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Yakuza 3
Yakuza3 boxart.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s) CS1 Team[1]
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer(s) Toshihiro Nagoshi (producer)
Masayoshi Yokoyama (writer)
Daisuke Tomoda (character designer)
Composer(s) See Soundtrack
Series Yakuza
Engine Magical V-Engine
(character design)
Native resolution 720p
Version 1.08 (Japan & Asia versions)
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) JP February 26, 2009
NA March 9, 2010[1]
EU March 12, 2010[2]
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, Two-player (through minigames update)
Rating(s) BBFC: 18[3]
CERO: D
ESRB: M[4]
Media Blu-ray Disc
System requirements 5GB installation[5]
Input methods Gamepad

Yakuza 3 is a PlayStation 3 video game, originally released in Japan as As Though a Dragon 3 (龍が如く3 "Ryū ga Gotoku 3"?), the sequel to Yakuza 2 and the fourth installment in the Yakuza series. It is developed by Sega Japan's CS1 Team[1] and published by Sega.[6] It was released in Japan and South East Asia on February 26, 2009 and in North America and Europe on March 9, 2010 and March 12, 2010, respectively.[6]

The sequel, Ryū ga Gotoku 4, was released on March 18, 2010 only in Japan.[7]

Contents

Gameplay

New features

Yakuza 3 introduces PlayStation Network Trophies to the series with 45 trophies[8] (50 in the Eastern releases)[9]. It also adds four new gameplay elements as listed below:

  • Seamless Battle (シームレスバトル shimuresu batoru): The Seamless Battle is a streaming data-based loading-free system that allows the game to directly connect the adventure mode and the battle mode (called "Kenka") without the usual loading black screen.
  • Chase Battle (チェイスバトル, cheisu batoru): Chase Battle is a new battle mode which replaces the regular brawling (Kenka) with a running sequence set in a certain map. Both chaser and chased have a running gauge that decreases as the character runs and or is hurt by someone or something on his way. When the running gauge is empty the exhausted character stops the chase. Somewhere in the game a minor character, Mack Shinozuka will train Kazuma to improve his running performance.
  • Revelation (天啓, tenkei): Ten revelations will allow Kazuma Kiryu to learn new Heat Actions (ヒートアクション) in the Adventure mode, it is rather similar to the system introduced in the previous game Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan !. This time Kazuma uses his cell phone built-in camera to record new moves and techniques. These are acquired through hints and incidents spotted in First Person View. Learned Heat Actions are posted on Kazuma's his personal blog, called Kamuroblo, which uses the same template as producer Toshihiro Nagoshi's own blog.[10]
  • First Person View: When pressing the Sixaxis/Dual Shock 3's R3 button during the adventure mode the standard third person view switches to a brand new first person view mode. This perspective allows a better observation of the streets and people as well as posters reading, but looking at a distant villain in his eyes using First Person View will provoke him and engage an Encount battle. First Person View is disabled in some indoor places.

Event Mode

Event Mode uses high polygon models and Magical V-Engine facial animation.

The main story spans over twelve chapters plus a prologue. As with the earlier games, each chapter is preceded by a cinematic, called "event scene", which later becomes available in the Gallery mode. The western version of Yakuza 3 features 295 minutes of cutscenes according to the BBFC.[11]

Six sub-scenarios, e.g. Date's Pride, Two Fathers, Hometown Girl, The Finishing Touch, Silver Screen Dragon and Murder at Café Alps are special Missions featuring "event scene" cinematics. Holding R1 button and pressing CROSS button will activate an automatic mode that skips the cutscene dialogues.

Adventure Mode

New Kamurocho landmarks include Ibuki's Kamuro Castle which is closely modeled after Kabukicho's Royal Castle Bldg. (王城ビル).
Another new landmark is the Hotel Sea Clipper which is modeled after North Kabukicho's Aland Hotel love hotel.

In the eastern releases, the main story is completed with 103 unique side stories called "sub-scenarios" ("substory" in the original version, "サブストーリー sabustori). These sub-scenarios are divided into two classes Mission and Hitman. There are 103 Missions, some of them are made up of different episodes, and 20 Hitman sub-scenarios, fifteen of these bounty hunter sidestories are located in Kamurocho, the remaining five are in Ryukyugai.

Twenty minigames are available within the Adventure mode. These are aromatherapy massage (eastern releases only), darts, pool, karaoke, bowling, mahjong (eastern releases only), chinchirorin, shogi (eastern releases only), chō-han, koi-koi, oicho-kabu, roulette, poker, blackjack, Answer & Answer (eastern releases only), UFO Catcher, batting cage, golf, surf fishing and Boxcellios. 2-player support for some of these mini games and an expansion for Answer & Answer are added through DLC as well as main menu direct access in the eastern releases. However, the quiz minigame's expansion was eventually removed from the western release and 2-player support became a time limited DLC exclusive to the North American release's Challenge Pack.

Challenges like Mack Shinozuka's training, Inner Fighter 7 and Haruka's Request aren't considered as mini games nor side stories though.

Beating the Adventure in "Hard" mode unlocks the "Ex-Hard" (extreme hard) extra difficulty level. Completing the game in any difficuly mode will create a "cleared data" gamesave and unlock "Premium New Game" and "Premium Adventure". The first allows to restart the game with all accumulated money, items, experience levels and fighting techniques. The latter is a free run mode dedicated to exploration and completion as it doesn't include the main story, sub-scenarios remain though. Extra game contents are added through DLC.

