Над нелепой прической Итибана посмеются не один раз

Like a Dragon is new but familiar. Review / Games


Genre Adventures
Publisher Sega
Publisher in Russia “SoftKlab”
Developer Sega
Minimum Requirements Intel Core i5-3470 3.2 GHz / AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 2 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / AMD Radeon HD 7870, 40 GB HDD
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i7-6700 3.4 GHz / AMD Ryzen R5 1400 3.2 GHz, 8GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 3GB or 4GB memory, e.g. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 580 Release date: 10 November 2020 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One), March 2, 2021 (PlayStation 5)
release date November 10, 2020 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One) March 2, 2021 (PlayStation 5)
Age qualification From 18 years old
Platforms PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One
Official site

Played on PS4

It’s not easy for a newbie to join the Yakuza series. The remake of the first part has an incomprehensible postscript Kiwami, the prequel Yakuza 0 is called the best game in the series, after which everything else seems to be no longer impressed, and indeed not all parts of the series are available on all platforms. With the release of Like a Dragon, it has become easier to get acquainted with the Yakuza – although it is a numbered seventh part, in the West the figure was removed from the title to once again emphasize the lack of direct connection with past games. There is a new hero, a new location, a changed gameplay, but at heart it’s the same good old Yakuza.

⇡ #Interesting stranger

The fate of the protagonist is somewhat similar to that from which Kazuma Kiryu began his long journey from past games. Serving faithfully to his clan, Ichiban Kasuga was ready to do anything to protect the mafia family, and agreed to serve in prison for almost twenty years instead of a real criminal. Selflessness was taken for granted: after his release, no one was waiting for him at the gate, and the former “boss” even betrayed him at the first meeting.

Ichiban's ridiculous hairstyle will be laughed at more than once

Ichiban’s ridiculous hairstyle will be laughed at more than once

As a result, Ichiban became a homeless person – no home of his own, no livelihood, no job. He woke up in an unknown area of ​​Yokohama, at some dump, and met other homeless people – in particular, the former medic Nanba, who helped the hero to wake up. He told Ichiban about the local mafia trinity – Japanese, Chinese and Korean clans are operating in Yokohama, and, as you might guess, at some point, disagreements will begin between them.

However, it will take about seven to eight hours before the “action” starts – Like a Dragon takes a very long time to accelerate. What to do: the characters here are completely new, so the player needs to be introduced to everyone – and add more dialogues, and show all sorts of scenes that better reveal their characters. And since Ichiban does not run around the world alone, but gathers a squad of comrades, it is necessary to convincingly demonstrate the friendly relations of the whole company and explain their desire to help each other in difficult situations.

This city needs a new hero

This city needs a new hero

Therefore, in terms of the plot, the new Yakuza sometimes seems overly drawn out, especially in the first chapters. Before, you jumped right off the bat: one after another, dangerous and ferocious leaders of the yakuza clans appeared, the videos stopped all the time to show their names on the full screen, and Kiryu immediately got involved in an adventure after an adventure. Here, at first, everything is pretty calm – local conflicts arise, but they are immediately resolved, and much more attention is paid to new acquaintances. This is neither good nor bad – you don’t want to quit the game, but you constantly imagine how exciting the next part will be from the very beginning, when the developers do not have to tell the backstories of Ichiban and everyone else.

⇡ #Heroic deeds

The new protagonist is not Kiryu’s replacement, but a worthy alternative. It is much more emotional than its predecessor, so the degree of seriousness in the main plot has slightly decreased, and there is a little more humor here. Many jokes are connected with Ichibana’s great love for the Dragon Quest RPG series – there protagonists are usually simply called “heroes”, so here the character finds heroic weapons, can put on heroic armor, call a group of comrades a party and constantly draws parallels between real life and JRPGs.

Dragon Quest is not just the protagonist

Dragon Quest is not just the protagonist

This also applies to battles – he presents each skirmish with opponents as a turn-based battle in Dragon Quest. At the same time, both he and his opponents change outwardly: ordinary gopniks, who are almost more numerous on the streets of Yokohama than in Kamurocho, during fights hold lids from garbage cans instead of shields in their hands, and beat them with sticks glowing in the dark, or even more exotic. The matter is not limited to only blows – there is also magic here, its own, street magic. The girl powders her face, thus increasing protection, the bum sleeps for a couple of seconds on the cardboard and restores health, and the former cop scatters and demolishes everyone in his path.

