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Yakuza 0 rewards you for beating the crap out of street thugs and gangsters in the form of gobs of cash. Gobs and gobs of cash.

The story of Yakuza 0 takes place in Japan in the 1980's. History lesson time, kids! Back in the 80's, Japan was enjoying an economic bubble the likes of which had never been experienced before. People had money to spend and spend it they did. The middle class expanded and the major cities grew into neon jungles with lights everywhere. It was a bit of a weird time.

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Yakuza 0 captures this essence of the 80's in one way by taking your normal in-game income and ramping it up to insane levels. Initially, money is earned through combat. Knocking people down makes them drop cash. A single street fight can earn you tens of thousands of yen – Sometimes even a hundred thousand if you fight enough people.

Think of it like killing an enemy in a game like Zelda, but instead of dropping a single rupee, they drop tens of thousands of rupees.

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Throughout the game, people are tossing around ten thousand yen bills (roughly US$82.88 apiece at the present exchange rate) like they're popcorn at a movie theater. By the end of the first chapter, my character was carrying over ten million yen (roughly US$82,880.00). Simply clearing the chapter earned me another 3 million!

Of course, that's small peas in the world of Yakuza 0. Upgrading a character costs money. Tier 3 upgrades cost 30 million apiece, so while you may think you're swimming in money, your expenses are pretty steep as well.

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Later on in the game, the main protagonist takes on the career of real estate dealer and you start dealing with sums in the hundred millions and even billions...

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Yakuza 0 is currently available in Japan for the PS3 and PS4. No word on an international release.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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To contact the author of this post, write to cogitoergonihilATgmail.com or find him on Twitter @tnakamura8.