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Story

Taking place in the feudal Japan time period, players take on the role of a Ronin who is left wandering the town of Gishu Amana. Once a quaint fiefdom, Gishu Amana has fallen under the iron fist rule of the Fujimori clan. In opposition to the Fujimori, the Ouka are a small band of former Samurai who used to serve under the previous rulers of Amana, the Sakurai clan. Meanwhile, the common peasants of Amana are bullied by the Ouka and tyrannically ruled by the Fujimori. As with previous games, the story will unfold before the player based on choices and decisions he makes over the course of a playthrough. The developers state that there are over twenty endings in Way of the Samurai 3, and all character items and data will carry over via a " new game plus" option.

Gameplay

Many gameplay elements of the previous Way of the Samurai games return in Way of the Samurai 3, with some slightly tweaked and others being radically overhauled.
 

Titles and Samurai Points

After each playthrough of the game, the player will be awarded with an end-game title and Samurai Points.  While titles are for little more than vanity, Samurai Points can be used to unlock many different secrets, as well as clothing and abilities.

Time-of-Day Mechanic

In previous games, players would only find themselves in time "periods", like morning or afternoon.  With Way of the Samurai 3, a "real-time" clock appears on-screen with a time scale of 1 second of real-life time equaling 1 minute of in-game time.

Travelling

Using a mixture of elements from the previous games, players can either freely travel wherever they wish in-game or they can quick travel via the map.  If a quick travel option is used, time will automatically fast forward.  As well, the safe houses from Way of the Samurai 2 make a return, but players can now move freely within the domicile.  Weapon safes and item safes also make a return, allowing for storage of unneeded accessories.

Combat

While combat is still heavily focused around swordplay, a few tweaks have also been made.  Players can now train in unarmed combat, as well as a return of dual wielding from Way of the Samurai 2.  However, dual wielding can only be learned after acquiring a certain number of Samurai Points.  The biggest addition is the ability for players and NPCs to surrender their weapon when they are losing in a fight.

Swords and Custom Weaponry

The number of swords to collect has risen to over 100, varying between swords, spears, unarmed equipment, etc.  Players will also be able to go to Dojima the blacksmith and create custom weaponry by using various parts you find.
  
 

Upper Stance:

Kokushi-tou
Ochigumo
Sasakure
Agemaki
Ishimatsu
Todomeki
Dasaku
Shishi-Funjin
Ryurai-Zetten
Nozuchi Old Style
Samehadamaru
Ookuronama
Batsu-ichi
Monka-Bokuto
Hoe

Middle Stance:

Moderate Blade
Akisame
Wasabi
Utsusemi
Kikusui
Rehou-Masakuni
Onikirimaru
Samurai Sword
Dull Blade
Kakitsubata
Chabashira
Gankutsu-tou
Oborozukiyo
Manji-Kabura
Kabura-Sutegi
Bokuto
Stick
Tuna

Lower Stance:

Amanojaku
Soumatou
Caterpillar
Gokumon
Ebiten
Hassakutou
Amabiki
Toragozen
Murasakimaru
Kofu-Zecchi
Ippatsumaru
Ouganken

Side Stance:

Shigemori
Shindou
Tuchigumo
Hisame
Harusaki-Kobeni
Chikotsu
Matsukaze
Secchin
Oukasagetsu
Kagebouzu
Mujin-tou
Kansei
My Hoe

Draw Stance:

Kunisada
Hakugei
Tamayura
Shirai-tou
Suzumushi
Yudachi
Hyakki-Yagyo
Haijin
Gekkou
Benihime
Zannkimaru

Single Stance:

Benibotan
Yaochou
Ama-Otome
Seimei
Oboro-Nue
Soukasuiren
Saboten
Hakuu
Nozuchi New Style
Binetsu
Biteikotsu
Short Green Onion

Ninja Stance:

Sayoshigure
Kizume
Kuzu-no-ha
Yume-kochou
Yagarasu
Muramasa
Kuro-tonbo
Zangetsu
Ukigumo-kodachi
Kurotaka

Spears:

Houzuki
Masai
Sazanka
Kotobuki-Taisha
Mikazuki
Jakou
Rasetsunyo
Endou
Bamboo Spear
Long Green Onion
Broom    

Titles

 Actions during the game will result in a specific title being awarded upon completion of a play through.
 
Impatient Samurai - Cleared the game within an hour.
Martial Artist - Complete the game using only Unarmed Attacks
Beloved Samurai - Have the total affinity of all Partners exceed 50%
Grim Reaper - Reach 100% Kill-rate
Harmless Samurai - Cleared the game without killing anyone.
Holy Sword - Clear  the game taking less than 100 damage.
Samurai Pimp - Have 10 or more Partners in a single game
Blessed Samurai - Clear the game while suffering less than 1000 damage. (Doesn't work on Insta-Kill)
Executioner - Total number of Instant Kills exceeded 100.
Annihilator - Total number of kills exceeded 1000.
Merchant - Total amount of monetary transactions exceeded 10,000 Yen.
Slayer - Kill more than 300 people with normal attacks.
Compassionate Samurai - Total number of defeats by Blunt Attack exceeded 30.
Naughty Samurai - Total number of Shameful Slashes exceeded 100.
Vegetarian - Used only vegetables to restore health and the rate of Vegetables Consumed reached 100%.
Riceaholic - Ate over 50 Riceballs.
Insomniac - Cleared the game without sleeping.
Shy - Cleared the game while having 5 or less conversations.
Disturbed Samurai - Kicked a dead boy more than 150 times.
Swordsmith - Made more than 20 weapons in one game.
Litterbug - Total number of weapons and items dropped on the ground exceeded 50.
Sword Geek - Appraise and title more than 15 weapons in one game.
Workaholic - Total number of successful jobs exceeded 20.
Sorry Samurai - Apologize over 100 times
Dojo Conqueror - Killed everyone in the Dojo.
Troublemaker - Kick people over 100 times
Collector - Total number of items and weapons picked up exceeded 100.
Angry Samurai - Destroy over 200 objects.
Chatty Samurai - Total number of conversations exceeded 250.
Osei lover - Collide with Osei over 50 times
Itsuse lover - Collide with Itsuse over 50 times
Princess lover - Collide with Araragi over 50 times
Horny Samurai - Collide with women over 50 times
Gay Samurai - Collide with men over 50 times
Rich Samurai - Total amount of money in possession at the end of the game exceeded 10,000 Yen.
Loner - Cleared the game with no Partners.
Faithful Samurai - Cleared the game with only one partner.
Samurai 4EvR! - Samurai Rank exceeded 120% 
Legendary Samurai - Samurai Rank exceeded 100%
True Samurai - Samurai Rank exceeded 90%
Master - Samurai Rank exceeded 80%
Teacher - Samurai Rank exceeded 70%
Apprentice - Samurai Rank exceeded 60%
Student - Samurai Rank exceeded 50%
Trainee - Samurai Rank exceeded 40%
Novice - Samurai Rank exceeded 30%.
Newbie - Samurai Rank exceeded 20%.
Wanderer - Samurai Rank exceeded 10%.
Nobody - Samurai Rank exceeded 1%.

      

Various Releases

Way of the Samurai 3 was released in Japan for the PlayStation 3 in November of 2008.  Thanks to critical acclaim and good sales, the game was ported to the Xbox 360 in February of 2009.  After much speculation, Acquire announced that UFO Interactive would bring Way of the Samurai 3 to the U.S. on October 13, 2009.

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