Unveiling the game’s central mystery step by step is always exciting, and there’s enough levity throughout the rest of the game to offset the darker tone that this central story revels in. There’s plenty to see and do throughout this game, and I’m excited for the added content coming over the next year, expanding the school setting and the story of Yagami’s best bud, Kaito.
If you never got the chance to play this underappreciated gem, it’s well worth checking it out on new-gen consoles. Prior knowledge of the Yakuza series is not needed, as the game stands on its own narratively. The game’s core mystery is enthralling to unravel, and there’s almost too much else going on around the city to enjoy while you derail the plot. Crack out your case book, crack your knuckles and get going.
If the clunkiness of Monster Hunter has held you back in the past, Rise could be a good jumping-on point to give the franchise another try. I’m not saying you’re going to be seeing pro strategy videos on YouTube from yours truly any time soon, but I might stick around to solve the mystery of the Rampage after all.
All in all, I was surprised at just how well the Persona/Musou combo works. In the Persona series, combat always felt slow, tactical and specific – a game all about discovering and targeting enemies’ weaknesses to take them out before they can hurt you. These two studios have worked out how to make that same methodology work in a fast-paced action combat environment, while still feeling that same sense of mastery. The storyline feels like a true continuation of the 2016 title with characters represented accurately, unlike some past tie-in titles where the characterisation can become one-note. For fans of Persona 5 this is a great way to dive back in and get another helping of this excellent cast, and spend another few dozen hours looking at some of the most stylish UI in gaming.
After the culture shock of such a total change to the Yakuza recipe, I’m extremely glad the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio team took such a big leap when Kiryu’s tale came to an end. Like A Dragon is a revitalised game full of fresh ideas and proves that the series won’t be re-treading the same ground with Ichiban in the driver’s seat. If this is the first step into the new age of Yakuza, I can’t wait to see how bonkers the next game will be.
For those entering in here for the memories of a beloved game, I don’t want to knock the experience for you. This is the game you love! But unlike aforementioned remakes, nostalgia seems like a necessity to enjoy MediEvil rather than just being a bonus. Let all brave knights beware.