We just received our copy of Yakuza 4. We didn't go in with the highest of expectations since the predecessors in this series (which we had no idea was going on this long) weren't exactly the most highly acclaimed. But while we don't have a review of Yakuza 4 ready, here are some initial impressions after the jump.
The installation, which obviously isn't optional on the PS3 as it is on 360, takes an extremely long time. It took fifteen minutes estimated and that's being conservative. It very well could have taken a half hour. MLB 11: The Show, a fellow Sony title, took about two minutes and required 5 GB of installation, more than Yakuza as far as we could tell.
Then, since this game's base is apparently in Japan, all the cut scenes are in Japanese. Awesome. There are English subtitles but I'm not playing this game to get edumacted in reading. Sure it adds to realism but just playing these games requires some semblance of a suspension of disbelief and I don't know who decided that that was the line. Oh well it's not that strange for a game that's main market is not in the United States.
There has also been very little gameplay so far. Most of it, roughly 45 minutes out of the first hour, was cut scenes. Fun times. This is worse than Metal Gear Solid, a game notorious for its extended cut scenes, in the ratio of video to actual gameplay. Exciting. And by the way, there's no voice acting to speak of except in the cut scenes. You don't hear voices apparently outside of those prerendered videos.
But at least you'll get to know everything you could possibly want about any or all of the characters as their bios flash and repeat endlessly during the mind numbingly long installation.
Our expectations for the full game aren't exactly high at this point but hopefully things will change before we publish our review. At least the fighting is kinda fun. But unless there's more gameplay and fewer cut scenes, that may be rendered a moot point.
Stay tuned for our full review of Yakuza 4 coming later this week.