Yakuza: Like a Dragon will probably be launched on November 10, and in case you did not hear, it is really, really good. There’s a variety of anticipation for Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s subsequent melodramatic-yet-goofy crime drama, however there are additionally a variety of Yakuza video games that precede it. If you are planning to take a dive into the collection however need to begin with the most recent entry, we have compiled a fast checklist of issues you’ll want to learn about Like a Dragon and the Yakuza collection at giant earlier than you start your journey by Yokohama.
This is a good entry level
Prior to Like a Dragon, there have been seven mainline Yakuza video games; samurai, zombie, and courtroom-based spin-off video games; a Japan-only cellular recreation; a PSP recreation; and even a live-action film by legendary Japanese director Takashi Miike and its straight-to-video prequel. We suggest you check out the large majority of them. But we additionally acknowledge the collection has a variety of baggage. Starting with Yakuza 0, the chronological first recreation within the collection’ story, and dealing your means as much as Like a Dragon would take a whole bunch and a whole bunch of hours.
In Japan, Like a Dragon continues to be dubbed Yakuza 7 (or Ryū ga Gotoku 7, if you wish to be technical). Here within the States, the quantity has been dropped from the sport’s identify – and that is truly an necessary element. This is the primary mainline recreation within the collection to not deal with protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s story. Like a Dragon stars a brand new character, Ichiban Kasuga, as he tries to search out out why his yakuza clan deserted him after he took the autumn for a homicide (which is form of the story of the very first Yakuza, however I digress). If you need to get technical once more, that is truly the second recreation with Kasuga because the lead; he was the protagonist of Ryū ga Gotoku Online, launched in Japan in 2018.
Like a Dragon is a largely clear slate for gamers. Kasuga’s story is his personal, and the sport even takes place in a brand new metropolis, Yokohama. While longtime followers of the collection will get some nods to earlier video games right here and there, anybody taking part in this as their first Yakuza recreation should not have any bother following the sport’s story.
It’s not a brawler anymore
Yakuza video games are well-known for his or her fight, which has gamers beating the holy hell out of “menacing men” and “thugs” in the course of the road with visitors cones, bicycles, and all variety of different objects. The fight system is admittedly good, too, a carry-over from a few of the workforce’s earlier work on video games like Shenmue and Virtua Fighter.
But just like the narrative baggage earlier than it, Like a Dragon abandons the collection’ long-time fight system. Rather than button-mashing brawls, fights unfold by turn-based fight, full with your personal class-based social gathering members and summons. It’s an attention-grabbing flip for the collection, and a narratively constant one – Kasuga is obsessive about the Dragon Quest collection in Like a Dragon’s story.
These are cleaning soap operas
One of the issues individuals discuss essentially the most on the subject of the Yakuza collection is how quirky and peculiar it’s. The Yakuza video games do have humorousness to them, and admittedly they’re goofy. But most of that’s relegated to the sport’s facet content material. The fundamental story arcs of the Yakuza video games are very severe, very melodramatic, and most significantly, excellent. They are in essence cleaning soap operas.
“If they only want to experience a serious drama, they’ll probably play the main story without even glancing at the substories and minigames, at least on their first playthrough. Then maybe they’ll try those out on their second run,” collection producer Daisuke Sato told us again in 2018. “On the other hand, some players enjoy the huge disparity between the main story’s serious tones and the goofy substories, so I think the balance is really up to the player.”
While the collection hasn’t all the time been essentially the most deft when dealing with heavy topics, Yakuza video games have tackled masculinity, grief, fatherhood, and trauma up to now, by many prolonged well-written and well-acted storylines, usually that includes many well-liked actors from Japan.
For what my cash’s price, video games like Yakuza Zero and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life are amongst a few of the best-told tales in video games. The latter even has the esteemed honor of being the one online game to ever make me cry. There’s a variety of narrative expertise at Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, and that expertise having a recent begin for a brand new story will hopefully carry lots of people on board for its model of Japanese drama.
In brief, whenever you choose up Like a Dragon, all that goofiness will nonetheless be there. But additionally know you are signing up for hours and hours of very severe (and excellent!) story.
Take your time
Speaking of these goofy facet quests, bask in them. I’ve been taking part in the Yakuza video games for a few years, however that is usually a mistake I make. Personally, I’m extra into the collection’ fundamental story arcs than I’m any of the facet stuff. But inevitably, after I’ve beat a Yakuza recreation and moved onto one thing else, I’ll see individuals sharing highlights from the facet content material they discovered. It all the time appears so heartwarming, goofy, and enjoyable. I’m all the time bummed I did not take the time to discover extra in these video games. Don’t make my mistake. Take your time taking part in Like a Dragon.
Historically, Yakuza video games commerce in an enormous open world for a extremely condensed one, usually restricted to a couple metropolis blocks. In most of the earlier mainline video games, this was Kamurocho, intently modeled after Kabukicho in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward. Like a Dragon takes place in Yokohama, a metropolis south of Tokyo. Take your time studying its streets, visiting its many outlets, and assembly the individuals that decision it dwelling. Yakuza rewards exploration and curiosity, and there is nearly all the time one thing new to search out or do in these video games.
There’s nothing fairly just like the Yakuza collection, so take pleasure in your time with Like a Dragon. Explore, sight-see, after which beat the crap out of dangerous dudes on the street.
What’re you most excited for in Like a Dragon? Let us know within the feedback under!