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So, what exactly is Yakuza 3?

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I feel ashamed to have to ask this question, but I have no idea what Yakuza 3 is.

I've heard people say its a spiritual successor to Shenmue, I've also seen lists of different fighting arenas.

Is it an rpg or what?

It's a story driven, free roaming (though a bit restricted) action adventure with RPG elements.
It does have a few similarities with Shenmue, but IMO the difference is still big.

Open world that's a bit closer to Shenmue than GTA (smaller environments with more attention to detail).  You're not opening dressers and looking at shirts, but you can go into all the little buildings to buy different kinds of food, or go to night clubs, etc...

When you're walking around the city, people will run up to you and start fights (this can be avoided most times by running around them like Grandia/Chrono Trigger).  Once you're in the fights, it turns into a 3D brawler with combos, and the ability to smash people over the head with random things found in the area.  At the end of the fight, you get experience points that you can spend on leveling up either your special meter, max health, or strength.
You progress through the story one chapter at a time, and it's one of the big draws of the game.  Very solid stories of the Japanese mafia.
There are also tons of side missions to put a spotlight on the side characters.

Really great games. Definitely worth checking out the first 2 first.  The first one's a bit rough around the edges, but the second one really steps things up.

Great thanks, I'd love to try the originals but my PS3 isn't backwards compatible.

This sounds like something I would be really interested in and will definitely be picking it up.

If you got a strong PC then you can run the first 2 games on an Emulator.


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