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THE DRAGON OF DOJIMA RETURNS

— Original Yakuza 3 tagline

Yakuza 3 (龍が如く3, Ryū ga Gotoku 3, lit. "Like a Dragon 3") is an action-adventure/beat-'em-up game originally released for the PlayStation 3 on February 26, 2009 in Japan and South East Asia, and on March 9, 2010, and March 12, 2010 in North America and Europe respectively. The game was developed by CS1 Team (now known as Ryu ga Gotoku Studio) as the third main installment (fourth overall) of the Yakuza series.

A remaster for PlayStation 4, with an improved framerate and resolution running at 1080p and 60fps, was released on August 9, 2018 in Japan. It was released worldwide on August 20, 2019, as a digital download, and was released physically as a part of the The Yakuza Remastered Collection on February 11, 2020. The Remastered Collection would receive another port to PC and Xbox One on January 28th, 2021.

Setting[]

Much like all previous games in the main franchise, Yakuza 3 is primarily set in the Tokyo district of Kamurocho. However, this game also introduces Okinawa as a setting for the first time, featuring Downtown Ryukyu and Morning Glory Beach as explorable sandboxes.

Story Summary[]

Chapter 1: New Beginnings[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 1

In January 2007, immediately after the conclusion of the clash in Kamurocho, Kazuma Kiryu and his adoptive daughter Haruka Sawamura say their goodbyes to their friends. Kiryu then seeks out Goro Majima to ask him to rejoin the Tojo Clan and help out its newly-appointed sixth chairman, Daigo Dojima. Afterwards, Kiryu and Haruka move to Okinawa to run an orphanage.

Chapter 2: The Ryudo Encounter[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 2

In 2008, trouble looms when Morning Glory starts getting eviction notices from the landlords, the Ryudo Family. After a confrontation with its captain, Rikiya Shimabukuro, Kiryu has a talk with Patriarch Shigeru Nakahara, who intends to sell the land to Tokyo investors seeking to build a resort. Though the cash offer is sizable, Kiryu refuses.

Chapter 3: Power Struggle[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 3

Rikiya approaches Kiryu with a plea for help; Nakahara's adoptive daughter Saki has gone missing. The reason? To meet with her biological mother. However, Saki's Mother's boyfriend Tetsuo Tamashiro intends to use Saki as blackmail to make Nakahara hand over his land. Kiryu defeating Tamashiro foils that plan, and in gratitude, Nakahara chooses not to evict Kiryu and swears an oath of brotherhood with him.

Chapter 4: The Man in the Sketch[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 4

In 2009, Daigo and Nakahara are shot by a man with an uncanny resemblance to Shintaro Kazama, Kiryu's late adoptive father, together with a mysterious foreign agent. Determined to learn the truth about the man who shot both of them, and to avert a potential threat to the orphanage, Kiryu decides to return to Kamurocho. Despite Rikiya's insistence on joining him, Kiryu opts to leave him behind.

Chapter 5: The Curtain Rises[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 5

In Tokyo, Kiryu clashes with mystrious foreign agents on his way to Osamu Kashiwagi's office, where Kashiwagi is mortally wounded by an attack helicopter after telling Kiryu of Daigo being hidden in a hospital and saying there is a traitor in the Tojo Clan. To escape police questioning, he flees, and later reunites with his old friend Makoto Date.

Chapter 6: Gameplan[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 6

Suspecting Tsuyoshi Kanda to be Kashiwagi's assassin, Kiryu and Rikiya - who had come to Tokyo regardless - seek him out. They make the Nishikiyama Family tell them of their patriarch's location and head to the Red Brick Hotel. Kiryu's suspicion turns out to be incorrect, as Kanda is not the kind of man who can plan out a hit.

Chapter 7: The Mad Dog[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 7

With a lead that Majima Construction had been contracted by Minister Yoshinobu Suzuki to construct the resort, Kiryu travels to the Majima Family's headquarters in Purgatory to confront his old friend. In Purgatory, Majima tells Kiryu that he'll explain everything, but only if he defeats him once again in a fight at the Underground Coliseum. Amused, Kiryu agrees and defeats Majima once more.

