Can Yakuza Fans Enjoy Yakuza: Like a Dragon?
Turn-based combat was probably something Yakuza fans never expected to come to the show. Yet, Yakuza: Just Like a Dragon brings with it a traditional JRPG combat and development system. Displaying its intentionally overt inspiration from Dragon Quest, the combat system has health issues, magic points, charms, jobs, all kinds of loot, along with a surprising amount of depth between the mechanics. Even if the system isn’t perfect, Like a Dragon seismically alters the battle system away from the beat’em up mechanics that Yakuza has used for more than ten years. That point right there is why some longtime fans might be hesitant to try Like a Dragon.
It is no secret that turn-based JRPG combat systems are comparatively antiquated, with long-running franchises like Final Fantasy either employing hybrid action-strategy combat mechanics or moving away from turn-based entirely. For the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, leaping into a very different genre in such a long-running franchise is a bold move, but an excellent one at that. Yakuza: Just Like a Dragon is still very much a Yakuza game but shakes up the customary formula in a way that makes a lot of sense. But it is clear why Like a Dragon may be a deal-breaker to get a few, but it’s still worth the attempt even if a turn-based/JRPG fight is not someone’s cup of tea.
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Like A Dragon Is Still A Very Familiar Yakuza Expertise
What should be cheering for Yakuza lovers is that even though the game includes a fresh cast of characters in another timeline, a Dragon is still very much enjoy a Yakuza game. Narratively and thematically, Yakuza: Like a Dragon still highlights the melodramatic storytelling motifs that past games in the series have employed. Even at the outset, the game makes that very clear, with the opening hours discussing the origins of this game’s antagonist and protagonist connecting the Yakuza. From there, even though the Tojo Clan is long gone in Just like a Dragon, the narrative of dueling criminal syndicates in Japan remains just as compelling and pleasurable.
Despite Yakuza: Just Like a Dragon’s boisterous new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, the match still balances the principal story’s spectacle with the absurdity of the game’s many side quests and actions. In reality, it’s arguable that Like a Dragon’s format as a JRPG lends itself to Yakuza’s usual obsession with all minigames much better than any game before. More to the point, the lessened concentrate on a protagonist such as Kazuma Kiryu and party-oriented personality growth in Like a Dragon allowed the story to expand to various new character arcs never possible in the preceding games. Like a Dragon’s narrative is still quite reminiscent of Yakuza, but the JRPG format enables the sport to expand character moments much beyond previous games.