Battle Mode

As with the previous games, the Underground Arena (闘技場) is available. An illicit mixed martial arts competition sponsored by Majima is held in Kamurocho's Purgatory underground area. The Arena is inspired by real life Japanese cage fighting competitions such as K-1 World Grand Prix; the gameplay of this game within the game is similar to fighting games Toshihiro Nagoshi previously worked on such as Virtua Fighter 5 and SpikeOut. Single Tournament has 50 unique international fighters (a minor character with its own profile) and 11 grand prix. These 3-round competitions have various rings, rules and difficulty levels, there are Exhibition Tournament, Street Fight GP, Breakout GP, Heat GP, Bounding GP, Bomber GP, Golden Glove GP, Weapon Master GP, Hyper GP, Magnum Force GP and Maximum GP. Tag Tournament is a two-partner team match including 20 unique teams. Each team is made of paired Single Tournament fighters enhanced with a special duo attack. There are 2 available grand prix named Tag Match GP and Twin Dragon GP. Three Single Tournament fighters and two Encount Battle characters will join Kazuma Kiryu's "Team Dragon" ("Team The Dragon" in the original release) as tag partners once he finds them in the Adventure Mode; these are boxer Maxim Soldatov (マクシム・ソルダドフ), kenpō Blues Ebinuma (ブルース海老沼), puroresu Daiji Hiyama (桧山 大治), Keigo Kanno (神野 慶吾) and Masaki Hatae (波多江真幸). Orders can be given to these partners using the Dual Shock 3's arrow keys.

Beating the Adventure Mode (completing the main story) unlocks 35 additional Battle Missions gathered in a bonus mode called Final Competition (究極闘技 kyoukyoku tougi). First competition has 10 missions and is called "Melee Competition" (乱戦闘技 ransen tougi), second has 5 missions and is called "Showdown Competition" (対決闘技 taiketsu tougi), third has 10 missions and is called "Trial Competition" (試練闘技 shiren tougi), the fourth competition has 5 missions and is called "Cooperation Competition" (協力闘技 kyouryouku tougi). Completing these four competitions unlocks a fifth competition called the Final Competition (究極闘技 kyoukyoku tougi) which has 5 missions. Completing all 35 missions with a "S" rank (the lower being C, B and A) unlocks a special item delivered by Bob Utsunomiya, which is a talisman (闘神の護符, tata kami no gofu lit. "god of fight's talisman") that can be equipped by Kazuma Kiryu giving him a full Heat Gauge.

Once the Adventure Mode is completed the player can start a Premium Adventure and meet a hidden minor character (a clairvoyant woman) who allows to play four Exclusive Modes (専用モード, senyō mōdo) added through DLC. In Survival Battle Kazuma Kiryu must find and defeat the "Last Boss" (ラスボス rasubasu), Yoshitaka Mine; eight bonus bosses are disseminated within Kamurocho. In Survival Onigokko, Onigokko is the Japanese term for the tag game, Kazuma Kiryu is chased by Bob Utsunomiya in Kamurocho, there are ten missions to complete (go to a specific location as requested by the Game Master) in three minutes (the Bob Utsunomiya character and his related contents have possibly been removed from the western releases, see Localization.). All Star Tournament is an extra Arena single tournament that involves all 8 boss characters plus Goh Hamazaki; the latter is a main character that doesn't normally fight since he only appears in the game's Event Mode. All Star Tag Tournament is an extra tag tournament that allows to play with Kazuma Kiryu and his fighting partner Goro Majima against 7 teams of bosses and again bonus characters such as Kazuki, Yuya, Goh Hamazaki and Komaki.

Completion

Regular Japanese coin lockers as found in the Yakuza series. The quest for the disseminated 100 coin lockers (half of them are hidden in Kamurocho, the others are in Ryukyugai) is rewarded in Yakuza 3 with the "Key Collector" Silver PSN Trophy. The latter was called "Gaki no mārōsha" (鍵の放浪者, lit. "vagrant keys") and was only Bronze level in the Eastern releases.

As a mixed game including elements of the sandbox game and RPG genres, Yakuza 3 includes a "Completion" feature that sums up what percentage of the game was actually completed by the user.

Only a 100% completion (Completion + Sub-Scenario) will unlock the final mission involving a recurring hidden all-black character named Jo Amon (亞門丈), a.k.a. "Mysterious Hitman"[12], which is returning from the spinoff[13] and is a secret boss available since the original Yakuza title.[14] In Yakuza 3, Jo Amon's weapon is dual light sabers[15].

The following extended chart includes the Completion feature and shows the differences between the eastern and western releases. A detailed version of this chart is available in the game's options menu. To learn what contents are specific to each release, see the detailed sections Downloadable content and Versions. Some contents included in the following chart require a completed game save file (such as the Battle Mission), a spinoff game save file (Ukiyo's bell) or a PlayStation Network redeem code (Battle Pack and Challenge Pack) to be unlocked.

