Sega really have done themselves on this one and know how to make a good Yakuza game.

User Rating: 8 | Ryu ga Gotoku 3 PS3
Elsewhere around the world we've had alot of good action games like Grand Theft Auto but in Japan they have they own GTA styled game called Yakuza which is based on Japanese Mafia. In the city of Kamurocho in Tokyo, Japan. For those who have been following the Yakuza series, you'll be once again setting foot in the city and uncovering its many secrets and coming across the city's own fair share of criminals and mafia gangs.

Its main story takes place after the events of Yakuza 1 and 2 where Kazuma Kiryu is out of the city and starts his new life, with his adoptive daughter Haruka they have there own Orphanage called Sunshine Orphanage. Kazuma looks after the other orphans, you think that everything is all good they run in abit of trouble with paying the bills and someone wants to tear the Orphanage down. Kazuma investigates and finds that he has once again has to fight his way through and who's responsible.

Gameplay: Much of the gameplay of Yakuza 3 centres around fighting gangs and Yakuza members, Kazuma offer a mixed, well-rounded style of attack. You'll likely spend most of your time mashing the Square and Triangle buttons an awful lot there are also quick-time events that pop up from time to time that require you to hit the right button at the right time to avoid getting hit. It's not just plain old fighting though, as RPG elements are adding into the mix through the acquisition of 'soul points' from random battles on the streets as well as through the main story. These points can be used to upgrade and gain new abilities, which can come in handy during some of the tougher fights.

During battles you're not limited to your fists or even standard weapons – you can also pick up random everyday objects like bicycles or even bins, which you can attack your enemies with to cause extra damage. There's also a handy feature called 'Heat Mode', which allows you to pull of extra powerful moves once you've built up enough charge in your 'Heat' meter.

Chase sequences appear here and there in Yakuza 3. If you are chasing someone you can throw bottles at them to slow them down or if you are close to your opponent you can tackle them by tapping Square, or pressing X to break free if you are caught by gangs or police. Apart from fighting and brawling in a large city, there is also a variety of mini games, like video arcades at Club SEGA, fishing, baseball and of course karaoke. There are also plenty of side-quests which you can do at anytime.

Graphics and Sound: From the character animation to the big city of Kamurocho, the graphics are well done and highly detailed. Even exploring Ryukya Islands make a great touch and a change from exploring Kamurocho, even the sands and beaches look stunning to look at. You won't notice much difference, and most parts of the city haven't changed much having said that, you may still get lost in the city, and distracted by random gangsters and Yakuza members.

The game does have a mandatory install of 5GB unfortunately, though if you are running out of space you can simply delete some data and game installs from games you don't play that much. There are a lot of cut-scenes throughout the game, and most of them you can't really skip. They do tell a good tale, though at times it's more like watching a Japanese action-drama than playing a game.

There is no dodgy English voice acting but there are English subtitles, and there is a lot of dialogue text throughout the whole game, that occasionally you may want to skip just to get to the gameplay and fights. The Japanese voice acting is really well done, and it's a good sign that they've always kept the Yakuza series in Japanese and not in English. Soundtrack does a good job too, from its main theme, to its arcade machines, and even to its Japanese songs and tunes in the Karaoke bars. You also have the option to craft and make your own weapons if you have the right materials and items which can be scatted across the game.

Overall: Finishing the main story can take you up to 20 hours or more, and there are still plenty of things to do in Kamurocho and Ryukyu Islands from side-quests to taking snapshots on your phone. There is excellent Trophy support for the game, though in order to get the Platinum you're pretty much going to have to beat the game at least three times.

If you are into into sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto, or you're into crime games like the Mafia series, Yakuza 4 is well worth checking out , though if you are new to the series it's recommended to check out Reminisce before starting or at the beginning of a new game.