The Yakuza/Like a Dragon series has shown us the mysterious underworld of Japan for many years; From the neon-lit streets of Kamurocho to the gray slums of Igincho. But with Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, the series has gone global. We travel to sunny Hawaii.
Main character Ichiban Kasuga finished the previous game as the hero of Yokohama, but persistent rumors caused his new reputation to take a serious hit. Fortunately, he got a chance to escape Yokohama and search for his biological mother in Hawaii, who everyone thought was dead. It is, of course, a more complex mission than it first appears and contains more plot twists than your average TV series. It's a recipe that's repeated in every Yakuza/Like a Dragon game, but once again the final dish is a strong story.
During this adventure, you will be helped by both new companions and old friends. The most prominent of these is Kazuma Kiryu, the Yakuza legend in the series. It's a shame that Kiryu didn't last longer when the two masters met briefly in Like a Dragon, but in Infinite Wealth they made up for that lost time.
As mentioned, the research takes place in Hawaii. Honolulu specifically. It's the largest global development Ryu Ga Gotoku has ever created, but it's still full of detail and character – although we have to say Honolulu looks surprisingly Japanese for an American city. A larger map also introduced new travel options. In addition to the well-known taxis and of course the walking car, you can also explore Honolulu using the tram line and at some point you will get your own Segway to quickly travel through the city. As a bonus, both Ijincho and Kamurocho are also in the game. Lots to experience.
Besides the fact that you are of course much faster on a Segway than on foot, you can also easily avoid all the enemies roaming the streets of Honolulu. When you come into contact with enemies, the game switches to the turn-based battle system known in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The system is largely the same as in the previous game; One by one, he attacks your party members and opponents with normal or special attacks that cost MP. There are a number of cute attacks that not only deal great damage, but also make you laugh.
In addition, how you position yourself during combat is also important. It's a great perk to launch an enemy at his friends with a powerful jab or attack on his back to deal extra damage. Positioning often caused frustrating situations in the previous part. For example, enemies were regularly flying in the wrong direction or it turned out that an invisible wall prevented you from positioning your party member in such a way that he would attack someone from behind. Fortunately, these situations are addressed at Infinite Wealth. What is most striking is that the invisible circle from the previous part has become visible. When it's your turn, a large blue circle will appear around your characters, indicating the location from which you can begin your attack.
It also shows the direction in which enemies fly when attacking Knockdown Or performs an area of effect attack. This way you can position yourself more accurately to hit enemies at other enemies or at one of your teammates to perform an additional attack. It ensures you have more control over battles, making battles fairer.
Numerous battles and exploring the city together ensure that Ichiban's team builds a stronger bond with each other. This is evident in Drink Links, where you have a good conversation with one of your teammates while enjoying a drink. Not only do these interesting stories provide additional information about the lives of your companions, but they also ensure that you can perform special attacks with your teammates or have them perform an additional attack after one of yours. This was also possible in the previous game, but it was not properly indicated when you could perform such a special attack. Infinite Wealth uses meters to track whether your teammates are ready for special attacks, which you can then trigger by standing close to them. What an in-depth conversation is not good for.
Another nice addition is that Kiryu at some point gets the chance to activate the well-known Heat Mode. This takes Kiryu out of the turn-based battle system and temporarily returns to the old Yakuza games' real-time battle system of hitting enemies hard. In addition, there are also well-known systems such as Summoning Pound Mate, with which you can pay for help from one of the many friends you meet during your journey – whether they are people or animals.
The class system in Infinite Wealth is also better developed than it was in the previous game. All the old jobs return and are complemented by new jobs such as surfer, samurai and action hero. But the most important improvement is that you can now perform attacks from different classes to your current classes. This makes experimenting with different functions and putting together unique hybrid combinations more rewarding.
The series is also known for its quirky side quests and mini-games and Infinite Wealth certainly doesn't disappoint. We made ice in Hawaii, participated in a game show, and spent a day as a waiter at a restaurant. On top of that, there are the crazy mini-games. For example, there's a variation of Pokémon Snap where you can photograph deviants in different tram poses, you can become a real Sujimon (Pokémon) trainer by convincing defeated enemies to fight for you or you can deliver food by bike Crazy Taxi style. . . Then of course there are the arcades where a fantastic selection of SEGA titles await and you can sing dozens of karaoke songs. The game is full of content.
But the biggest mini-game is Dondoko Island where you have to turn a garbage dump from an island into a five-star resort, Animal Crossing style. You will have to collect resources every day, remove waste, catch bugs and fish, and of course there will also be fighting every now and then. It's a small game that can easily take you about 10 hours.
There are some downsides to Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, but we were disappointed to find that New Game+ is being sold as downloadable content. Don't get us wrong; There are plenty of hours of fun in Infinite Wealth, but paying for New Game+ still feels like an odd development.
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