Yakuza 3 Eastern releases
Japan & Asia (2009)
Western releases
America & Europe (2010)
COMPLETION 633 619
Cabaret Club 10 0
Coin Locker 100 100
Drink & Food 259 259
Heat Action 88 88
Underground Arena 70 70
Custom Weapon 76 76
Revelation 10 10
Mini Game 20 16
SUB-SCENARIO 123 121
Mission 103 101
Hitman 20 20
PSN TROPHIES 50 45
Bronze 43 36
Silver 3 5
Gold 3 3
Platinum 1 1
CHALLENGE 18 18
Mack's Training 4 4
Inner Fighter 7 6 6
Haruka's Request 8 8
BATTLE MISSION 35 35
Melee Competition 10 10
Showdown Competition 5 5
Trial Competition 10 10
Cooperation Competition 5 5
Final Competition 5 5
EXCLUSIVE MODE 34 24 (?)
Battle For Survival 9 (DLC) 9 (Battle Pack)
Survival Onigokko 10 (DLC) unknown
All Star Tournament 7 (DLC) 7 (Battle Pack)
All Star Tag Tournament 8 (DLC) 8 (Battle Pack)
EXTRA CONTENTS 35 16 (?)
2-player Mode 5 (DLC) 4 (Challenge Pack)
Costume Variations 9 (DLC) 9 (Challenge Pack)
Item Pack 8 (DLC) unknown
S-Item Pack 8 (DLC) unknown
Ukiyo's Bell 1 0
Adventure Mode Add-on 1 1
Haruka's Request Add-on 1 (DLC) 1 (Battle Pack)
Answer & Answer Add-on 1 (DLC) 0
Mysterious Hitman 1 1

Synopsis

Setting

Ryukyugai's Karyushi Arcade is based on Naha's Ichiba Hondorigai (市場本通り).[16]

Unlike Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! (often confused with Yakuza 3), which was a Miyamoto Musashi-based spinoff set in the Edo period Kyoto, this latest installment will continue the adventures of Kazuma Kiryu from Yakuza and Yakuza 2. The game will take place both in Kamurocho, a fictional version of Tokyo's red-light district Kabukicho, from the first two games and in a brand new location called Ryukyugai.

Naha's famous Kokusai Street is renamed Ryukyu Street in the game.

Ryukyugai is in Okinawa and is also a fictional area, this one is based upon Naha's Makishi. It includes real life landmarks such as the Ichiba Hondori[16] (linked to Mutsumibashi Dori and Heiwa Dori) covered shopping arcade renamed "Karyushi Arcade" (かりゆしアーケード, karyushi akedo) in the game as well as the popular Makishi Public Market shortened "Public Market" (公設市場, kousetsu ichiba),[17] the famous entertainment strip Kokusai Street called "Ryukyu Street" (琉球通り, ryukyu dori),[18] the Okinawa Monorail Kencho-mae Station as "Ryukyugai-mae Station" (琉球街前, ryukyugai mae) or the Mitsukoshi department store (Okinawa Mitsukoshi) which kept its actual name as part of the game's tie-in policy.

Compared with the earlier episodes, the Kamurocho area had some minor changes with additional backstreets and landmarks. Hence South-East Kabukicho's European medieval castle shaped Karaoke box Royal Castle Bldg. (王城ビル) has been modeled and renamed "Kamuro Castle", and North-West Kamurocho love hotel Hotel Aland has been recreated in Kamurocho hotels quarter as the Hotel Tea Clipper.

Characters

Yakuza 3 main characters are Kazuma Kiryu and Haruka Sawamura though it has a casting of three hundred and sixty characters appearing in the main adventure and sub-scenarios.

Plot

Yakuza series story chronology

Kenzan!
Prologue
Yakuza / Movie Version
Yakuza 2
Yakuza 3
Yakuza 4

Unlike the previous episodes the story is not written by Hase Seishu but by Masayoshi Yokoyama. Yakuza 3 takes a departure from the first two games with its choice of setting: instead of focusing on the gritty cityscape of Tokyo and Osaka, it switches gears and sends Kazuma Kiryu to the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa, where he runs the Morning glory orphanage (アサガオ, asagao) with his adoptive daughter Haruka Sawamura (she calles him "Uncle Kaz") who accompanied him in the previous episodes and the Movie Version.

The Morning glory orphanage is on a land that is owned by Shigeru Nakahara, the boss of a local yakuza clan or bōryokudan, known as the Ryudo Family (琉道一家). Nakahara is under pressure from the country's government to sell the land which is planned to become a seaside resort. When his friend Daigo Dojima, late Chairman of the Tojo Clan, is involved in an assassination attempt, Kiryu once again finds himself in a series of tough situations and has to fight to protect his new sanctuary.[19]

Graphics

The game's default video output is 720p HD graphics without anti-aliasing but it supports 1080p mode upscale.

Production

Event character Game character
Polygon number 18,000 ~ 20,000 4,500 ~ 7,000
Polygon mesh
(head/body/total)
43 / 64 / 107 12 / 60 / 72
Texture size
(front&back buffer)
512 x 512 256 x 256
L.O.D.
(level of detail)
No 3
Data size
(XSI)
2.5 MB 600 KB
Produced number ~110
34 (S) + 70 (A)
250
Production time
(per character)
11 days (S)
6 days (A)
3 days

Daisuke Tomoda, CS1 Team (Sega CS R&D) visual artist and character design team leader of the Yakuza series since the original episode,[20] partially unveiled Yakuza 3`s development at the 2009 Game Tools & Middleware Forum seminar held in Tokyo on June 15.[21] The Yakuza 3 character design started shortly after the completion of Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan! in 2008 with a three-week project phase followed by an eight months production.[21] In the end 110 high polygon characters, for they appear in Event Scene cinematics, plus 250 minor characters were created by 60 teams producing a dozen characters each.[21] Thus 360 characters were produced following a "one person one body" philosophy and a three-day per body target schedule.[21] As a comparison, the production of Yakuza on PlayStation 2 took 10 months and didn't had more volume.[21] The series' production pace is one game per year since the original Yakuza in 2005.[21] CS1 used a slogan to describe the game's graphics: "Not Reality but Real" (リアリティではなくリアル, riariti dehanaku riaru).[22]

