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Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Nice change of pace from previous Yakuzas! (Spoiler-free)



Finally got around to this. I'm only a couple of hours in, but enjoying the change of pace to turn-based JRPG. Keep in mind this is my actual first turn-based JRPG, ever. But already, this early on it seems like it's gonna be a much deeper gameplay system than the almost-blind "button mashing" of the beat-em-up Kiryu games.

(I've reduced images to fit reasonably within the post; I think if you click on them, you get the full picture. Full resolution is 3440x1440).

It's great. I get introduced to the main character:




.... wait. What!? False advertisement. Where the fuck is the HAIR!?




Ahhhhh... that's more like it. (That whole salon scene is hilarious as fuck :messenger_tears_of_joy:. It's pretty early in the game so I'm not spoiling anything.)

I already really like Ichiban. He's a fresh change of pace from Kiryu. He's introduced as kind of a noob, albeit an "endearing" noob. But -- he's loyal, he's funny, he's kind of a scrub (at first), he can be loud and embarrassing, he can be brooding, and everything else -- which is a much wider range of expression than Kiryu ever had. Speaking of which, man his Japanese voice actor, who is the same guy who voices Akira Nishikiyama ("Nishiki") in Yakuza 0 and Kiwami, is fantastic. But excellent voice acting is to be expected from the Yakuza games.

Oh, right -- there is full English voice acting. It's not bad, but I can't quite play Yakuza with English voice acting... c'mon man.

Gonna get used to the RPG and its shit ton of stats:




"Throwbacks" -- man, if the game is gonna have callbacks to previous Yakuza games like this, it's gonna be pretty fuckin' awesome. "Some moron drove a dump truck through it".... LMAO. If you played the original Yakuza 1, or Kiwami, you know who the "moron" is that Adachi is referring to. Speaking of Adachi, it's pretty obvious he's about to become the first member of my "party." Wait, JRPGs have "parties," right? Sort of like your posse or some shit?



Running on a 6900 XT, I can easily max out everything at 3440x1440. Framerate is a bit all over the place -- can of course go to the 120s/130s, but can go as low as mid-70s sometimes. But thankfully it doesn't feel too jarring, especially because I have a FreeSync monitor.
Story is pretty engrossing so far, which I expect from a Yakuza game. A bit too heavy on the cutscenes though; but this early on, it's understandable, as you have to get exposition to a lot of characters, and flesh out Ichi's backstory.
Just doing missions right now -- the game hasn't really opened up, I'm sure it will in a couple of hours. Oh yeah, I totally expect this to be a 100-ish hour game.
Turn-based system is pretty good. Actually the position of your enemies matter. If you try to attack some dude, but there's another dude directly in front of him, the dude in front of him is gonna smack you up, and you'll actually lose your turn. Also, it's nice that they give you "parrying" tools to reduce/eliminate the damage from enemy attacks during their turns.


Move aside, Kiryu. Kamurocho has a new king:



Alright, excited to get going with this! I'll post gameplay and plot updates periodically in this thread. (Major plot updates will be Spoiler-tagged of course). And I ask that you do the same -- if you are excited about this game and already played it, and want to discuss a plot point, please hide it behind Spoiler tags. Thank you :messenger_sunglasses:
 
Easily my favorite RPG since the PS2 era. An incredibly underrated JRPG that is simultaneously well regarded otherwise. There’s just nothing else like it out there, imo. Somehow captures the intersection of FFX, Earthbound, and Sleeping Dogs all in one package.
This is my first ever turn based JRPG, so this high praise is great to hear.
 

TwiztidElf

Member
Fantastic game.
The story, characters and locations are all phenomenal.

My personal 2021 GOTY (PS5 version came out 2021).
Note, there is one section that you will have to grind a bit. But I found it to be fun and entertaining grinding. Not boring.
 
