Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

released on Jan 16, 2020

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

released on Jan 16, 2020

Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan.


Also in series

Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Like a Dragon: Ishin!
Judgment
Judgment
Streets of Kamurocho
Streets of Kamurocho
Yakuza 5 Remastered
Yakuza 5 Remastered
Yakuza 4 Remastered
Yakuza 4 Remastered

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AND NOW I FINISH!!!

Yakuza like a dragon (which from now on I'll just call Yakuza 7) was a game I had for a while but never got around to finishing. It was actually my first Yakuza game I got on PS4, and I went in assuming it was a spinoff due to the new cast, setting, battle system, and the fact it wasn't a numbered entry on the box. So a reveal 2/3rds into the game that it did in fact tie into the main series combined with that part having an insane difficulty curve meant I never finished it. But that changed, and god damn, this might be one of my all time favorites.

The game ditches it's main cast for a new character, Ichiban Kasuga. And this man is an absolute legend. He's a bombastic goofball ready to help out anyone regardless of their current reputation, seeing the world as a Dragon Quest like fantasy for the hell of it, as he comes into his own with the help of a team of great characters as he uncovers the mystery behind a set of betrayals in his life.

And the main story is great. The new Yokohama setting and it's unsteady peace between rival factions leads to a lot of interesting conflicts, especially as more and more secrets collapse into a final conflict that had me greatly emotional by the end, even if the story falls into the usual Yakuza writing traps like giving a hint certain villains will redeem themselves only for them to die later (you know the part I'm talking about, and it's possibly the worst example in the series) and having themes of standing up for oppressed groups only to have you fight against the homeless people you stood up for ten minutes ago. The game also leans into the Yakuza wackiness in it's main story much more than in previous entries, and for the most part it pays off, managing to be serious when it needs to be with some real emotional gut punches. The other party members are also great, with all of them having great arcs (even if one gets resolved in a post credits cutscene) minus the optional party member who's just a real nothingburger of a character.

And one of the big things about this entry is the turn based combat, which is...fine. The moves all have the impact they need to feel satisfying to land, but the game is insanely easy minus the massive curve I mentioned, and another fight later on (although that one is also really easy to exploit) as well as the fact I didn't really feel the need to experiment with the job system, just picking a job for each character and sticking with it for the game. Also, finding decent weapons for some jobs (enforcer) is really obnoxious. And it's not long before you have a party and just spam the same moves through every fight (turns out all those villains could have thrown darts until they took over crime syndicates this whole time, who knew?)

But what I think this game does better than any Yakuza game is side content. The main way to get money like the Y0 real estate is a business management sim, which is pretty in depth as well as really fun, especially the part where you bring a chicken to a shareholder meeting and it becomes the MVP of the whole side campaign. And the game also has the best substories in Yakuza. The Korean actor, the ghost one, the Baby formula one, all amazing. Especially due to the new summon system allowing you to bring these characters back in really fun ways.

So yeah, one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played, and I'm so glad it started my journey through what is possibly my new favorite game series. Hopefully soon enough I can get a good deal on Judgment and IW, because once I do, I'll be ready.

5 star story, characters, and music
0 star gameplay

preparing me for the homeless life

wow. what a wonderful journey literally so much to say… it was so correct of rgg to phase out kiryu’s character, because while we do all love him, it was exactly time for a new kind of protagonist — someone surprising and expressive! ichiban has this wonderful mix of lightheartedness with fire and jadedness that is such a difference from kiryu and yet such a good match for the series. plus the babiest beautifulest huge brown eyes I’ve ever seen. the story itself took me on a ride, for a while I was like wtf are they trying to stress the importance of blood ties right after doing y6 all about chosen family and broken parent-child relationships? and then I was like is this about destiny (see previous)? I think I landed it being on about the randomness of life and learning to live with what you have which I guess fits the whole bleach japan story too - you can’t change things wholesale to fit an unrealistic ideal… idk

História bacana, personagens fodas, minigames fodas, especiais fodas, músicas fodas, karaoke foda e gameplay de filha da puta (fica foda no 8).