Yakuza: Like a Dragon

released on Jan 16, 2020

Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan.

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I want Ichiban to be a real person

Is a game that does a lot of things good but have some mistakes that mess the experience a little for me.
The combat is super refreshing but it makes you farm two times during the game even if you have completed all the secondary missions.
The character are nice but I think that a character as goofy as Kasuga doesn't benefit from this type of narrative like kiryu did. The party of the main character being so different from each other sometimes takes away the seriousness in some scenes that intent to be dramatic.

This game really didn't click with me. I've played a couple other Yakuza games and enjoyed them, but nothing seems to be working well in Yakuza 7. The first couple chapters are kind of intriguing as you meet your party members and get your bearings in the new city, but soon after I felt like I was just going from cutscene to cutscene with some random fights mixed in. It also seems like the characters talk in circles sometimes, stating the same thing a couple times over in different ways. The underground dungeon was an absolute slog, and seemed to be the turning point where I started losing interest. It took quite literally an hour and a half of just running through identical looking hallways fighting bland enemies to clear.
I don't really know how this game is sitting at 4.3 on this site and mid to high 80s on review aggregates. I guess it just isn't for me, which is a shame because I typically like Yakuza games.

All of RGG's best aspects (stellar writing and performances), mixed with a surprisingly fun and engaging JRPG system.
Ichiban is one of the best video game protags of this era, and I have never been more excited for a new direction for a franchise in my life.
There's a lot more to say here; like how the game's writing handles issues of social inequality and corruption better than almost any other mainstream game out there. Or it's handling of it's legacy characters ascends from mere fanservice to something more. But it would extend this review out into a full-on essay.
Play Like A Dragon. Seriously.

I don't know how they made Yakuza into the one JRPG whose combat I like, but they sure as hell did. I appreciate how the main character starts off a loser and doesn't really stop being one.