Terrible yakuza game. Good jrpg?
I'm forcing myself to continue after chapter 12.
The series could stop at Yakuza 6 and focus in Judgment franchise. Lost Judgment battle forms are amazing.
The lore so far is boring asf and not even nishiki voice actor can save the protagonist. He is... dull, I don't like it.

But I also hate Yakuza 4. So I dunno, maybe I'm a old man talking to birds.
 

Fbh

Gold Member
Never ended up picking it up because I was waiting to play it on Ps5 (which I just got like a month ago) so it being on Ps+ next month was a nice surprise.

I'm definitely looking forward to playing it. As much as I like Yakuza 0-6, the franchise needed a change of pace IMO.

Judgement having similar combat to Yakuza and also bring set in Kakurocho is one of the main reasons I haven't played it
 
Enjoy the GOTY.

It was my first Yakuza game and it blew my MIND how awesome it ended up being.

This game lead me to play through Yakuza 1-6 and most recently Judgement and Lost Judgement.

You will not waste your time, have fun!
I don't think to begin as first game is a good idea. There are major spoilers, and the game it is YAKUZA 7. Play Kiwami 1/2 and until 5 them play 0. You will get the references way better this way. Them 6 and 7.
 

jaysius

Member
I'm playing through his now and only in Chapter 4 but so far it's superior to every other Yakuza, there is pure silliness but the tone of the entire game is silly, unlike the other Yakuza series that have grown ass men freaking out for minutes over minute details like how someone poured coffee or something else stupid.

So far it's a great game, the characters are fun and learning their backstory is entertaining.
 
Very fun game. All of the characters are likeable and the story is interesting as well. I got stuck at a boss fight I think but I need to get back to it

Where I got stuck:
it's the one where you go to the Korean base and end up fighting the fake homeless guy from your party. The other dude in the battle keeps wiping out my team with his gun. And the fake homeless guy was my sole healer 🤦‍♂️
 
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SkylineRKR

Member
Its one of the better games in the series. LaD is really funny while the story is actually rather dark and fairly good. The RPG change made the map more interesting to me, you have to explore it and some areas have enemies you can't beat yet. Use ATM devices at Poppo for this reason.
 

EDMIX

Member
Yup! Loved it.

Zero is still my favorite

One of the greatest prequels ever made for a game series. One of the few times I wish i never played the originals and just had Zero to start lol Anyone starting with Zero starts off on such a crazy first game, it sets the tone for the rest of the series for em. Zero to Remake 1 makes much more sense then just the remake to 1. Its a great story, but that build up in Zero really makes it a must play for anyone new to the IP.


I'm also a sucker for period pieces too lol





 
One of the greatest prequels ever made for a game series. One of the few times I wish i never played the originals and just had Zero to start lol Anyone starting with Zero starts off on such a crazy first game, it sets the tone for the rest of the series for em. Zero to Remake 1 makes much more sense then just the remake to 1. Its a great story, but that build up in Zero really makes it a must play for anyone new to the IP.


I'm also a sucker for period pieces too lol





0 was my entry point to the series.

6 games and countless hours later, Yakuza is one of my favorite gaming series.

One of the reasons for its success is that the game is a sort of "greatest hits" of all Yakuza games released prior to 0. There are characters, locations, and even fighting styles that connect with the previous games.

Kiryu side:
- Tachinaba is a clear stand in/prototype version of Daigo
- Oda is a clear stand in/prototype version of Akiyama
- There is of course Nishiki and Kazama who are both very important in Kiryu's life
- Kiryu's "Beast" fighting style is inspired by the slow/big damage style used by Saejima in 4 and 5
- Kiryu's "Rush" fighting style is a bit inspired by the fast/counter-based fighting style from, uhhh... Shit, I forget the name of the cop dude in 4.
- Of course, Kamurocho.

