One of my favorite games ever is Shenmue, so given that the Yakuza series is essentially Shenmue but with blood, swearing, hookers, and the Japanese mafia, I happen to think quite highly of it. Unfortunately, there’s only about seventeen people outside of Japan who share my admiration for the games, and we all wait with bated breath to see if Sega of America is up for spending the resources to localize the next entry in the series. While I’ve already given up hope on a US release for the feudal Japan set Yakuza Kenzan!, at least I get Yakuza 3 next month, but according an unnamed Sega rep, the Westernized version will have a few small omissions from the Japanese version.
“The content between Yakuza 3 US/UK and Yakuza JP is a little different in that we took out certain bits in order to bring the game to the west in the time alloted for us to do so. The parts we ended up taking out were parts that we felt wouldn’t make sense (like a Japanese history quiz game) or wouldn’t resonate as much (such as the concept of a hostess club).”
Translation: they were probably on a shoestring budget and working in a small time frame and some things had to be cut to get it localized as cheaply as humanly possible. The reasoning behind this also doesn’t appear have had anything to do with any kind of censorship, as the game’s strip clubs crossed the pacific ocean safely. It’s a bummer, but I’m just relieved I actually get to play the game and nothing sans a Micheal Madsen cameo is gonna ruin that. Plus, Japanese history questions were incredibly annoying in Persona 3 & 4.