Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Top Critic Average
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the most invigorating, wholesome and downright fun entry in the series since Yakuza 0. The turn-based combat, while slightly rough around the edges, manages to impress. The new protagonist Ichiban is a delightful addition to the lore. The only reason Yakuza fans won't adore Like a Dragon is if they despise turn-based combat. Even then, it's well worth giving a shot for the beautifully written story and fresh take on the Yakuza formula. Ichiban Kasuga is the hero this world needs right now.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon takes some bold steps in a new direction for the series but neglects to maintain its balance.
A fun, charming, and occasionally brilliant Yakuza game, let down by an overabundance of repetitive turn-based battles.
Like A Dragon pulls off an impressive JRPG makeover while simultaneously taking on all the flaws of the genre.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon impressively pulls off the switch to an RPG in style, providing an excellent combat system supported by loveable characters, and a tantalising main storyline with meaningful side quests.
The turn-based battles don't fully convince but the new protagonist and bizarre mini-games still feel distinctively and entertainingly Yakuza.
It's a new direction for the series, but Like a Dragon captures the essence of what came before while setting out on its own journey.
Like a Dragon's story attempts to touch on certain social issues that are relevant in present-day Japan, such as classism, social status, sex work, and government corruption on a prefectural level. However, the writing often lacks the nuance or range to address the topics at hand, and doesn't give any of them adequate room to breathe. The second half of the game gains some measure of focus as plot threads tie together and result in genuinely surprising twists, but when Like a Dragon drops the ball, it drops it hard. Despite this, the Japanese cast's performances sell the story with evocative deliveries that breathe life into the characters. The finale is an emotional one that brought me to tears and moved me, just as most previous Yakuza games have.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon's cast of misfits makes the wild RPG combat, absurd humor, and dramatic storytelling soar.