The highly anticipated next installment in Sega’s “Yakuza” series (known as “Like a Dragon” in the West), Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, has been previewed extensively this week ahead of its launch later this month. With only weeks to go, fans and critics alike seem ecstatic with what they’ve seen so far.
Story and Setting Promise Thrilling Mix of New and Familiar
Infinite Wealth picks up where 2019’s Like a Dragon left off, continuing the story of series protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. Set once again in the seedy criminal underworld of Japan, Kasuga finds himself drawn into a complex web of conspiracy involving the Japanese financial sector and the dream of “infinite wealth.”
Long-time fans can expect to see plenty of familiar faces, with several previews confirming the return of fan-favorite character Kiryu Kazuma in a key role. However, director Hiroyuki Sakamoto has made clear this will be Kasuga’s story first and foremost, saying goodbye to Kiryu for good after his cameo appearance.
Key New Characters
|An idealistic young activist striving to reform Japan’s corrupt financial sector
|Ruthless young hedge fund manager who will stop at nothing to protect his illicit wealth
The backdrop of Tokyo’s glittering financial district provides an intriguing new setting, with Kasuga and his eclectic band of misfits clashing with white-collar criminals abusing their power and influence. This clash of worlds brings ample opportunity for fish-out-of-water humor Kasuga has become known for according to previews.
Innovative Gameplay Systems Blend Seamlessly with Thrilling Story
However, the most exciting aspect for many fans is the game’s ambitious gameplay. Infinite Wealth represents a doubling down on the experimental turn-based RPG combat first introduced in Like a Dragon, blending deep tactical gameplay with over-the-top special moves and combos.
Based on previews, key innovations include:
- A stock market metagame allowing players to influence events through savvy investments
- Expanded job system with over 30 unique classes
- Dynamic “Heat” mechanic that builds during battles, enabling epic comeback victories
This systems-driven depth is integrated tightly with story events – for example, one preview details how shrewd financial decisions unlocked new story scenes that wouldn’t otherwise have been seen.
Meanwhile, Sega hasn’t forgotten what gives the series its signature charm, with side activities and diversions aplenty. The biggest of these is Dondoko Island – effectively an Animal Crossing-style community sim where Kasuga can guide the construction of his own private island paradise. Along with the series’ ubiquitous clubs, bars, restaurants and arcades fleshed out by [ paginate
Yakuza (Japanese: 龍が如く, Hepburn: Ryū ga Gotoku, “Like a Dragon”) is a Japanese video game franchise created, owned and published by Sega. The series originated from Toshihiro Nagoshi’s desire to create a game that would tell the way of life of the yakuza. Nagoshi initially struggled to find a platform for the project, until Sony showed interest in the prospect. The series primarily focuses on the yakuza Kazuma Kiryu from the Tojo clan. While Kazuma often assists the Tojo clan, the series has also featured him searching for another way of life in the form of raising orphans. The gameplay of Yakuza has the player controlling Kazuma (or another character depending on the title) in an open world where he can encounter an enemy gang member to battle.
The original Yakuza game was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, released in 2016, was intended to be the final game in the series, ending the story of Kazuma Kiryu. Despite this, Yakuza: Like a Dragon was released in 2020 as a soft reboot with a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga. As of 2022, the series has eight main entries, with Yakuza: Like a Dragon being the most recent.
Main series games:
- Yakuza (2005)
- Yakuza 2 (2006)
- Yakuza 3 (2009)
- Yakuza 4 (2010)
- Yakuza: Dead Souls (2011) – non-canon side story
- Yakuza 5 (2012)
- Yakuza 0 (2015) – prequel story
- Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (2016)
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2020) – new protagonist
The series has seen strong popularity in its native Japan. As of 2022, the Yakuza games have sold over 17 million copies worldwide. Yakuza has also branched into other media including film adaptations.
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