Chapter 8: Conspirators[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 8

Majima's deal with Suzuki was a setup by Goh Hamazaki wanting to divert suspicion from him, and Hamazaki's ally, the Snake Flower Triad, aims to take Rikiya hostage to lure Kiryu for assassination. Rikiya is saved in time by the mysterious Kazama lookalike who shoots the Triad leader Lau Ka Long in the head. The lookalike imparts a message to Kiryu before leaving: "Beautiful eyes. Like I heard from my brother before."

Chapter 9: The Plot[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 9

Defense Minister Ryuzo Tamiya tells Kiryu the lookalike is Shintaro Kazama's younger brother, Joji Kazama, who works for the CIA and seeks to push the development bill through. The development project, however, only serve the purpose of luring out Black Monday. Tamiya's secretary Toma learned of this and defected, making him a target for Joji, and Tamiya asks Kiryu to save Toma.

Chapter 10: Unfinished Business[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 10

Back in Okinawa, Kiryu prevents Joji from killing Toma in one of the toughest battles he has ever fought in his life. Joji reveals that his partner was the one who shot Daigo and Nakahara, and because Daigo was opposed to the resort's development, they turned to Yoshitaka Mine, who wants to restore the Tojo Clan in accordance to Daigo's wishes.

Chapter 11: Crisis[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 11

While Kiryu was away, Mine and the Tamashiro Family demolished Morning Glory Orphanage and kidnapped Nakahara. Kiryu goes to the bullring where Nakahara is taken and rescues his oath brother, but negligence on Kiryu's part allows Tamashiro to shoot him, but the bullet is intercepted by Rikiya, who dies from the wound.

Chapter 12: The End of Ambition[]

Main article: Yakuza 3/Chapter 12

Kiryu travels to Touto University Hospital to rescue Daigo. He makes Mine see that his extreme methods are not going to give him the purpose he seeks. Having a change in heart, Mine chooses to atone by killing the leader of Black Monday, Andre Richardson, who was undercover as Joji's partner, and himself. After the dust settles, Kiryu is stabbed by a vengeful Hamazaki, but he recovers and returns to Okinawa.

Gameplay[]

Battles[]

Brawls & Heat Actions

Combat is still much the same as the previous two entries, with most objects on the streets usable as weapons in brawls. Heat actions and other upgrades are purchaseable with experience points gained as Kiryu levels up.

Chase Battle[]

A chase is initiated when an enemy makes a run for it. The "Chase Gauge" on the lower right charts both characters' endurance, and whichever gauge is depleted first loses. In most chase battles, Kiryu is able to tackle his opponent in order to tire them out. This, along with running into objects, depletes the chase gauge faster to ensure Kiryu's victory.

Training and Mentors[]

Training with a mentor allows Kiryu to develop new abilities and hone his skills in battle. The following characters are available for Kiryu to train with:
  • Mack Shinozuka: A talented photographer who travels the world searching for unique Revelations. He teaches Kiryu about these revelations, as well as offering useful advice regarding "Chase Battles".
  • Sotaro Komaki: An old martial arts master who has a dojo in Kamurocho. By passing his trials, Kiryu can obtain a secret Komaki Style ability.
  • Shoji Yonashiro: A self-proclaimed 'Weapon Master' in the midst of his travels around the world. He has a personally-made sparring ring on the beach in front of Morning Glory Orphanage. He teaches various weapon handling techniques.

Revelations[]

Kiryu is able to learn new Heat Actions by observing and photographing inspiring events around Okinawa and Kamurocho and blogging about it from his cell phone.

Weapons and Armor[]

Kamiyama runs a weapon & defense armor tune-up shop called Kamiyama Works located in downtown Ryukyu. By finding "recipies" for him to work from, Kiryu is able to obtain a plethora of different weapons and armor, as well as have them repaired and improved.

