Really, the only game I was looking forward to on the IGN Expo slate today — Yakuza: Like A Dragon — simply looks bad-ass. Of course it does, it’s a Yakuza game!
About a month ago on Xbox 20/20, it was announced that Like A Dragon will release on PlayStation 4/5 and, for the first time ever on day one, on Xbox One/Xbox Series X. And since Y:LAD isn’t necessarily “Yakuza 7”, you can jump right in, or, you can dip your toes in the pool with Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami on Game Pass right now . I finished both earlier this year and just chomping at the bit for both Kiwami 2 and Like A Dragon to drop to continue this amazing saga…
Why am I such a huge fan of the series? Crawfish. Crawfish named Nancy. Wha.. wai.. don’t ask. It’s Yakuza. That’s my answer to everything. It’s their answer to everything. In Like A Dragon, you can race Dragon Karts. Yes, weeb, you’ve heard about the RL Mario Karts you can ride around in Japan (an element I sadly missed on my trip earlier this year), so here they’ve souped up the mini go carts with rocket launchers, satellite strikes and the like. But arguably the craziest thing found in the footage revealed today — besides making friends with A Crawfish Named Nancy — is Can Quest, a mini-game where you pick up recycled cans for points, battle competitive can-snatchers and jump the gun on ragin’ garbage trucks.
But the question I bet you’re all wondering, ready to ask at home is: how des this whole.. turn-based RPG combat thing look? Actually, real dope. It doesn’t appear turn-based at all, as SEGA’s senior localized producer Scott Strichart chimed, “[the combat’s] rather snappy.” In the 15-minutes of footage show on IGN, Y:LAD‘s battle mode looks more Final Fantasy VII Remake than Persona 5— and it actually doesn’t stray too far away from the series’ beat ’em stylings at all. While you can’t switch between party members on the fly ala FF7R, the action is just as intense and in-your-face as any other classic Yakuza x P5.
The explanation for the series going this route comes with new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. Dude just so happens to be obsessed with retro gaming and has an imagination the size of the loneliest weeb alive. He pictures his middling street foes as dangerously omnipresent kaiju, and can basically catalog any of these creatures he fathoms into his own Pokédex (not too subtlety labeled Sugidex). Yeah, they’re really taking this title to a whole new level. Luckily for Ichiban he can also do some “adulting”, be it take babes out to dinner or even takeover and manage a high-end candy company (think Kazuma Kiryu with hostess clubs).
Since I’m still under quarantine — and that second wave of COVID may be on the way — maybe I will finish all eight Yakuza titles in one year. That’s almost as crazy as buddying up with a crawfish, but not as crazy as battling other people for disposable cans.. because I live in Hollyweird.
SEGA’s Yakuza: Like A Dragon releases later this year on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 4 & 5.