Majima side:
-
Lee can't be a more obvious, clear stand in/prototype version of Saejima.
- This one might be a bit of a stretch, but at least in looks (definitely not in behavior), and in the role she serves, Makoto is a stand-in/prototype version of Mirei Park.
- Nishitani can't be a more obvious stand in/prototype version of... Majima himself. Or at least what Majima would become later in the series, since his personality is so dramatically different in 0 than it is in the rest of the series.
- Majima's "Slugger" fighting style leverages both Majima's own love of baseball (which is referenced many times over the course of the Yakuza games) and a direct inspiration from the baseball bat/weapon based combat of... Uhhh shit, I forget the name of the baseball dude in 5. (Shinada? Yeah... I think that sounds right)
- This one is a bit of a stretch but his "Breaker" style is fast, kick-centric in the same way Akiyama's style is fast, kick-centric in 4 and 5.
- Majima is based in Sotenbori which is an important locale in both Yakuza 2 and Yakuza 5. Hell, when Majima is introduced in 0, a theme called "Customer Creed" plays, which is a jazzy, upbeat theme directly inspired by "Outlaw's Lullaby" which is the jazzy, upbeat theme that plays in Yakuza 2 when Kiryu fights regular thugs in Sotenbori.

0 takes all of these references from previous games, and adds a lot of its own stuff, to make a fantastic Yakuza experience for newcomers and series veterans alike.
 

Thief1987

Member
Easily my favorite RPG since the PS2 era. An incredibly underrated JRPG that is simultaneously well regarded otherwise. There’s just nothing else like it out there, imo. Somehow captures the intersection of FFX, Earthbound, and Sleeping Dogs all in one package.
Don't know what jrpgs you have played since PS2 era, but LAD is one of the shallowest modern jrpg you can find on the market.
 
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Nankatsu

Member
Yakuza: Like a Dragon may take a bit to take off, specially if you're a long time Yakuza fan.

It may take time to adapt, but when you finally embrace it there's no denying it's a fantastic JRPG with amazing storytelling and above all, a damn cool protagonist that manages to fill the shoes of fan favorite Kiryu against all odds.

So yeah, Y7 is amazing and I can't wait for Y8.

Just hope, in between, Judgement series doesn't die because of the whole Takuya Kimura situation. Judgement series, specially in Lost Judgement, achieved peak RGG combat system. It's just sublime and a banger of a game.

When you think about, it's crazy how RGG Studios constantly puts out games with this quality.
 
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Worst Yakuza and very shallow JRPG imo. Never gonna replay that one.

Don't know what jrpgs you have played since PS2 era, but LAD is one of the shallowest modern jrpg you can find on the market.
Even if it does end up being shallow as you guys say, that may actually be good for me since this is my first-ever turn-based JRPG.

I mean I'm looking at what's about to come and this seems to have all the elements of turn based JRPGs? You have:

- Offense/Defense/Magic/etc stats
- A party (which I call "posse" lol)
- Based on my screenshot in the OP it looks like jobs are going to kick into play in a few chapters
- Looks like there may be summons? Not sure yet.
- Random encounters, aren't those a staple of JRPGs?
- Etc...

So what makes this a "shallow" turn based JRPG? Your options during each turn? The number of stats or party members you manage? Something else?

(Again no story spoilers please 😎)
 

SkylineRKR

Member
The fighting system is a bit shallow in the sense that you're mostly doing the same few attacks throughout the game and there isn't much in terms of AoE which might limit you even further as numbers can rise up. This is true for lots of RPG though. But Yakuza could be a bit more varied here. However, perfect blocking and your position does matter. Though you can't really control the latter, but if you attack someone and another is in your line, he will likely cancel your move. this goes both ways. This game had a weakness bug on english language for a long time (on english, it didn't display what enemy was weak to what, it was annoying) but I could still beat the game without much of a problem. This could be a bit tougher.

I hope that for 8, you can kind of control your position to gain an advantage.

Also, don't sleep on poison. It works on bosses and it helps. The game does have a few rather nasty difficulty spikes. Don't sleep on leveling up other jobs either. There are more jobs who can heal for example IIRC. And buffs are rather good too.
 

