Like a Dragon: Ishin! Reviews
While Like a Dragon: Ishin! Might not be the strongest entry in this venerable franchise, its emphasis on weapon combat and an interesting take on historical characters and events makes it one worth experiencing all the same.
While it doesn’t feel like it quite reaches the heights of Yakuza 0 or 7, it still stands out as another fun romp through an insane story with an entertaining batch of characters.
Like a Dragon: Ishin! is an enjoyable and interesting spin-off from the Yakuza series, but not an essential one.
Old-school Yakuza for better or worse, but still a good point of entry for newcomers.
The long overdue samurai spin-off is classic Yakuza under its period dressing but also underwhelming as a current-gen remake.
The long-awaited remake of Like a Dragon: Ishin delivers an exciting and frequently gorgeous new setting to explore, a more rewarding combat system, and some of the best side quests and minigames in the series to date. Don't let the katanas fool you, this is the Yakuza you know and love at its very best.
A welcome novelty and throwback for long-time Yakuza fans, that offers everything they love about the series, although it's held back by a rather underwhelming plot and too much fan service.
Like a Dragon: Ishin is an awesome spin-off to an already-great series, and one I'm glad finally came to the States. Even if it tripped on the landing, the story kept me gripped, and I hope some of the new combat styles and special moves make their way to other RGG games. I also hope we'll get the other spin-offs that never made their way over. Time will tell, but for now, it's nice to be back with my favorite criminals.
For all of its strengths, Like a Dragon: Ishin is still weighed down by its cartoonish undercurrent and abrasive ending. On a mechanical and systemic level, it’s a fun jaunt, with familiar faces and more fan service than anyone could possibly ask for, in a vivid historical world. But narratively, it’s a reminder of how quickly the stories in these games can go south. And by the time the credits rolled, I remembered why I’ve had difficulty keeping up with the series over the last few entries. Ishin may be a remake of a 2014 title, but those problems have persisted throughout the interim, and each time it tries to address social issues — current or historical — it takes one step forward, two steps back. The more things change, the more they stay the same, especially in the world of Yakuza.
Although Like A Dragon: Ishin is dated in some respects, the gripping drama and spirit of Yakuza makes for an enticing historical fiction.
You know what happens as a direct result of the Meiji Restoration and Japan’s rise to international power? The colonization of Taiwan and Korea. The horrific genocide against Chinese civilians. Empires demand resources, and modern Japanese history is inextricably tied to wider Asian suffering and bloodshed. It was the reason why I had hoped that Hajime would leave the Shinsengumi before the end of the story. Being part of violent institutions has never suited Kazuma Kiryu. It doesn’t suit Saito Hajime either.
Like a Dragon: Ishin is worth the wait, and fans of the series are in for a real treat. However, it is a niche entry in the series and not one I’d recommend for beginners. In fact, the more of the main games you’ve played before tackling Ishin, the more you’ll get out of it. Nevertheless, it’s a great spin on the Yakuza formula, and I’m glad Sega took the risk and finally brought it overseas.
Impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
A fascinating game in many aspects, which rewards the patient player and eager to explore. It does justice to the legendary franchise it comes from.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Like A Dragon: Ishin is a really fun spin off for this long-running series. Many of the big characters from the mainline Yakuza games, bar some of the newer games, are recast as new ones but none of the impact is lost. Edo Period Kyo is a great city to explore with plenty to offer players, and the combat styles are really fun to experiment with, even if Brawler is a bit wasted. The long wait for a Western release has been worth it.
Though Like a Dragon Ishin! is rough around the corners, its complex story and rich world with an abundance of side adventures are well worth the cost of admission. The game’s reinterpretation of Japan’s Bakumatsu period is a transporting experience that explores a moment in history that is not often available to Western audiences. Ishin has some trouble upgrading the combat system and camera controls to today’s standards, and it’s not a graphical powerhouse despite some visual upgrades. But anyone who is a fan of the Yakuza Kiwami series will likely forgive these faults to a degree. Like a Dragon Ishin! may be just a remake of a spin-off, but its blades are sharp enough to ignite your inner samurai.
Like a Dragon: Ishin in my eyes earns the lofty score I’m giving it. The game is the most fun I’ve had with a single player game in years, and getting a review code for it the same day as Hi-Fi Rush left me spoiled, incredibly tired, and astoundingly happy. It’s worth your time and your money.
As a remake, Like a Dragon: Ishin! is nothing special, but fortunately the game, despite its spin-off nature and a few wrinkles here and there, has little to envy the other chapters in the series.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Like A Dragon: Ishin! doesn't reach the same heights as previous titles, but the new mechanics bring a different feel to the series.