Remaster[]

A remaster of the original Yakuza 3 was released on August 9th, 2018 in Japan, with the western version released digitally just over a year later on August 20th, 2019. It is available as part of the "The Yakuza Remastered Collection" pack, containing remasters of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5, with the latter two scheduled to be released in October 2019 and February 2020 respectively. The trilogy has also been available as a limited-edition physical box-set, released on February 11, 2020, and for PC via Steam and Xbox One, released on January 28th, 2021. The remastered version has a number of differences compared to the original:

  • Gameplay is now in 1080p at 60 frames per second, although the standard PS4 crops the window to 1850x1040 pixels as with the Dragon Engine games. Additionally, while most full-motion video sequences have been remastered, some scenes continue to have noticeable lossy compression artefacts, due to being pre-rendered at 720p.
    • The PC version of the remaster has more resolution options, and can run at either 30 or 60 frames per second. An auto option is also available.
    • Quicksteps were not properly adjusted to fit the new framerate. As such, quickstep distance on PS4 is doubled compared to the original PS3 version, while the Xbox and PC ports have halved quickstep distances compared to the PS3 version.
  • The quiz minigame, which had been previously cut from the PS3 western release and relied on trivia relevant to '00s Japan, has been excised entirely from all territorial versions.
  • A substory that was deemed to be transphobic has also been excised.
  • Some of the hostesses were replaced due to the likeness deals with their real-life counterparts having expired.
    • Additionally, the licensing agreements with PepsiCo and Unilever were not renewed, leading to the replacement of products such as AXE and Gatorade with generic items. Pepsi NEX bottles are still visible in vending machines however.
  • Substory locations are now marked on the map, as they are in more recent games.
  • Requirements for earning PlayStation trophies for activities such as defeating X enemies in certain fashions have been eased to make them less time-consuming.
  • Kiryu no longer has to be armed with a copy of Tokyo Ishukan to order the "special" meals from eateries.
  • The optional "reminiscence" scenes at the beginning of the original Yakuza 3, which contained video from the original PS2 games, were removed.
  • Bonuses are awarded when starting a new game if save files for any of the previously released PS4Yakuza titles, Judgment, and Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise are detected on the console.
  • The PC and Xbox One version of the remaster add cutscene pausing and requires confirmation to skip when cutscene skip is enabled.

The western version also features specific enhancements compared to its original counterpart. Namely:

  • Aside from the content cut from all versions of the Yakuza 3 remaster, content originally cut from the western version of Yakuza 3, such as hostesses and 21 substories have been reinstated, giving it content parity with the Japanese remaster release.
  • The English localization has been updated and brought in line with newer releases.
    • Kazuma Kiryu's name on his dialogue boxes now read "Kiryu" as opposed to "Kazuma", and characters refer to him by his family name followed by the appropriate honorific.
    • Improper names have been corrected; "Sunshine Orphanage" is now Morning Glory Orphanage, and both "Shintaro Fuma" and "Joji Fuma" are now Shintaro Kazama and Joji Kazama.
    • The New Serena Mama is now referred to as Mama by all characters. The name "Mariko" created for the PS3 English localization has been discarded.
    • Terminology such as "aniki" has been kept intact; as such, Rikiya Shimabukuro no longer addresses Kiryu incorrectly with the term "boss".
    • Almost all of the dialogue has been retranslated, with an entirely more faithful localization than the original.
  • The appearance of graphic text overlays in the English release is now in line with the localized system used in other titles. Rather than having the pre-rendered Japanese text overlays with English subtitles, the remastered western version adopts the system of the first two Yakuza games, as well as that of Yakuza 0 onwards, where the Japanese is displayed first, with an English text overlay coming afterwards.
  • Text introducing new characters, objectives, and enemies is now displayed fully in English.

Trivia[]

  • The artwork for the original German release of Yakuza 3 on PlayStation 3 shifted Kazuma Kiryu's face to the right so that it would not be obscured by the USK rating symbol, which is considerably larger than the PEGI, CERO, and ESRB equivalents.
  • In Yakuza 3, Kiryu's second fight with Goro Majima is the final chronological fight between them. In the chronologically later boss fights against Majima, different playable characters fight him.

Gallery[]

Logos[]

Official Art[]

Screenshots[]


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