Miles708

Member
The game is good despite lacking polish and general quality of life features from the previous ones, but difficulty spikes are brutal and made me abandon it completely.

I don't have time for hours of grinding, sorry.
 
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GymWolf

Gold Member
The game is wonderfull but it need some damn challenge.

You only have 2 boss fight in the entire game that offer some challenge and it's more wasting a lot of times to beat them instead of being actually challenging.
 

tommib

Member
I eventually dropped it after something like 30 hours but had a lovely time. The dungeons were getting too long.

Adorable characters all around and it's my favourite after Yakuza 3. I do prefer the street melee and I ended up automating the whole fights (couldn't be bothered with the turn-based).

I still have my PS4 save in the cloud so I might go back to it since I sold the disc. Is it still impossible to import a PS4 save to the PS5 version? Wondering about that because of the PS5 drop next month on +.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
this_is_neogaf.gif 😂

Honestly I think it depends on if the person is doing side activities as they appear like the arena or are just going strait through the story.

I never encountered any spikes, but I was immediately clearing side content as it appeared, for someone not doing that they might be underleveled or undergeared at certain points. I am assuming that's the issue.
 
However, perfect blocking and your position does matter. Though you can't really control the latter, but if you attack someone and another is in your line, he will likely cancel your move. this goes both ways.
Yeah I talk about both of these things in the OP. The game tells you about them right away. I don't know if other JRPGs have perfect blocking during the enemy's turn, but it's pretty freaking awesome.

I hope that for 8, you can kind of control your position to gain an advantage.
Yup. There have already been times when I've fought street thugs, and thought, "fuck! Ichi just move a bit to the left. There's a BIKE there!" (Bikes do massive damage to multiple enemies so of course I prefer to be around bikes, but can't control Ichi's position.)

Also, don't sleep on poison. It works on bosses and it helps.
Yeah I'm still trying to figure out the poison stuff. I'm the one who has gotten poisoned (a couple of times already) but seems like this early on in the game Ichiban just shakes it off without me doing much. But I have to read about it to understand it more and so that *I* can use it against enemies.

Yeh it's brilliant. I love Yakuza but I was never crazy about Kiriyu. It's nice to have a main character who actually has human emotions.
I like Kiryu quite a bit, but see perfectly where you're coming from, and to an extent I agree. There were a couple of notable examples where I was reminded Kiryu was human -- in Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 6, for sure. But by and large, he was supposed to be like those "strong, silent, honorable, lone-wolf" samurai types from the old Japanese stories and films. While those are great character traits, they don't make for compelling/exciting characters or storytelling.

Honestly I think it depends on if the person is doing side activities as they appear like the arena or are just going strait through the story.

I never encountered any spikes, but I was immediately clearing side content as it appeared, for someone not doing that they might be underleveled or undergeared at certain points. I am assuming that's the issue.
One of my favorite things about the Yakuza series are the side activities, so I generally have taken this approach with previous games I've played. I do expect this to be a 100-ish hour game. Maybe closer to 150 since this is my first JRPG and this game already seems like it could be huge.
 
Ahah, understandable. Difficulty spikes as hell in that part.

It requires you to grind, but once you sail through that battle you're pretty much ready for the rest of the game.
I do expect to grind. Hopefully it's not boring or bad, but even if it is, I have ways to deal with repetitive/boring gameplay segments in videogames. (e.g., play background music, post on GAF, start texting whatever chicks I'm involved with at the time, etc...)
 

SkylineRKR

Member
I don't want to talk about it.


....but yes

Not saying I was loving it, but you can offset this by the way.

Find those metal slime type enemies in the underground dungeon, those net a ton of EXP. Perhaps 2 is enough to close the level gap. Also, that fight is kind of a wake up call, before that you can sail through with mostly the main jobs but I think you need the bonus stats from other jobs for this to become doable. Foreman for example gives lots of extra HP to Ichiban and the buffs from musician and idol heals are pretty fucking good.
 

