Sega has made cuts to the Western version of gangland brawler Yakuza 3. The publisher says that hostess bars are gone. People playing the game say a lot more than that is missing.
Sega's official message board for the site is home to complaints from early-bird purchasers of the game, who say that along with the hostess bars and Japanese trivia quiz, scores of other content is missing, including Mah-jong games and, more importantly, scores of the game's side missions.
In chapters 3 and 4 of the game, for example, nine of the forty available side quests have been axed from the Western version. That's a lot more than we were first led to believe, especially given Sega's original promise last year that the game was on its way in an unedited state.
Sega's first explanation for the cuts was "Ultimately, the choice that had to be made was either no Yakuza 3 in the west, or a version of the game that was almost exactly the same, but with a little less trivia."
It then gave a different explanation, saying "we had a tight schedule to abide by for localizing and releasing Yakuza 3 in the west" and that "due to the limited time we were given we had to leave certain bits of the game out".
Oh Sega. What a hot mess you've found yourself in. Who would have thought raging-mad Japanophiles - surely Yakuza 3's target audience in the West - buying the game not for brawling but for the fluff, would react angrily to having the fluff cut?
I got my copy of the game today, so expect a review sometime next week.