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Length wise is about the same. Feature and variety wise, Yakuza 4 is better than Yakuza 3 but you may wish each character has more screen time so you can get to know them more. Yakuza 3 focused on one character. It gives you feeling of longer game.
Yakuza 3 has:
- Slower pace, story picks up on chapter 4.
- Orphanage part(chapter 1 to 3) is hit or miss, you may completely like it or hate it.
- 103 sub stories.
- Focus on one character.
- Less freedom in upgrading skill. Each level has its own set of skill upgrade and no fear of wrong skill upgrade that may get you trouble facing bosses.
- 2 distinctive cities. Kamurocho and Okinawa(country side).
- 4 mini games excluded of 20 mini games.
- No hostess club but you can still date the girls.
- Much harder to get platinum trophy if you care about them.
Yakuza 4 has:
- Faster pace compared to 3.
- 4 different characters, each with distinctive personality and fighting style.
- Length wise is about the same as 3 but since there are 4 characters, you may find yourself wishing to know more about each characters.
- More freedom in upgrading skill. There is consequence, recklessly upgrading skills may give you trouble facing bosses.
- 64 substories. They are more important to do then Yakuza 3. This time sub stories explain more about each characters personality.
- Kamurocho city only. The city expanded so you can explore rooftop, underground and sewer.
- More side stuff variety compared to Yakuza 3.
- All mini games present this time except Answer X Answer(Japanese trivia game) which requires you very good knowledge about Japanese culture.
- Easier to get platinum trophy.
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Yakuza 4 I think has the best story it's great that it follows 4 characters and not just Kazuma as it has been for the other Yakuza games and the fighting is so much better and easier. Yakuza 3 is worth getting and you should be able to get it quite cheap now, but you can watch a recap of the story on Yakuza 4 as it tells you the story from Yakuza 1, 2 and 3.