I've decided to finally start playing the Yakuza games. I'm wondering where I should start. Is 3 a good way to or should I just play 4 instead?
Is Yakuza 3 a good starting point?
@Phatmac: Well I'd say this. You can easily start at Yakuza 4 if you want. One of the neat things the Yakuza games have are mini-movies giving you synopsis of each game in the series. Yakuza 4 has one for the first three games and it is the better of the games. That being said they only really cover the large sweeping plot points so many of the character building moments are lost in that context. You could play 4 and have a entire understanding of what is going on in the world however some of the events in Yakuza 4 carry more weight to them if you have a personal emotional investment from the previous game. So really, ball is in your court its all a matter of how much time you are willing to invest. I myself really enjoyed Yakuza 3 and even though they stripped out some of the side content it is still a totally worthwhile game in the franchise.
If you aren't going to start from the beginning start with 4. 3 is easily the worst game in the series, both gameplay and story-wise. I'd suggest just starting with 1 and working your way through the entire series, but 1's combat is kind of clunky and that can turn some people off.
All Yakuza games have a "Story so far" option which pretty much shows all the cutscenes from the previous games. I'd say start with 4 since content wasn't cut from this copy and watch the stories from the previous 3 to understand what is going on. If you enjoy the series then move on to 5 which should be coming out this spring, and if you want to continue forward grab the previous 3, and possibly the Spinoff games.
I would have to imagine that 3's gameplay would get pretty stale having one protagonist throughout the game, but I don't know as I haven't played it. 4 has... four dudes you can switch between and all four had some pretty interesting stories to go along with each of them, as well as given choice moves that help differentiate between them. I started with 4 and can't wait until the fifth one comes out, multiple characters be damned (I haven't been keeping up with what's going on with that game, I do know about Haruka being among the playable characters).
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