Magical V-Engine

As with the previous PlayStation 3 Ryu Ga Gotoku game, main characters have their face scanned through Cyberware's head & face color 3D scanner (model PS).[22] As detailed at the GTMF 2009, Event Scene cinematics are real-time and render highly detailed XSI 6.5 2.5MB data size characters using 18,000~20,000 polygons each;[22] 3D model bones are made of 107 meshes with 64 used for the body and the remaining 43 used for the face.[21] In addition the PlayStation 3 employs advanced graphics technologies without LOD, texture size 512x512 front buffer with 512x512 back buffer, diffuse map and normal map, multi map (ambient occlusion, specular mask, 8-bit specular power RGB) within cutscene.[21] These Event Scene cinematics fully exploit Sega's in-house facial expressions engine called Magical V-Engine.[21] This engine is based on a unique "wrinkles shader" technology (皺シェーダー, shiwa sheda)[21] that allows for advanced facial animation from voice recordings alone.[23] By animating based upon not only the phonetic lip syncing but tone, the software can emulate the basic human emotions in full facial expression.[23]

Audio

Yakuza 3 outputs uncompressed or compressed audio, respectively Linear PCM 2ch/5.1ch (stereo or surround) and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround.[24]

Cast

The game's main characters have their face modeled in 3D after their voice actors who are Japanese celebrities. Softimage XSI 3D data are obtained by scanning a human head[25] with Cyberware Inc.'s latest scanner.[22] These include returning voice actors Takaya Kuroda (as Kazuma Kiryu), Rie Kugimiya (as Haruka Sawamura), Hidenari Ugaki as Goro Majima, and TV series actor Satoshi Tokushige (as Daigo Dojima).

New faces are film actors Tatsuya Fujiwara (as Rikiya Shimabukura) known overseas for his Shuya Nanahara role in Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale and Battle Royale II: Requiem, Nakamura Shidō II (as Yoshitaka Mine) who played in Ronny Yu's Jet Li is Fearless and Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, veteran actor Tetsuya Watari (as Joji Kazama/Fuma) famous for his yakuza roles in Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter, Kinji Fukasaku's Graveyard of Honor and Takeshi Kitano's Brother, veteran singers and tarento Shigeru Izumiya (as Shigeru Nakahara) and George Takahashi (as Goh Hamazaki), veteran seiyu Akio Ohtsuka (as Ryuzo Tamiya), tarento Daisuke Miyakawa (as Mikio Aragaki) and Hiroyuki Miyasako (as Tsuyoshi Kanda).

Soundtrack

The Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 Original Soundtrack (HCV-452) album was published by Wave Master in Japan on February 26, 2009. It is bundled as a bonus enhanced CD in the Yakuza 3 PAL version's standard deluxe edition called Battle Pack[26]. The music was composed by Hidenori Shoji, Kentaro Koyama, Takahiro Kai, Hiroyoshi Kato, Yoshio Tsuru, Hideki Sakamoto and includes a track by Love Sound System (DJ Giuliano, Ayako, Yoshiji Kobayashi). Performers are Minako Obata (a.k.a. Mooki), Chihiro Aoki (chorus) and Mitsuharu Fukuyama (trumpet). Two Karaoke minigame songs are also included, they are performed by voice actors Takaya Kuroda (Kazuma Kiryu) and Rie Kugimiya (Haruka Sawamura). The tracklist for Yakuza 3 has 31 titles (details are available below).

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

Additional soundtrack includes three songs by Japanese rock music artist Eikichi Yazawa.

  • opening theme: Loser by Eikichi Yazawa. This main theme was released as a titletrack single by Garuru Records, the artist's own indie label (GRRC-7), on February 25, 2009.
  • closing theme: Omoi Ga Afuretara (想いがあふれたら) by Eikichi Yazawa from his best of Your Songs 2 released by Toshiba EMI in 2006 (TOCT-26004) and re-released in 2009 by Garuru Records (GRRC-2). This is a reprise of the original version released on his 1997 album Yes.
  • additional theme: Jikan Yo Tomare ~Subway Express 2 Version~ (時間よ止まれ ~SUBWAY EXPRESS 2 バージョン~) by Eikichi Yazawa from his album Subway Express 2 released by Toshiba-EMI in 2002 (TOCT-24840).

Downloadable content

Eastern releases

Eight DLC were delivered through a weekly game update campaign starting on March 5, 2009, with one DLC per week.[27][28] These downloadable contents consist in:

  • eight Item packs and eight S-Item packs delivered in-game by a minor character named Bob Utsunomiya (a clown)
  • 2-player support for five mini games (pool, darts, bowling, golf and Answer & Answer)
  • two add-on (Yakuza quiz series for Answer & Answer and Rank Ex-SSS for Haruka's Request)
  • three extra costumes for Kazuma Kiryu, Rikiya Shimabukura and Haruka Sawamura (costume selection per character is four).

Four Premium Adventure exclusive modes are also added through DLC, these are:

  • Survival Battle.
  • Survival Onigokko (サバイバル鬼ごっこ, sabaibaru oni gokko).
  • All Star Tournament.
  • All Star Tag Tournament.

