Yakuza 3 – Review | Ogre Jungle

Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 Box ArtDeveloper: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Platforms: PlayStation 3

Release Date: (JP: February 26th, 2009) (NA: March 9th, 2010) (EU: March 12th, 2010)

Genre: Action-Adventure

Players: Single-player, Two-Player (Through mini-games)

Ratings:  (ESRB: M) (PEGI: 18)


Yakuza 3 gives you control of the now humbled Kazuma Kiryu as he fights to save the Okinawa orphanage he has put together. Along the way you will uncover numerous conspiracies to undermine the wishes of the small island’s locals as well as something much bigger brewing in Tokyo’s underworld.

Official Game Summary:

After ruling the Tokyo underworld in the first two Yakuza games on PlayStation 2, Kazuma Kiryu moves to Okinawa, a chain of small islands south of mainland Japan, in search of a more sedate life. Along with Haruka, the orphaned daughter of his childhood love, Yumi, he opens an orphanage beside the sea.

For a while, Kazuma’s only concerns are his and the children’s happiness, but when he receives an eviction notice and two suspicious men start hanging around the orphanage, he is forced to take action.

It emerges that the land on which the orphanage lies is to be used to build a holiday resort, although this is merely a smokescreen for a government plot to place a military base on the sleepy island. Connections run deeper than Kazuma could have imagined and the arrival of an old friend suggests that leaving the Yakuza life won’t be so simple.

His past clings to him like the dragon tattoo on his back.

Story:  A+

Yakuza 3’s story follows the same formula that seems so corny but so right at the same time. The main quest definitely kept me interested as I raced for the finish and I happily sacrificed hours of my time on the varying dark and humorous sidequests.

Graphics:  A-

The graphics are pretty but still a bit outdated when compared to more current PlayStation 3 titles. I wish they were a bit more refined but they get the job done without actual looking too bad.

Sound:  A

Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 Majima

Crazy old Majima being crazy

Like Yakuza 2, Yakuza 3 only offers Japanese voiceovers with English subtitles, but this is a too bad a thing considering the voice actors are all huge Japanese talents. The music is also the same as that found in the Japanese version, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. A series as ethnically Japanese as the Yakuza series should definitely be in Japanese. Options are always good though.

Gameplay:  B+

Nothing new here, and that’s not entirely a bad thing. Everything you loved about Yakuza 1 and 2 is found here. Anyone looking for new big changes will be a bit disappointed though. I feel they slacked quite a bit on introducing new ideas and concepts into the series. On the plus side, at least you can literally kick out the teeth of your enemies.

Ryu Ga Gotoku 3Controls:  A

The movement and combat controls are solid. My only regret is the lack of a counter skill during combat (Such as that found in Sleeping Dogs). This is really needed when you are fighting 7 goons at once.

Enjoyment Level:  A+

I enjoyed every minute of Yakuza 3 and the New Game+ option only increased my feelings toward the game. If you love the Yakuza series or Japanese culture then this is a must buy for your collection. If not, you won’t be too disappointed with a rental.

Overall Score:  A


Please share your favorite moment or aspect of the Yakuza series is in the comment section below! Have fun and remember that you don’t need a pinky to be a badass!


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Written by Jonathan Parsons

English teacher and freelance writer Jonathan Parsons is a longtime gamer working abroad in Japan. He spends his free time swimming through the Akita winter snow to his car and playing classic PC and Famicom games.

  • Nothing beats the amazing mix of WTF and awesome that appears when Kiryu is taking pictures for his blog. Best method ever for acquiring special attacks. =P