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Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Review

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Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Review

Like a Dragon or Yakuza is one of the infamous role-playing game series from Sega focused on city crime with Yakuza family members. Each game of the series provides a plethora of content for players to consume including side quests, minigames, and fun activities along with the main story.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is an action-adventure role-playing game developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by Sega. It is a direct sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon title and a spin-off to Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name which came out last year. It is the ninth installment in the Yakuza/Like a Dragon franchise focusing on two protagonists from the actual series. Unlike the previous titles from the series, this installment goes overseas, to Hawaii for the first time as well as keeping the classic district of Japan.

Story

The story of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth takes place in 2023 following former Yakuza members Ichiban Kasuga and Kazuma Kiryu as main protagonists. Kasuga learns about the recruitment of remaining Yakuza members across Japan after getting fired from his legitimate job off a false rumor of building a crime family. As Yakuza infiltrates the Seiryu Clan HQ and meets their Acting Chairman, Masataka Ebina, he learns that Ebina is working with Jo Sawashiro. Jo Sawashiro reveals to Kasuga that his biological mother, Akane Kishida, is alive and has been living in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kasuga travels to Honolulu in search of his mother, who he thought had died many years ago. Meanwhile, Kiryu is also present in Honolulu in search of Akane per the Daidoji faction’s orders. Kiryu teams up with Kasuga to find and protect Akane from various local criminal organizations while wrestling against lung cancer.

Gameplay

Players control Ichiban Kasuga and Kazuma Kiryu along with their respective party members while exploring Yokohama (Japan) and Honolulu (Hawaii). Additionally, Kamurochō district is also available and features as the third location in the game. Throughout the main campaign, you will be spending most of your time in Hawaii, especially in the earlier chapters whereas, you will get to explore Japan in the end-game chapters. However, once you are done with the main story, you will get the freedom to change between the locations which involves switching between Kasuga and Kiryu.

In the base game or during the main chapters of the story, you will only have access to the respective companions of the main protagonists whereas, the post-game allows you to bring along any companion you wish. Throughout the main story chapters, most of the open-world experiences that you will be getting into are running around and discovering the locations, initiating street fights, playing various minigames, bonding with the companions, etc.

While exploring Hawaii, you will notice a friend system with the locals where you can greet and introduce yourself to all sorts of people including shop vendors. You can help the vendors by simply buying things from their shop to increase friendship with them or you can say ‘hi’ to locals to increase the friendship level. Increasing the friendship level will grant you various personality stats rewarding you with several worthy items. So, exploring and engaging in Lika a Dragon: Infinite Wealth does pay off pretty well. Along with the exploration, there is a fast travel system in the game which can be done via finding a taxi at a Taxi Station or calling one from the smartphone app. Additionally, there is also a vehicle called Street Surfer that can be used to travel quickly but it has a limited battery.

There are also tons of other stuff to find and explore including meals which can be obtained by going to various restaurants. Getting certain combinations of meals will grant various passive traits like earning more experience, more money, doing more damage, taking less damage, and many more. You can also go to various shops to upgrade gear for better gear stats as well as buy gifts for your companions for leveling up. Furthermore, you can engage in several tourist attractions, pursue side quests or substories, go on a date, and participate in several minigames.

Speaking of minigames, several minigames from previous titles return, such as Karaoke, Mahjong, Darts, and Arcade Games. Additionally, the game includes various new minigames for players to participate in their leisure time or as a part of a substory. One of the first new minigames that players will get to engage in is a crazy delivery game called Crazy Eats in which players have to deliver food items while doing stunts to gain score multipliers. Another fun minigame requires players to take pictures of bizarre individuals around the city.

Furthermore, there are two main big minigames in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth – Dondoko Island (a knock-off for simulation management games) and Sujimon (a proper knock-off for Pokémon games). Both of these minigames are introduced as mandatory features of the world while progressing in the main story. Dondoko Island is a ruined resort that was once a famous point for tourists and guests. The owner of the island will require your assistance in restoring the popularity of Dondoko Island which includes gathering resources, crafting and building various furnishes and lodgings, growing crops, fishing, bug catching, and much more. Doing all sorts of work on the island will increase the star rank of the resort to a five-star rank which can earn you various bonuses.

The Sujimon game allows you to convince certain street individuals to join your party and fight in the street fights to see which one is the better Sujimon Trainer. You can also train your Sujimon by giving them various items and summoning them in the battles. There are also certain types of Sujimon which include Blaze, Frost, Nature, Light, and Shadow that grant certain advantages and disadvantages against certain types. Furthermore, you can enhance the stats for these types by finding certain items in the open world and gifting them to your Sujimon.

Before I talk about the dungeon content, let’s talk about another great and improved aspect of the game, Combat. The combat system in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is turned-based, similar to its prequel, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. However, it is greatly improved and it is quick. As you engage in a fight, you will be able to move your character in the vicinity of a glowing circle on the ground and pick up any items to use on the enemies. Positioning your characters in the fight can grant you various advantages, such as attacking an enemy from behind will deal additional damage.

Each character can choose from various “jobs” which act as classes that grant them perks and playstyles. Kiryu’s unique job, “Dragon of Dojima”, provides him with the ability to switch between multiple fighting styles, allowing him to temporarily perform real-time combat. When it comes to fighting, you will see various kinds of marks above the heads of the enemies. These marks indicate their general power level compared to your character. Enemies with Blue Markers can be defeated instantly by pressing the prompt key, Red Markers mean that enemies are appropriate and will put up a decent fight, and Purple Markers mean that the enemies are way above your level.

Another feature that you probably want to explore in your playthrough is the dungeon called The Hawaiian Haunt. It is separated into three sectors with each sector including ten floors. As you clear each sector the difficulty of the dungeon increases but it also gives more rare rewards.

Writing, Sound, & Visuals

The writing in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is phenomenal both for building the characters and the funny dialogue. Even though you have never played a Yakuza or Like a Dragon game before, the game does an amazing job of portraying the back lives of the main characters throughout the plot. Voice acting for the characters is done exceptionally which enhances the immersion for interacting with the characters overall and the visuals of the game are great.

Verdict – Score 9/10

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is an excellent entry to the series with fully packed content for players to experience both in the base game and post-game. However, the narrative content can be unhinged for some players, especially the ones who have never played Like a Dragon game before as it takes almost 5 hours to get to the real progress in the story due to the setting of the plot in the first five hours. Apart from the main narrative, the world has so much to offer, and if you are a fan of exploration and open-world games then you would fit in perfectly.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is now available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, XBOX Series X|S, and XBOX One.

Playing video games since a kid, Max Payne was the first game I ever played. I adore the soundtracks and worlds created in gaming. Passionate about writing gaming guides across all genres for all platforms. Confident in my publications in order to help other gamers across the world. I love video games in general and they are close to my heart.

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