| paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Adventure; loc=NA]
|Reminiscent of their Shenmue series, in Sega's "Yakuza" you run around a realistic Japanese city, beating people up and engaging in side quests and minigames in your quest to do something or other, only this time you're a bad-ass gangster, and the city is all trendy looking and neon-lit.
There's a story you follow, unfortunately the English dialog is pretty bad, with gratuitous swearing everywhere to illustrate how bad-ass Japanese gangsters are.
You can--and probably must--explore the sprawling city, and you'll find informants to get info from, others who may give you side missions, escort girls to romance, and other low-life things to do. Oh, and people to beat up.
What I saw of the combat looked a little thrashy. Apparently you can't really lock onto a target, so it's easy to swing wildly past them looking like a dummy. On the other hand, if you line it up right, you can hit multiple people at once, which is handy, since it seems like you're almost always outnumbered. You can increase your chances of connecting by snatching up a nearby object, like a bench, and swinging it like nobody's business. The combat I saw didn't look very graceful, but apparently there's a level-up system, so maybe later on you learn some more polished moves, I dunno.
Yakuza went on my buy list when I first heard about it, but then I got to thinking that I didn't really need a thuggish gangster game, and I think that was the right choice for me, as the parts I saw looked fairly juvenile.