Radvertisements: Yakuza

Working for a site like Sega Addicts and being a retro gamer are an awesome combination. When it’s time to sit down and do some work I can usually write about something I’ve been really into recently, whether it’s new or old. That’s why it’s fantastic that I can sit down and write my weekly Radvertisements mere minutes after finishing one of my new favorite games, Yakuza.

What is the deal with this game? I’d barely heard of it before the third in the series came out and it seems I’m not alone. Everyone I’ve mentioned it to that isn’t already a fan of the game has either never heard of it or kind of saw the cover to the new PS3 release hidden behind 5 copies of 3D Dot Game Heroes and Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition. Hell, if it weren’t for Kris pimping it on the podcast so much and having to make posts about the new PSP release on the site, I probably never would’ve picked it up. It truly is an underrated gem. That’s weird considering the amazing trailer it had:

It feels like a real movie trailer. Compared to most video game ads, especially circa 2005, it feels like SEGA’s advertising department put some time into that trailer. It even had Don LaFontaine doing the voiceover. May he rest in peace.

I guess Yakuza didn’t sell very well in the states, at least not enough to justify another awesome trailer for the sequel. For Yakuza 2 SEGA went back to the generic rock over text cards in-between clips from the game. It still kind of gets me pumped for the game though, which I will be picking up this week:

Pretty routine stiff there, right? It’s a shame.
This one’s a little better. The editing, music and text play up the noirish, oldschool aesthetic the games have:

As a fan of old Hollywood noir films and comics, that really draws me in. Still miss Don LaFontaine, though.

I figured since the third game was a PS3 exclusive they’d kick it up a notch like the first game but alas it’s even worse:

The music and editing are more dramatic but it’s pretty much more of the same generic video game advertising. Luckily the game has a demo on the PSN to help convince you.

While Yakuza 3 is the third entry in the main series, the third game released never made it to America. The spinoff Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan (Like A Dragon Arrives!) is a prequel to the series that takes place in Fuedal Japan:

Since I don’t read Japanese, I can’t really tell what’s going on in this trailer but phat beats are universal.

The next game is a PSP release and hasn’t come out yet but SEGA’s getting us all into a tizzy by posting pictures and concepts from the title on their site like this:

I’m excited to gut some gangbangers with a katana while I’m on the bus.

I’ll leave you guys this week with the trailer for the Yakuza film from 2007 by one of my favorite directors Takashi Miike. You can also read a review for the film by our own Kris Knigge here:

That’s it for this week, SEGA homies. Let me know your favorite SEGA ad campaigns in the comments, our thread in the forums or shoot me an e-mail. And remember the Yakuza does what the Sopranoesn’t.

  • Japan really knows how to market it’s stuff. It’s a shame that game ads in the US aren’t 5 minutes long and don’t contain phat beats and videos of the game’s voice actors.

  • Yeah, we rarely even get special features on the game that aren’t concept art. One of the DBZ games had a 20 minute video featuring the english voice actors. Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku, talked about how he passed out in the booth one day turning super saiyan.

  • That’s pretty hilarious. Maybe Goku voice actors kept dying and that’s why they changed every few episodes on the show?

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