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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Yakuza’ Category

Yakuza of the Dead

Kiryu

Last week, I posted a review for the PS3 game Yakuza 3, expressing my opinion that the next iteration of the series would need to make some big changes if it wanted to keep things fresh. And reportedly, Yakuza 4: Heir to the Legend does just that. The game has yet to be imported to U.S. shores, so I’ll have to judge for myself when it’s released in 2011, but at least from where I’m standing now, it doesn’t seem like a dramatic leap forward in the series.Enter Yakuza 5; or, as its known, Yakuza: Of the End. This newest iteration of the franchise takes everything you know and love about the Yakuza series, amps it up to 11, and then adds — wait for it — a post-apocalyptic zombie-infected Japan! I don’t even know what to say. I know it sounds like a crass attempt to jump on the zombie bandwagon, but I have to admit that the trailers make it look like a lot of fun. Hey, zombies worked like gangbusters for the Undead Nightmare DLC for Red Dead Redemption, so maybe some zombie-killin’ will do the Yakuza boys some good, too. Check out this trailer and be amazed at Sega’s exciting gamble:

 

My Life as a Gangster-turned-Orphanage Director

Yakuza 01

Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead 2: Okinawa Drift

Note: I know this is very, very, very old news, but I was looking at some rough drafts of unfinished posts I’d started awhile back and figured I’d put my two cents in about the game anyway, as it’s Asia-related and even spawned a feature film directed by Takashi Miike.

Yakuza 3 — aka Ryu ka gokuto 3/Like a Dragon 3 — came out on American shores on March 9, 2010. Rather than purchase God of War III or Heavy Rain, two well-reviewed games which were both released around the same time, I decided to plunk my hard-earned money down for the third installment in Sega’s “popular only in Japan” gangster series. Why?

Well, I became a fan of the franchise when I bought Yakuza 2 for the PS2  based on positive word of mouth. I ended up loving it, as its addictive gameplay provided a welcome respite from the doldrums of preparing for my PhD qualifying exams. After I completed the game and passed my exams, I searched out and found a used copy of the original game at a local Gamestop. Featuring a “name” English voice cast that includes Mark Hamill, Michael Madsen, Rachael Leigh Cook, Eliza Dushku, Dwight “Howling Mad Murdock” Schultz, and Alan Dale (LOST’s Charles Widmore), the game is quite good as well, although the controls are predictably less advanced than its predecessor. It also didn’t help that the plot of the entire game was already spoiled for me by very cool cutscene “movie” available in Yakuza 2 that provides all the relevant backstory. My enthusiasm for the series even motivated me to track down the Takashi Miike movie Like a Dragon, which adapts the events of the first game with, I’m sorry to say, very mixed results.

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