Western releases

Regular DLC

Four DLC will be delivered on release day with the PAL version's Battle Pack (a.k.a. Premium Pack)[29]. These free downloadable contents are:

  • Battle For Survival: Take on all the bosses of Yakuza 3 as Kazuma (previously known as "Survival Battle" in the Japanese version).
  • All-Star Tournament: 7 character tournament (completed game save file required to access content).
  • All-Star Tag Tournament: 8 team tournament (completed game save file required to access content).
  • Haruka's Request: This unique series of challenge missions will send Kazuma on a task of exploration throughout the entire Yakuza 3 world, playing minigames and entertaining Haruka (completed game save file required to access content).

All these DLC are returning from the Japanese version.

Regarding the western release of the DLC, a Sega America spokesperson officially stated on February 24, 2010: "[T]he western versions of the game will come pre-packaged with codes for the DLC, already localized and ready to be enjoyed"[30]. The missing Survival Onigokko DLC could be an hint that the minor character Bob Utsunomiya was removed as well as the DLC resolving around him (Item Pack and S-Item Pack deliveries).

Extra DLC

Two exclusive extra DLC codes will be sent only to North American customers who pre-order Yakuza 3 in their local GameStop stores[31]. These additional downloadable contents are:

  • 2 player mini games (for Pool, Bowling, Darts and Golf).
  • 3 extra costumes for Kazuma, Haruka and Rikiya (completed game save file required to access content).

These pre-sell only[32] extra DLC are returning from the Japanese version. Previously they were delivered for free through an eight-week downloable content campaign.

Marketing and release

Kamurocho's Irish pub Bantam (a.k.a. Bacchus in the first game) is decorated with real Toulouse-Lautrec posters; here Aristide Bruant.

Tie-in and product placement

Producer Toshihiro Nagoshi made twenty-seven tie-in[33] with local companies to produce 3D model reproduction of existing shop, restaurant or hostess bar buildings. Such replicas include real exterior, interior, products, menus and sometimes jingles.

Kabukicho's tie-in are Club Sega game centers, Don Quijote discount store,[33] Matsuya (松屋) restaurants,[34] Pronto café[35] (a Suntory joint venture) and Karaoke Kan.[36] Collaboration with Sole tanning studio,[37] Promise,[33] Aeon[33] and Geos[33] is limited to visible ads within Kamurocho.

Okinawa's tie-in are Blue Seal ice cream parlor,[33] Quickly bubble tea stand,[33] Sam's Maui steak house,[33] Stone Market accessory shop,[38] Okinawaya (おきなわ屋) shop,[39] Okinawarigura (泡盛蔵) liquor store[40] and Velotaxi Japan.[33] Limited collaboration include exterior design of Naha's Apa Hotel,[41] Okinawa's Mitsukoshi[33] and OPA[33] department stores (they cannot be entered). Orion draft beer,[33] Tantakatan (鍛高譚) shōchū,[33] Higashuzou (比嘉酒造) awamori[33] and Skymark Airlines[33] have ads visible within the Ryukyugai area.

Sega extended its product placement policy which was introduced in the original episode.[42] Now real products can be bought within discount and convenience stores including Axe fragrance,[33] various Ace Cook instant noodles,[43] several Suntory beers or soft drinks (such as Boss Coffee and C.C. Lemon),[33] Pepsi soda (a Suntory licensee),[33] Kodansha magazines (including Young Magazine, Weekly Morning and Vivi).[33] This also applies to bars and pubs since the Suntory group produces alcohol and owns many licenses for foreign alcoholic beverages like Early Times whiskey, Beefeater Gin, Courvoisier cognac and Carlsberg Beer.[33] Suntory vending machines are still disseminated within Kamurocho as in the previous games.

Some sub-scenarios even resolve around product placement with minor characters specially created to advertise products, for example the sidestory involving Ace Cook noodles and the fictitious ramen shop Kyushu Ichibanboshi (九州一番星)[44] or Young Magazine[45] and the generic convenience store Poppo.

Versions

Eastern releases

Kamutai Magazine bundle

As part of the pre-ordering campaign, the Japanese and Asian first prints were bundled with a limited item, a monography called Kamutai Magazine (February 2009 issue).[46]

Rising Dragon Pack
Limited edition Ceramic White 80GB PlayStation 3 "Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 Rising Dragon Pack".

Sony celebrated the Japanese release of the game with a 10,000 pieces limited edition of the Ceramic White 80GB model PlayStation 3 called "Yakuza 3 Rising Dragon Pack" (龍が如く3昇り龍パック, ryu ga gotoku 3 nobori ryu pakku).[47]

Ukiyo's bell

The eastern versions include an exclusive extra Adventure Mode item. If the game detects an existing gamesave of Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan! stored on the PlayStation 3 hard disk drive, a reward item will be unlocked in Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 at the New Game launch. This is a red copper bell called "Ukiyo's bell" (浮世の鈴, ukiyo no suzu) and used by Miyamoto Musashi (a.k.a. Kazumanosuke Kiryu) in the spin-off, it can be equipped by Kazuma bringing him 3pts in both defense, edge and firearm.

Western releases

Localization

The PAL version features the Japanese voice cast (with localized subtitles) and includes a previously unreleased 18-minute video interview of Tamiya according to the BBFC.[48]

Other bonus contents include a free compact disc with the game's original soundtrack and an animated characters guide. Western packages also come with PlayStation Network redeem codes to unlock DLC; these western bundles are called Challenge Pack (time limited) and Battle Pack (regular).