Miles708

Member
Ahah, understandable. Difficulty spikes as hell in that part.

It requires you to grind, but once you sail through that battle you're pretty much ready for the rest of the game.

Not saying I was loving it, but you can offset this by the way.

Find those metal slime type enemies in the underground dungeon, those net a ton of EXP. Perhaps 2 is enough to close the level gap. Also, that fight is kind of a wake up call, before that you can sail through with mostly the main jobs but I think you need the bonus stats from other jobs for this to become doable. Foreman for example gives lots of extra HP to Ichiban and the buffs from musician and idol heals are pretty fucking good.
Thanks, I've abandoned the game for almost a year now and i don't know if I'll take it back but if i do, I'll keep this in mind
 

SScorpio

Member
I do expect to grind. Hopefully it's not boring or bad, but even if it is, I have ways to deal with repetitive/boring gameplay segments in videogames. (e.g., play background music, post on GAF, start texting whatever chicks I'm involved with at the time, etc...)
There are dungeons you can go through that quickly level you up. I normally had to spend 30-90 mins and I was leveled up enough.

In the era of JRPGs moving to action combat systems, it's refreshing to see a formerly action combat game going turn based and nailing the design.
 

MadPanda

Member
It's really an amazing experience. I have fond memories of my time playing it, even though it took some time to start enjoying it. One of few JRPGs I enjoy. Cant wait for the sequel.
 

Raven117

Gold Member
One of the greatest prequels ever made for a game series. One of the few times I wish i never played the originals and just had Zero to start lol Anyone starting with Zero starts off on such a crazy first game, it sets the tone for the rest of the series for em. Zero to Remake 1 makes much more sense then just the remake to 1. Its a great story, but that build up in Zero really makes it a must play for anyone new to the IP.


I'm also a sucker for period pieces too lol





I was familiar with the series, but this was my first one…. It was magical.
 

rofif

Gold Member
Which Yakuza games I can paly without any knowledge?
And without having to play 7 games afterwards... which are "self contained" ?
 
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SkylineRKR

Member
0 is probably the best but it does run on the dated engine, so there is loading screens for entering buildings and it looks a bit more barren.

Dragon engine games are really full of atmosphere, and were more seamless in transitions but they were 30fps on console at first. Not anymore though, not on Series at least. I think Yakuza 6 is utterly brilliant. It just trimmed enough fat, the pacing is spot on. I'd argue it has better pacing than 0. And it has great action stages like the hotel raid. Hiroshima was excellent. I bought 6 on sale in the summer of 2018, and I didn't play anything else for weeks. This game was great.

I might do a replay of LaD once it hits PS Plus. It was my first Series S game, and the 60fps and reduced loading blew the PS4 Pro out of the water but PS5 is ofcourse even better.
 
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NanaMiku

Member
I love Yakuza 7/Like a Dragon. Story was good and the party members are nice.
I like the story of the first Judgment, but don't like the story in Lost Judgment. Battle still the same like old Yakuza, so nothing special
 
The games on what I call the "Ishin" engine -- Ishin, 0, and the first Kiwami -- definitely have the best beat em up combat. Kiwami is best overall for the simple but important fact that you can switch to the 4th style without going to the pause menu, like you have to do in 0.

But those games look a bit "bland" compared to the more vibrant/colorful/"shiny" look of the Dragon Engine games (6, Kiwami 2, and now Like a Dragon; actually the Judgement games might be on that engine too?).
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
One of the greatest prequels ever made for a game series. One of the few times I wish i never played the originals and just had Zero to start lol Anyone starting with Zero starts off on such a crazy first game, it sets the tone for the rest of the series for em. Zero to Remake 1 makes much more sense then just the remake to 1. Its a great story, but that build up in Zero really makes it a must play for anyone new to the IP.


I'm also a sucker for period pieces too lol





This was me, from never playing a game in the series to super fanboy after 82 hours of zero.

One of the best game ever created, drunkman wish he could write story and characters of this level...
 
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