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For those of you who don’t know a lot of people (mostly fans) are calling Yakuza 3 the spiritual successor to Shenmue. This has me, and others, very excited. Why? Well I can’t answer for the other people but I can answer for myself. Shenmue was the first game where I felt like I was in a huge world. It was the first game that I remember letting me explore a huge town. It was also a game that had awesome graphics (for the time), an excellent combat system, and an intriguing story (okay, dude’s father dies and dude goes on a revenge quest, not that awesome but still).
I watched my brother beat Shenmue then I took a go at it and beat it myself. I remember waiting for Shenmue II, and then when I heard it was coming out for the XBox my dreams were shattered. At that time I was a foolish kid and thought Microsoft had no reason to enter the gaming industry and I wouldn’t support them by buying their console. Needless to say I missed out on Shenmue II and other games as well. So I waited for Shenmue III and well I’m still waiting, I doubt it’ll ever come.
In 2006 I remember hearing about a game similar to Grand Theft Auto but set in Japan. It intrigued me and I thought about buying it but at that time I was a PC addict. So I never got the chance to play a little game called Yakuza. Earlier this year I remember hearing that Yakuza 2 was going to be released in America. Well, needless to say I didn’t bother to buy it because I hadn’t played the first one. I still remained interested in the Yakuza series though.
Earlier in the week when I was reading a gaming forum I frequent I saw a thread titled “Yakuza 3 TGS Trailer”. Interested I clicked it and watched the trailer. The first thing I remember thinking was “Wow, these graphics are nice” something I usually don’t do. I am by no means a graphics whore but for some reason Yakuza 3’s really stood out too me. The exploration also caught my eye but it wasn’t until I saw the combat that my mind clicked and went “Shenmue”. The other little things that made me think that were the mini-games, the stores, and of course the Japan setting. Needless to say I am excited for Yakuza 3.
I doubt I’ll buy the other Yakuza’s because of the many other comes coming out but I may because I want Y3 to make it to America in a timely manner. If it never does make it to America this will be the first game I buy imported. I may not understand the story (hopefully they’ll be subtitles) but I’ll sure as hell enjoy it all the same. Now without further adieu I give you the Yakuza 3 trailer via GameTrailers, hopefully to those who played Shenmue it’ll bring back some memories.
Note: There is a longer version (20 mins) of this that revolves around the characters of Y3, it’s all in Japanese however.