Although the game was not been censored for the western release, some content was removed due to time constraints. According to a Sega representative:

"The content between Yakuza 3 US/UK and Yakuza JP is a little different in that we took out certain bits in order to bring the game to the west in the time alloted for us to do so. The parts we ended up taking out were parts that we felt wouldn't make sense (like a Japanese history quiz game) or wouldn't resonate as much (such as the concept of a hostess club). We didn't replace the parts we took out, but we made absolutely sure that the story continuity stayed intact so that the story experience was the same as the Japanese version and that it didn't take away the human drama so inherent to the Yakuza series."[49]

The western localization of Yakuza 3 was officially unveiled by Sony and Sega in late December 2009[1][6]. The same month, Sega Australia managing director Darren Macbeth declared in an interview with Gamespot:

"The publisher needs to be comfortable enough that there is a strong market in the West before giving the go-ahead to local Japanese releases like the Yakuza series. In a lot of cases we have a very strong vocal group of fans, who demand the opportunity to play these games in their local markets, and are very outspoken in their support. However, when the time comes, they are reluctant to stay committed and actually make the purchase."[50]

Removed contents

On February 24, 2010, a Sega America Blog community manager officially declared[51]:

"We wanted to confirm that there is some content in the Japanese version of Yakuza 3 that didn’t make it over to upcoming Western version, mostly involving the Hostess Clubs and the Japanese History trivia sections. [...] 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."

This statement was an answer to IGN journalist Greg Miller's unofficial insight report of February 23 claiming:

"Even though the hostess clubs are out, you can still go on dates with the girls.[...] The strip clubs are still in Yakuza 3."[52]

The referred strip clubs are "Show Pub Asia: Kamurocho Asia Beauty Show Dance and Pole" and Ryukyugai's "Canal Grande: Cabaret Club", both are linked to main and side stories in the original Japanese release and therefore were not removed as confirmed by a new game trailer. This video shows the game's locations and was officially released by Sega on February 25.[53] A Sega PR further commented to Kotaku blog on February 24, 2010:

"We had a tight schedule to abide by for localizing and releasing Yakuza 3 in the west. Due to the limited time we were given we had to leave certain bits of the game out and we chose portions we felt didn't resonate with western culture i.e. a Japanese history quiz show and the concept of hostess clubs. [...] Given the options of releasing the next chapter of a beloved game so that our fans can experience the story of Yakuza vs. not releasing it at all, we felt it was worth it to release it with 99% of the content intact. We made sure that the story in no way, shape or form changed from the lack of the quiz show or hostess clubs. You can still go into Cabarets and on dates with the ladies in the game."[54]

Shogi chess minigame was removed from the western releases as hinted by the removal of its PSN Trophy[55][56].

Sega gave no details about what was cut but comparing the eastern and western releases PSN Trophy lists is revealing since five trophies (out of 50) were removed, hence two sub-scenario missions (out of 103) were cut as well half-aspect of romancing the club hostesses (out of 10 completion challenges) and four minigames (out of 20). The remaining 45 trophies are the same as in the original Japanese 2009 release, except two Bronze trophies, named "Legendary Champion" and "Key Collector", were upranked as Silver trophies.[56][55] Removal of a first trophy called "Good Coordinate" (グッドコーディネート, guddokōdinēto)[55][56] hints the sidestory called Let's make a no.1 club hostess (No.1キャバ嬢をつくろう! or short キャバつく, kyabatusku) was cut. This mission consists in picking up a young female non-player character (NPC) in the Ryukyugai (Shoko, Hiromi, Shō, Kirie) or Kamurocho (Ritsuko) streets and to make her an entertainer, in cabaret club South Island, by customizing her physical aspect (with variable parameters such as make-up, haircut, dressing and à la mode accessories). The purpose of this sidestory is to make an attractive club hostess for whom male customers (NPC) will spend money. Practically they spend time together, speaking, while Kazuma Kiryu watch over her as a bodyguard. A similar club management mission was introduced in Yakuza 2[57]. Club or "cabaret" hostesses are a common phenomenon in Japan and have dedicated fashion magazines; such as Koakuma Ageha (小悪魔 Ageha) which is a tie-in with the game.[58]

Removal of a second trophy, "Futōpara" (太っ腹, lit. "generous")[55][56], hints the ten-episode hostess clubs completion challenge (キャバクラ, kyabakura lit. "cabaret club") was partially cut since this trophy consists in spending a large amount of money in Club Ageha, Club Koakuma and Flawless.[55][56] In this multipart completion, which is a romancing challenge, Kazuma Kiryu orders drink and food while conversing with the ten hostesses. All characters are modeled after a real Japanese hostesses cast and this gameplay element was introduced in the original Yakuza episode. In fact, the possibility of romancing club hostess characters outside clubs in the western releases of Yakuza 3, as officially announced by the Sega representatives, is eventually confirmed by the presence of Ryukyugai Flawless cabaret club's Mika Tsuchiya hostess playing pool minigame on the North American edition package's backcover[59]. This possibility is inheritated from the Japanese version since the romancing completion challenge actually includes both hostess club dialogues (ordering meals and offering presents) and dating activities such as dual sessions of pool, darts, bowling and karaoke. If the former text part was cut, the latter dating part, which requires a minor translation work, definitely remain in the western releases[54].

Mahjong minigame was removed from the western releases[55][56].

Third removed trophy is "Esthe mania" (エステ・マニア, esute mania)[55][56] which requires the player to take the Love In Heart massage parlor's two courses. What hinted here is this erotic minigame was cut along with its connected sidestory (俺のこと?, ore no koto) where the masseuse, Ayaka Tsubaki, reveals Kazuma Kiryu she is actually a transexual. This minor character is modeled after its voice actress, Ayana Tsubaki, who is a Japanese TV personality and a transexual herself.