There are many abilities – some just deal damage to the target, others strengthen allies, and others impose negative effects on opponents such as bleeding, fright or shock. New skills are unlocked as you level up, and you can completely update the list by changing your profession (analogous to the usual classes). Ichiban, for example, can become a bodyguard, whose skills inflict huge damage to the opponent, but at the same time injure the hero himself, or he can become a fortuneteller communicating with higher powers, a street dancer or a cook throwing plates and knives – there are many options for each character …

Homeless breath combined with alcohol creates a crushing spell

Homeless breath combined with alcohol creates a crushing spell

Here you come across the first problem of the local role-playing system – changing profession means the need to rebuild the assembly from scratch. The main hero level remains, but a low profession level means access to a very small number of skills. In addition, fighters of different professions are better suited to their own equipment, so either use the things you found before (among which not all will be perfect), or run around the shops and buy new armor and weapons.

If earlier in Yakuza it was not required to pay much attention to the items worn, then here they are extremely important, since they improve many parameters, from speed (it is turn-based battles, it is desirable to attack before the enemy) to health and mana for “spells”. And since Ichiban is a homeless person who earns money mainly by beating gopniks on the streets, even for his main profession he does not always have enough cash, let alone a complete change of wardrobe for himself and the entire squad.

With some luck, the enemy will be able to impose several debilitating effects.

If you’re lucky, you will be able to inflict several debilitating effects on your opponent.

⇡ #A city with great opportunities

But only those who seek to finish the plot as soon as possible, without paying sufficient attention to everything else, will face this problem. But there is something to do here – all the more the area is new, unexplored. From time to time you see white dialogue icons on the map – side missions are launched there, which are still hilariously funny as before. Someone relieves himself in the wrong place, a naked man hides and asks for help, a homeless man tries to find his love – the classic Yakuza, in which a humorous scene at any moment can flow into drama accompanied by sad music (or even more absurd than it seemed initially) …

Plenty of other entertainments. Soon after getting to Yokohama, you meet a scientist who collects information about local punks and installs an analogue of Pokedex from Pokemon on the hero’s smartphone – all types of hooligans found are entered there, indicating the degree of their rarity and weaknesses. Later, Ichiban becomes a “freelance hero” – brings order to the streets of the city, protecting the innocent from villains (for a fee). Promotes the company entrusted to him to the top, hiring and firing employees; rides a cart and collects rubbish; passes exams; watching an old movie and trying not to fall asleep – funny mini-games, a large part of which can captivate for a long time.

The movies cannot be seen, but the sound can be heard, and Ichibanu is clearly showing something very old and dull.

The movies cannot be seen, but the sound can be heard, and Ichibanu is clearly showing something very old and dull

As a result, after a protracted and a bit tedious start, Like a Dragon reveals itself better and better. The plot to the sixth chapter is more and more exciting, more and more opportunities appear in the city (it is interesting to look for even lost cats here, because this is not the length and breadth of Kamurocho studied), optional dialogues with colleagues constantly appear, and rare materials are given for a careful study of each corner on the map , with which you improve equipment in the workshop and become stronger. The only depressing thing is that the streets in the new city are too narrow, and the companies of gopniks are often met and one cannot escape from them. As a result, you fight the punks over and over again – until you reach the next mission, you will take part in two or three battles, which, due to the turn-based combat system, tire you more than ever.

***

Despite its shortcomings, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a great game and one of the best Yakuza. Over the years, even the most loyal fans of the series have grown tired of Kamurocho and Kiryu over the years, so the change of scenery and the story started almost from scratch have benefited the game. At the same time, it is noticeable that this is just the beginning of a huge saga, and the intros are not always perfect. Here, too, due to the protracted start and some gameplay flaws, it is difficult to turn a blind eye to the problems – fortunately, in the next part of the series, they will be very easy to fix.

Advantages:

  • the new hero and his team are great characters that I would like to see in the future;
  • a completely new location with a bunch of entertainment for every taste, from racing to catching local “Pokemon”;
  • turn-based combat system is interesting due to different classes and many “spells”;
  • equipment is now much more important than before, and along with it money has become very important;
  • still great humor in the spirit of the series and an exciting story …

Disadvantages:

  • … which takes a very long time to accelerate;
  • exhausting fights with street punks that are difficult to avoid;
  • changing the class in the later stages of the game leads to unpleasant consequences.

Graphic arts

Yakuza is hardly a series with impressive graphics. Here they take the atmosphere, and everything is fine with it, but you should not expect outstanding animation or cool effects.

Sound

For the first time in the series (apart from the horrible ancient translation of the first part), the characters can speak English. It will be almost impossible for Yakuza fans to get used to it, but the new audience will surely like it – everything is voiced very professionally.

Single player game

The main plot will take about 35 hours, but in between missions it will be difficult to deny yourself the study of a new area – fifty side quests, mini-games and other entertainments beckon.

Collective game

Not provided – there are not even online versions of mini-games, as in previous parts.

General impression

For a new audience that doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on the first seven games in the series, Like a Dragon is a great entry point. It is ill-conceived in places, a bit prolonged, but you definitely shouldn’t miss it. Especially if Russian subtitles are really added to it.

⇡ #Score: 8, 0/ten

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