Sega didn't think North America was ready for the female-companionship-for-money mechanic of Japan's hostess bars in Yakuza 3. They aren't making the same mistake twice. Check out the pretty ladies in "the most controversial trailer for Yakuza 4 yet".
I'm still not sure why Sega balked at including the hostess bars in Yakuza 3. The clubs, as our own Brian Ashcraft describes them, sound relatively tame and somewhat charming by American standards. Considering one of the best-selling game franchises in the US - Grand Theft Auto - allows players to hire prostitutes for a quickie in the back of their stolen cars, I don't see what's so controversial about this.
I passed up Yakuza 3 because I wanted a game that mixed fast-paced action with a healthy dose of Japanese culture. Maybe Yakuza 4 is my game?
Guess I'll find out later this month when the demo hits the PlayStation Network.