Fourth and fifth cut trophies, respectively "Fudō no kishi" (不動の棋士, lit. "unmovable shogi player") and "Sarashi no ryu" (晒しの龍, lit. "bleaching dragon")[55][56] hint that both Shogi chess and Mahjong minigames were removed from the western releases. These are based on traditional board games that are fairly popular in Japan, yet uncommon overseas.

Another confirmed cut is Kamurocho Club Sega's Answer & Answer, a Japanese History quiz minigame based on the real Sega arcade game which is only available in Japanese game centers. The last known cut is an Adventure Mode unlockable bonus item, Ukyo's bell, which, is awarded to series fans who played the eastern market-only PlayStation 3 spinoff and, didn't made it to the western release for practical reason. Since this spinoff, titled Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan!, is exceptionally set in the medieval-era instead of modern days, such trivia item could not possibly be unlocked overseas and wouldn't even make sense as the characters connected to it are unknown to western players.

Challenge Pack

According to a community manager's official announcement on the Sega America blog:

"Yakuza fans who pre-order the game at their local GameStop will receive additional content via the Challenge Pack. This will allow them to enjoy 2 player mini games, competing against their friends at Pool, Bowling, Darts and Golf. They will also be able to customize their principle characters with four alternative costumes for Kazuma, Haruka and Rikiya."[31]

Battle Pack

The PAL version will be released as a standard deluxe edition called Battle Pack[60] (or Premium Pack[61]). The package's sticker lists the following free contents:

"Bonus enhanced CD soundtrack with a guide to Who's Who in the world of Yakuza + 4 pieces of unlockable content."[61]

As an ECD, this bonus hybrid disc contains both audio and PlayStation 3 compliant -or not[62]- Flash/Java or .exe based data (the latter executable format requires a computer to read it). The audio part is the full OST featuring the 31 tracks licensed by JASRAC; it was previously sold by Sega's audio branch in the Japanese market and is now offered to western customers. The data part cointains a fully animated characters guide called Yakuza Who's Who; like the OST these profiles are exclusive to the western releases.

Licensed movie version

North American video distributor Tokyo Shock (Media Blasters) has set the release date and cover art of its licensed DVD version for Yakuza: As Though a Dragon in order to match the local marketing for Yakuza 3. Hence the English subtitled version for Takashi Miike's 2007 live-action film adaptation of the first Yakuza game was originally planned for a March 2010 release date; the release schedule was eventually changed to February 23, 2010[63] though.

Sales

Yakuza 3 is the PlayStation 3's second best seller game for 2009 in Japan, following Square-Enix's million-seller Final Fantasy XIII[64] but outselling Capcom's Resident Evil 5 blockbuster,[65] and is part of 2009's best-selling titles in this market with 499,436 copies sold until December 7, 2009 according to Weekly Famitsu.[65]

Due to their commercial success all Asian versions had bargain re-releases, a PlayStation 3 the Best edition in Asia on November 30, 2009,[66] then in Japan on December 3, 2009[67] and a PlayStation 3 BigHit Series edition on December 11, 2009 in Korea.[68]

Playable demo

A Trial Version (龍が如く3 体験版) was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store in February 19, 2009.[69]. The same demo was released on the European PlayStation Store in February 18, 2010.[70] The latter, was taken from the exact same part of the game, but featured full english texts and subtitles.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 84%
Metacritic 83%
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A-
Eurogamer 8/10[71]
Famitsu 38/40
IGN 8.5/10
Awards
2009 Japan Game Awards:
Award for excellence
(Games of the Year Division)[72]
2009 SCEJ PlayStation Awards: Gold Prize[73]

The Japanese industry gave it the "Award for excellence" in the Japan Game Awards 2009's "Games of the Year Division" for its "Dramatic story development, freedom of the story and the graphics elaborated up to the details of the work. In addition, amusement found in every portion of the game including the vast number of sub-stories and mini games. This work was awarded the prize for the high quality of entertainment."[74] Yakuza 3 also earned SCEJ's PlayStation Award 2009 Gold prize for achieving +500,000 sales in the Japanese market.[73] Other Gold Prizes were Resident Evil 5 (PS3) and Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP).[73]

Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu rated the game 38/40.[75]

