Yakuza 2 sold out !@#$%!

My regular Uncle Wong shop selling PS2 games ‘on a budget’ sold me a dud DVD for Yakuza 2. I can’t play the 2nd disc and am stuck at the part where Kazuma Kiryu is supposed to rescue the chief son of his yakuza gang because the damn faulty 2nd disc won’t read. Frustration is just a diplomatic way to sum up my agitation right now.

Now, this game published by Sega is no ordinary winker, in case you were wondering what the bloody fuss is all about. This game rocks and plays like a dream on the huffing and puffing PS2 console unused to seemingly laborious graphics and other workload ordinarily reserved for the top-notch PS3 and other current-gen consoles. Well, just take a look at the screenshots of Yakuza 2 on any self-respecting game site. You’d think – wow, this can get on the PS2?! Plus, the storyline is fantastic – it explores the Japanese Yakuza culture and its presence so vividly that you’d think that it’s quite believable. There’s also the cute lady character that kicks ass and which Kiryu has a mild crush on. In short, you’d have to play it at least once. Just to know the storyline…

Right, on the yarn at hand…my PS2 console is original. But it can play all regions. I can only disclose this much.  ;p

Since the original Japanese version of Yakuza 2 (named Ryu Ga Gotoku 2) does not contain English subtitles, I’d have to hunt down the American version. I know that there is a PAL version but I can’t get it anywhere. Oh, yeah – and I buy original software. Those that are too good to be missed. That’s a small way of thanking the developers for a job well done. Give credit where it’s due. What goes round, comes round, you cheap ass bastards who only buy pirated stuff and get away with it.

Unfortunately, Sega has pulled the plug on its North American version (NTSC-U/C) production. Amazon still stocks it but it doesn’t allow shipping to anywhere beyond US addresses – it’s the issue with the region protection if you aren’t sharp enough. I mean, I could get my uncle in Philadelphia to get it first and then ship it to me later on, but it’s too much work and I’d end up paying much more in delivery fees. Plus, he has a teenage son who might just hijack it. Gamestop and Play-Asia claims non-availability of stock in their online market. That would mean that Sega has done the most horrid thing to fans again but pulling out of ventures which they presumed is unfavourable. In fact, the Hong Kong-based distributor has placed an out of stock sign on its Yakuza 2 page. It’s sacrilegious! That game just came out in September 2008…erm, ok…nearly a year ago. Hmmmm…

This is not entirely unjustified, however – if you accessed the Wikipedia site on Yakuza 2, you could see that the North America release has seen only 40,000 units sold. If I write songs, and I do get signed on by a record company and get the golden opportunity to sell CDs – but only sold this much, I’d rather be a Shaolin monk. I don’t think Sega is wrong to halt all production on this line. Hey, even Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 for PS3 has not seen an English-dubbed release. Boy, Sega must have been so incensed with the sales of Yakuza 2 that they have abandoned this game just like dumping an awful lover.

So what does Artur V do?

Since, Artur V hates losing and never takes defeat in stride and has the attitude doctrine of what he wants, he gets –  he’ll buy the Japanese version of the game! Just 3 problems tho:

(i) The game may not be in stock during the online order- quite unlikely, however, as the Japanese are actually quite receptive of this game and have bought 1 million copies to appraise for themselves, so…yeah….blah;
(ii) Artur V knows nuts about the Japanese language. Remember, Yakuza 2 is not your average PES soccer game or Resident Evil 4 shooter – it’s a RPG in build and requires lots of interaction with the people around you in the game. So, Artur V resolves to use this game as a basis to learn Japanese more studiously. It’s a win-win situation, people!
(iii) The PS2 at home may not be able to read the Japanese game disc. This is a real fear and not imagined. But, so what – some you lose, some you win, right? At least I’ll know for sure whether it can play Japanese discs or not. Apparently, my PS2 can’t play movie DVDs at all although it could play music CDs. Besides, I could get more Japanese games now on, if it works! There’s Shinobido, there’s Wolf of Shinjuku, etc.

So, Artur V has considered all options and have placed the order for the Ryu Ga Gotoku 2 Best Reprint. All for a cool RM88.93….

If it stinks and doesn’t want to play with the console I have, that IS only the amount down the drain, lol…

I’ve gambled away far much more than this in my life, I reckon  – both materially and spiritually. Here goes nothing, then….   


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