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Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name – Analysis



Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is the latest game in the series Yakuzanow called Like a Dragon in a direct translation of its original Japanese name Ryu Ga Gotoku. After a change of protagonist in the seventh game of the main series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon for Ichiban Kasuga due to the supposed death of Kazuma Kiryu, Like a Dragon Gaiden is, as the term “gaiden” indicates, a non-mainline game, showing us Kiryu’s perspective on events preceding and simultaneous to Kasuga’s experience during Yakuza: Like a Dragonadmittedly being a shorter game, although not really with less content and different activities to occupy us.

This way, developers Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (with the publication of SEGA) fill the gap in Kiryu’s story in preparation for the next game in the series that will bring the two protagonists together, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth in a new adventure in Hawaii, which will be launched at the end of January 2024.

Like a Dragon Gaiden This happens following the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, where Kiryu was forced to fake his own death and go into hiding in order to protect the children of the Morning Glory orphanage, signing a pact with the Daidoji faction to become one of their secret agents with the code name “Joryu”. After a mission went wrong in Yokohama (where we can explore the Isezaki Ijincho area, also present in Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Lost Judgment), the Daidoji’s orders force Kiryu to travel to Sotenbori, Osaka (an already familiar area of several previous games in the series) to investigate what happened in Yokohama, uncovering a much deeper plan by the Omi Alliance that will completely change the world of the yakuza (thus fitting in with one of the important points in the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon ). Kiryu is forced to weigh his choices carefully, trying to keep his identity hidden while protecting his new allies and protecting the children of Morning Glory.

Like a Dragon Gaiden The Man Who Erased His Name pv screenshot

The storyline of Like a Dragon Gaiden is noticeably shorter with just 5 chapters, however the quality of writing and its plot twists are at the level that the RGG Studios has gotten us used to, as well as the fantastic choices of characters and actors. There is no shortage of side stories to solve, with appearances by classic characters from the series, almost like Easter eggs for veterans, even including the presence of characters from the spin-off series Judgment/Lost Judgment. In addition to the various activities available in Sotenbori – from mahjong, shogi, golf, darts, billiards, karaoke, the return of Pocket Circuit (miniature car racing clearly inspired by Tamiya Mini 4WD) various arcade machines, underlining the debut of arcade emulation SEGA Model 3 with arcade doors Fighting Vipers 2 It is Daytona USA 2 (this time under the name SEGA Racing Classic 2 due to the loss of Daytona licensing), the return of others such as Virtua Fighter 2.1, Sonic the Fighters It is Engine Raidas well as a choice of several games Master System/SEGA SG-1000 and also a few betting games such as Blackjack, Poker, and the traditional Japanese Koi-Koi Hanafuda and Oicho-Kabu.

There is no shortage of opportunities for Kiryu to show off his physical fighting capabilities throughout the game, returning to the classic style of the series (as opposed to the more strategic system of Yakuza: Like a Dragon), both using his new secret agent techniques, gadgets and There James Bond included, as his classic yakuza style reminds everyone why he is called the Dragon of Dojima. There is plenty of cannon fodder to fill with the punch, as well as fights with much tougher guys and, as is already customary, hidden optional fights that will be much more complicated than all the others, forcing the player to choose carefully where to invest their money. , with plenty of equipment and new skills available to unlock.

There is also the classic “cabaret”, where we can simulate virtual dates with five models, this time chosen in real life through the “Cabaret Club Grand Prix” throughout 2023, where the winner, the livestreamer and VTuber KSON, won a participation in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealthtogether with this presence in Like a Dragon Gaiden with the remaining 4 finalists of the competition.

Speaking of Infinite Wealth, after finishing Gaiden’s main storyline, a demo version of it is unlocked, allowing a taste of what’s coming in the next game, which once again has Ichiban Kasuga as the protagonist and uses the most strategic fighting system of Yakuza: Like a Dragonbut where Kiryu is now one of the characters available in the party, and who will certainly play a large part in the game’s storyline.

Like a Dragon Gaiden It thus offers the classic experience of the series in a 10-20 hour adventure, but with many additional hours of optional content and activities/mini-games that can be repeated infinitely as is customary. Although RGG Studios made no secret of the fact that Gaiden would just be something to fill up the time until the release of Infinite Wealthmanaged to make a product that doesn’t lose anything in terms of quality from its main games, as well as filling a gap in the story of a character much loved by fans and helping to prepare for the next game that is already lurking.

Review by Tiago Vasconcelos.

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