References

This article contains Japanese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of kanji and kana.
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  4. ^ "Yakuza 3". Amazon.com. 2009-12. http://www.amazon.com/Yakuza-3-Playstation/dp/B0030GBSUC/. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  5. ^ US edition backcover
  6. ^ a b c "Yakuza 3 Marches West". Aaron Webber Assistant Community Manager, Sega of America. 2009-12-08. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/12/yakuza-3-marches-west/. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  7. ^ "Ryu ga Gotoku 4 official website". Sega. 2009.12. http://ryu-ga-gotoku.com/four/index.html. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  8. ^ Yakuza 3 (western releases) Trophies List
  9. ^ Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 (western releases) Trophies List
  10. ^ Toshihiro Nagoshi (2009.12.28). "Toshihiro Nagoshi Official Blog". Ameba, ameblo.jp. http://ameblo.jp/nag0617/. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
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  12. ^ 【人中之龍3】100 % 全達成! ( 有捏圖文版 )
  13. ^ 龍が如く見参 vs亜門 丈之進(ノーダメージ)
  14. ^ Ryu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza): Secret Boss
  15. ^ ryu ga gotoku 3 龍が如く3 亜門 丈に被ダメせずに虎落としあてまくる。
  16. ^ a b IIramboII (2009.12.31). "While Waiting For Yakuza 3 (footages of Ichiba Hondori and Karyushi Arcade)". Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGqcP28cT7U. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  17. ^ Footage of Makishi Public Market, real life version of "Public Market"
  18. ^ Footage of Kokusai Street
  19. ^ Toshihiro Nagoshi Discusses Yakuza 3
  20. ^ Daisuke Tomoda (2009). "Daisuke Tomoda profile at LinkedIn". LinkedIn website. http://jp.linkedin.com/pub/daisuke-tomoda/14/b65/709. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
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  23. ^ a b Leigh Alexander (2007.12.12). "Sega Testing New Voice-Recognized Facial Animation Tool". Gamasutra website. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16609. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  24. ^ Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 Japanese edition back cover (BLJM-60132)
  25. ^ Reported by 木原卓 Photo by 佐伯憲司 (2009.01.23). "セガ、PS3「龍が如く3」完成披露会を開催 渡哲也さん、藤原竜也さんら豪華キャストが大集合". Game Watch. http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/20090123/ryu.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  26. ^ Product page at Play.com
  27. ^ Ryu ga Gotoku official website, Extra contents, Schedule
  28. ^ Yakuza 3 Extended With Eight Weeks Of Extras
  29. ^ Battle Pack advertising
  30. ^ What’s up with Yakuza 3?
  31. ^ a b "Yakuza 3 Pre-order bonuses". Sega America blog. 2010.02.10. http://blogs.sega.com/usa/2010/02/10/yakuza-3-pre-order-bonuses/. Retrieved 2010.02.24. 
  32. ^ Yakuza 3 Challenge Pack product page at GameStop
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  34. ^ Yakuza 3 & Matsuya collaboration
  35. ^ Yakuza 3 & Pronto collaboration
  36. ^ Yakuza 3 tie-in campaign
  37. ^ Yakuza 3 & Sole collaboration
  38. ^ Stone Market official website
  39. ^ Okinawaya official website
  40. ^ Okinawarigura official website
  41. ^ "アパホテル〈那覇〉 |【公式】アパホテル/全国ホテル予約サイト APA HOTEL". Apa Hotel website. 2009.12. http://www.apahotel.com/hotel/kyusyu/04_naha/index.html. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  42. ^ "Product Placement in Video Games". http://www.fivebyfifty.com/2009/03/03/product-placement-in-video-games/. 
  43. ^ Yakuza 3 & Ace Cook collaboration
  44. ^ Ace Cook & Yakuza 3 tie-in - special site
  45. ^ Yakuza 3 & Young Magazine collaboration
  46. ^ "『龍が如く3』、2009年2月26日に発売決定! 予約特典は......あの冊子!". Famitsu website. 2008.11.28. http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/1220123_1124.html. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  47. ^ "限定10000台! 『龍が如く3』“昇り龍パック”のデザインが決定". Famitsu website. 2009.01.06. http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/1221066_1124.html. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  48. ^ BBFC (2009.12.08). "Yakuza 3 rated 18 by the BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/website/Classified.nsf/e8ea0df3a881175480256d58003cb570/3ab2c7a0185f1484802576860059448d?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
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  50. ^ Laura Parker (2009.12.28). "Nagoshi talks Yakuza 3". GameSpot AU. http://www.gamespot.com/pages/gamespace/updates.php?pid=950186&sid=6243556&skipmc=1&mode=previews. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  51. ^ What’s up with Yakuza 3?
  52. ^ "Yakuza 3 Loses Content in the West". IGN. 2010.02.23. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/107/1071367p1.html. Retrieved 2010.02.24. 
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  55. ^ a b c d e f g h [1]
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h [2]
  57. ^ Yakuza 2 software manual (US edition), page 10
  58. ^ Ageha Shop website
  59. ^ North American back cover
  60. ^ "Yakuza 3 Battle Pack". Play online store. 2010.02.24. http://www.play.com/Games/PlayStation3/4-/13067550/Yakuza-3/Product.html#. Retrieved 2010.02.24. 
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  62. ^ The Yakuza 3 Battle Pack's advertising shows the "Yakuza Who's Who" bonus content displayed on a computer monitor screen rather than a television screen which can be an hint that a computer will be required to use the data part of the enhanced CD.
  63. ^ As Though a Dragon (2007) on Amazon.com
  64. ^ "Final Fantasy XIII: One Million Served". IGN.com, Anoop Gantayat. 2009-12-18. http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/105/1056449p1.html. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  65. ^ a b The top 10 best-selling games of 2009 thus far in Japan
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  68. ^ "용과 같이 3 [BigHit"]. Sony Computer Entertainment Korea. 2009-12-11. http://www.playstation.co.kr/ps_game/gam_main_view.sce?sid=1403. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  69. ^ 「龍が如く3 体験版」、明日19日よりPlayStationStoreにて配信開始!
  70. ^ http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2010/02/18/‘heads-up’-playstation-store-update-18th-february-2010/ PlaystationStore Update 18th February
  71. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/yakuza-3-european-review
  72. ^ "Japan Game Awards 2009 > AWARDED GAMES - Games of the Year Division". COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT SUPPLIER'S ASSOCIATION (CESA). 2009. http://awards.cesa.or.jp/en/prize/year/10.html. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  73. ^ a b c 編集部:oNo 編集部:Nobu (2009.12.03). "SCEJ,日本国内でヒットしたタイトルを表彰する「PlayStation Awards 2009」を開催". http://www.4gamer.net/games/043/G004323/20091203054/. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
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  75. ^ N4G.com

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