Should you pay attention to Yakuza: Like a Dragon?

With the Yakuza series, I have always had a rather complicated relationship. I tried to immerse myself in this franchise three times (0 / Shadow Blade 5e / 5) and only the remaster of the first part could go through completely, forcing myself to finish off the final chapters by force. On the one hand, I was interested and attracted by the content in the form of excellent and carbon monoxide side quests. On the other hand, there was the main story, which in my perception always seemed as boring and drawn-out as possible. With all my desire, of all the three parts that I tried to touch, I can not name a single character at all, except for Kiryu and Majima themselves. That’s why I couldn’t find the strength or desire to try to go back there for the fourth time until Yakuza: Like a Dragon came out. As PHIL E … says, so many thanks to Phil Spencer for adding this game to Xbox Game Pass, depriving me of the last doubts “is it worth spending money on it?” or “what if garbage? I’m sorry. ”

Main character and characters

It’s hard to say how I feel about KazumaKiryu. This is an extremely unique character. He is fearless, extremely brutal and any witcher can envy his calmness. But this, in turn, turns him into an extremely wooden protagonist without emotions, without empathy and without any adequate reaction to things happening around. And to the heap, at the beginning of each part, he is constantly expelled from the family and there is no way back. In such a situation, it is very difficult to feel the events, to empathize with the characters, as well as to enjoy the main storyline in general. You don’t feel the importance of events, you don’t see the imprints they leave on the main character. Kiryu is like a huge tank punching its way straight to the end credits.

The structure of the narrative also caused some confusion. Each time, within the framework of the plot, a huge number of characters were always represented, each of which flickers on the screen a couple of times, does something insignificant and we will never hear anything more about him. All these dozens of families, patriarchs, lieutenants and other conspirators are incredibly difficult (and most importantly not particularly desirable) to remember, which greatly complicates any attempts to navigate what is happening.

Gameplay changes and details

Very abruptly and without declaring war, the developers decided to change the genre of the main license plate, turning it into a full-fledged JRPG. Many were skeptical about such changes, and they are quite understandable. But I am extremely happy about that. For 7 previous games, changes in gameplay were minimal and this format always caused me a bunch of questions. Whatever the content of the game, if the gameplay stagnates for a long time, it will not lead to anything good. I would love to see how you can make TRPG from such material. The main thing is that Eldritch Blast 5e shouldn’t do it, I beg you, you don’t need any collectible cards.

Kasuga is a fan of video games in his own right, from which at the beginning of each fight, his imagination takes over and enemies begin to take on a variety of bizarre forms, from beer knights to robotic guards and fighting chefs. And the bestiary here contains quite respectable 252 titles. Some enemies are variations or more powerful versions of themselves, but in general, the game does not in any way deprive you of providing a variety of punching material.

It’s hard not to notice the impact of the Persona series on the new gameplay. A local analogue of social connections has appeared – Drink Links.The style of interface design in battle is very remotely reminiscent of the visual component of P5, there are joint skills – analogs of showtime attacks, and the ability to carry out enhanced strikes against lying enemies is a kind of local interpretation of the 1 More system. Ichiban also acquired social skills that will passively develop throughout the game through the choice of answers in dialogues, third-party activities and a variety of mini-games …

I have never seen such a huge and varied spectrum of third-party activities anywhere else. I’ll just leave the list, comments will be superfluous

  • Sega Arcade Rooms
    • UFO Catcher
    • Fantasy zone
    • Outrun
    • Virtua Fighter 2
    • Virtua Fighter 5
    • Space harrier
    • Super hang-on
  • Dragon Kart is a copy of Mario Kart with its own quests, tracks and cups.
  • Can Quest Collection – mini game of collecting empty cans for various prizes
  • Karaoke
  • Cinema
  • Corporation management
  • Vocational School – aka local vocational school
  • Hostess club
  • F95Zone
  • Mahjong
  • Pachinko machines
  • Golf
  • Darts
  • Baseball
  • Casino
    • Poker
    • Black Jack
    • Koi-koi
    • Oicho-kabu.

The developers have added 24 fully-fledged mini-games, and this is not counting a bunch of other activities that appear in the framework of individual stories.

The game has a system of professions, similar to those that were in the very first parts of Final Fantasy. This function allows you to very conveniently and flexibly adjust the characters to the various needs of the player. Need a healer? Make someone an Idol. Looking for area attacks? Foreman or Breaker. Not without a call system familiar to many. The Poundmates service allows you to call various characters into battle for a fixed fee, which will become more and more during the passage of the storyline, as well as side missions.

Plot and main content

It’s time to talk about the most important thing about the Yakuza franchise. Does Like a Dragon have enough of the game’s characteristic game ? In previous parts, I have repeatedly met the fact that many side quests were riveted on their knees, turning an ordinary skirmish with gopniks into a full-fledged numbered entry in the journal. In fact, it looked like an attempt to artificially fill Firebolt 5e with additional activities. Moreover, the plot and side parts were separated by a huge line. The plot before the seizures is serious, you directly feel how your wrinkles appear from tension. And only then you go to collect cards with half-naked wrestlers in order to roll out a 10-year-old child who mocks you in the local arcade hall.

And even in this aspect, Like a Dragon is pleasantly pleasing. The number of empty missions of the same type is reduced to a minimum, and the main plot not only has a huge number of unexpected plot twists (at the end there are even too many of them), but the very beautiful notes of “what is happening now?” One moment you wake up in a trash heap without a single yen in your pocket, and a few hours later a group of middle-aged homeless people storm an elite nursing home, and it’s just great. Such presentation preserves the format of a serious story, but you cannot get tired of the monotony, because something new and interesting is constantly happening. A large number of active characters allows you to consider each situation from several points of view, further immersing yourself in the plot.

What about side stories? There are crayfish, chimpanzees on an excavator and a sniper trying to shoot a persimmon. Do I really need to write something else to confirm that the game is selected and at an exemplary high level? And the main thing is that it is there in bulk.


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