The more I think about Yakuza: Like A Dragon changing up the formula and giving us a more active version of traditional turn-based RPG gameplay, the more I’m down. As much as I love the Yakuza franchise, after so many games being released and rereleased in such a short period of time, the gameplay has gotten a little repetitive. The producers of Yakuza: Like A Dragon have stated, despite the clear inspiration, the game would be much faster paced than a Dragon Quest and that if you weren’t playing it yourself you’d assume it was an action game. The latest issue of Famitsu has detailed some new mini-games, which are always a signature feature of any Yakuza title.
For starters, Yakuza: Like A Dragon will feature a mini-game called Dragon Kart; which is like a certain Nintendo kart racing franchise except with Gatling guns instead of blue shells. There’s also some PachiSlot action, which are casino slot machines but with Pachinko machine aesthetics, including one based off Fist Of The Blue Sky. One other confirmed mini-game takes place at a local theater, in which you have to prevent protagonist Ichiban Kasuga from dozing off via some kind of rhythm game. While these are the only mini-games detailed, for now, I’m sure we’ll hear more coming up.
In addition to Yakuza: Like A Dragon’s mini-games being unveiled, some more additional gameplay details have been made public in this Famitsu piece. For starters, there’s a summoning system in which include Yakuza deep-cut character Gary Buster Holmes, crayfish, and more yet to be revealed. This summoning system may be a good way to have older characters cameo without having to unnecessarily write them into the story. The magazine article also states that when a battle starts, your enemies and potentially other characters around you will transform into punks or lose articles of clothing before a fight starts. That’s what they call atmosphere folks.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon is out January 16, 2020, in Japan, and later in the year for English audiences.