Although Kazuma wants to leave the Yakuza life behind him, you'll still encounter local thugs on the city streets that are looking for trouble. Fighting is accessible and fun, with light and heavy attacks at your disposal, as well as defensive blocking moves. You can also purchase weapons, ranging from swords to traffic cones, from weapon shops or simply grab them from the roadside. If you score enough hits then Kazuma will emit a blue aura and you can unleash a brutal finishing move using either your equipped weapon or the environment.
Violence can't solve everything and sometimes you'll have to try different methods to fix problems. The action varies in pace according to what's happening in the story, so while you might be slaying dozens of gangsters in a Chinese restaurant one minute, you could be searching for a missing cat or buying clothes for the orphans shortly after.
Minigames are another recurring series feature and Yakuza 3 has a wide range of extra-curricular activities to distract you, from golf to karaoke. Some of these are just for fun, while others are necessary to complete part of a mission, such as playing golf with a councillor to befriend him and get an annoying schoolteacher off your back. Others, like gambling in a casino or mah-jong parlour, give you the chance to win money, items or weapons to improve your chances against tougher enemies.