Sega's official message board for the site is home to complaints from early-bird purchasers of the game, who say that along with the hostess bars and Japanese trivia quiz, scores of other content is missing, including Mah-jong games and, more importantly, scores of the game's side missions.
In chapters 3 and 4 of the game, for example, nine of the 40 available side quests have been axed from the Western version. That's a lot more than we were first led to believe, especially given Sega's original promise last year that the game was on its way in an unedited state.
What a hot mess. Sega's first explanation for the cuts was "Ultimately, the choice that had to be made was either no Yakuza 3 in the west, or a version of the game that was almost exactly the same, but with a little less trivia."
It then gave a different explanation, saying "we had a tight schedule to abide by for localising and releasing Yakuza 3 in the west" and that "due to the limited time we were given we had to leave certain bits of the game out".
Oh Sega. What a hot mess you've found yourself in. Who would have thought raging-mad Japanophiles - surely Yakuza 3's target audience in the West - buying the game not for brawling but for the fluff, would react angrily to having the fluff cut?
While I've got you, I got my copy of the game today, so expect a review sometime next week.