Or, I guess the question, should I play 3 before 4 is more apt. I want the best 'Yakuza' experience possible, but I don't always (if ever) finish all of my games. However, on the off chance that I do really like the series, I don't want to have already ruined 3 by playing 4. If I play 3 first, I have the opportunity to play 4. But if I play 4 first, I doubt I will go back down to 3 (especially since it shows you the key cut scenes in 4). But if 4 is the better game, I may want to start with that first. It has Hostess bars, or so I've heard. What do you guys think?
Do I need to play Yakuza 3 before 4?
If you really want the best Yakuza experience possible...you should probably start with 1, or 2. But for your question, yeah, 3 before 4, even though it does tell you everything, there are small things that you'd need to see for yourself, like lots of side quest continuations.
If you have the opportunity and means to play Yakuza 3 before 4, you should do so, as the games are often about appreciating the little things. If you're tight on cash and not that interested in 3, just play 4, because it is fine as a self-contained game. It is just better if you have played the previous games.
And as Shiro said, if you have time, give 1 and 2 a shot, as well. All of the games have some running threads; though, they aren't absolutely necessary. They're just nice when you notice them as the games progress.
In other words, if you can, play the previous games first. If it's any kind of hassle, just play 4.
I would say a lot of people are not enjoying 4 because they've already played 3. Yakuza 4 is pretty much just a story continuation - gameplay-wise, they've done very little to Yakuza 4 to change things up. So if you're of the camp who didn't enjoy Brotherhood because of Assassin's Creed II, or Black Ops/MW2 because of MW2/Modern Warfare, I'd suggest just playing Yakuza 4 so that you're up-to-date by the time Yakuza 5 comes out.
The story, characterization, and atmosphere are among the series' greatest strengths; if at all possible, start from the beginning.
I don't always (if ever) finish all of my games.
Well, these are some relatively long-ass games. The first game alone took me thirty-five hours to finish. Granted, I did complete most of the "sub scenarios." Still, it's something to consider. I mean, did you watch the Yakuza 4 Quick Look?
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