Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name Video Game Review - Unraveling the Shadows of Yokohama

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name Video Game Review - Unraveling the Shadows of Yokohama

With Yakuza: Like a Dragon , Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio ushered in a new era for the franchise. The series left its action combat system behind and passed the baton to Ichiban Kasuga as the new protagonist. While it's a great game, the reality is that no one can get enough of Kazuma Kiryu, right?

To give fans a little bit of Kiyu and the previous game system, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio released Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name . This is an installment that places Kiryu as the protagonist once again and returns to his original combat style. Will he keep these promises? The answer is affirmative: Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is an installment that is made for fans of yesteryear and that can also please those who knew the saga through Yakuza: Like a Dragon .

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Namen ― Available on Amazon

Hello Again, Kiryu-chan

The story of Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is one of its strongest points and, really, it couldn't be any other way. The SEGA franchise has been characterized by stories of criminal intrigue and human elements that come to life through a cast of characters that are as strong as they are interesting.

On this occasion, the narrative focuses on Kazuma Kiryu, who after the events of Yakuza 6: A Song of Life decides to fake his death to protect his people. To achieve this he requires the help of incredibly powerful people and that favor comes with an enormous price. To hide and leave his past behind, Kiryu has to serve the Daidoji faction without question. Everything is going relatively well until an operation puts the secret of the Dragon of Dojima at risk and threatens to reveal to the entire world that his death was a farce.

So, the story lets us explore what happened to Kiryu after Yakuza 6 and during some of the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon . However, the point of interest goes beyond what he experienced, because we will see how he felt it. That is, in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name , Kiryu abandons his role as a Yakuza legend to be just another man, a role that brings different dynamics. What I'm getting at is that Kiryu has very defined principles and tries to be loyal to them, but he has an obstacle: he is now a dog of the Daidoji. Thus, there will be several moments in which he will question whether he should continue like this or free himself from the chain to fulfill his dreams.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name Video Game Review - Unraveling the Shadows of Yokohama

This dynamic also allows us to see a more intimate side of Kiryu. We have always seen him as a man with a big heart, but on this occasion almost all of his walls were torn down. Yes, maybe Kiryu erased his name, but with this he gave himself the opportunity to be him. In this way, we are going on an adventure in which we are not with the Dragon of Dojima, the myth, the legend... rather we are with Kiryu, the man who has sacrificed everything and lost even more.

I mentioned before that the characters are a key part of Yakuza 's appeal and this is not just thanks to Kiryu. Like a Dragon Gaiden has a diverse cast of main and supporting characters that enrich the world of it. In this installment, those who win the applause are the main antagonists because, in addition to being criminals who command fear and respect, they are well-constructed and multidimensional characters with whom it is easy to empathize, even if they are terrible individuals. As if that were not enough, there is an interesting dynamic between them—almost like Ying and Yang—in which one represents privilege and the other, the process of reaching the top from the bottom. In this way, they are characters whose pure presence in the story has something to say.

Thus, the story of Like a Dragon has everything that has made Yakuza special with criminal intrigue and unimaginable twists that explore the tension between different power groups. It also presents us with extravagant and ridiculous moments, to show that it understands itself as a video game and that it dares to be fun. There is also no shortage of emotional moments that hit hard in the heart of those who follow Kiryu from the PlayStation 2. Especially when we take into account that the protagonist rarely shows how much the whole situation affects him, but only one rock is enough to collapse completely its glass walls.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name Video Game Review - Unraveling the Shadows of Yokohama

It's worth mentioning that you don't need to be a Yakuza expert to understand the story of Like a Dragon Gaiden . The narrative is designed to be an encapsulated story that you can understand without prior knowledge of the saga. That said, I don't think it's the best entry point either, since the story won't have the same emotional impact if you've missed everything that happened in previous installments. If you plan to play it because it premiered on Game Pass, I encourage you to play Yakuza 0 or Yakuza Kiwami first , as they are both part of the service at the time of writing this review.

Like A Dragon Is A Full-fledged Yakuza

The truth about Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio games is that they change little from release to release. The studio often recycles elements such as locations, character models and even the basis of its combat system. So, you shouldn't expect Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name to be very different from what you saw in previous Yakuza installments or more recently in Lost Judgment . In fact, this adventure takes place in Isezaki Ijincho, Yokohama and Sotenbori, Osakai, locations from previous installments. In reality, the version of Yokohama you'll see is somewhat limited, which is a shame, although it was a joy to be able to return to Sotenbori and enjoy all of its entertainment options.

The latter is important because Like a Dragon is a franchise that shines for its secondary content, and there is plenty of it here. On the one hand, you will find entertaining activities such as arcades of SEGA classics; golf, billiards and even the classic hostess minigames that now feature videos of real girls to make you feel like you're in the SEGA CD era. There are also small side missions in which Kiryu must complete missions such as defeating some thugs or bringing food to increase the level of a help network for which she collaborates. This rewards different upgrades and allows you to progress in the Combat Arena, an area that will have you fighting some of the most powerful warriors in the world. There you can also form a team to participate in massive combats. All this without counting the side stories, secondary stories that range from the mundane to the extravagant and that are worth enjoying, since they at least guarantee a good laugh. The secondary content is very entertaining and has a lot to offer beyond the main story, which you can finish in approximately 13 hours.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name Video Game Review - Unraveling the Shadows of Yokohama

For its part, the combat system returns to action so that you can once again throw punches with the Dragon of Dojima or have the pleasure of breaking a bicycle over someone's head. The big news is the Agent fighting style, in which Kiryu uses techniques and technology granted to him by the Daidoji. This is an agile style focused on mobility and crowd control that is somewhat reminiscent of Yagami's Crane in Judgment , although without as much agility. What makes it interesting is that it also gives you access to different gadgets that open up possibilities for combat. For example, you can use a lasso to trap enemies and throw them; drones to support you and even rockets installed in your shoes to slide. All of this delivers a combat style that feels creative and satisfying when you get the hang of it. The second option is the Yakuza style , which combines elements of the Brawler and Dragon of Dojima styles from Yakuza 0 to deliver powerful moves that will help you defeat bosses and shine in 1v1 combats.

Until now I have talked about Like a Dragon as a fan of the saga who talks with other fans of the saga. That is to say, I have overlooked some negative details that carry from delivery to delivery and that many of us decide to do so because the strengths tip the balance in their favor. For example, you should expect a game with a lot of dialogue, repetitive objectives (it's always defeating tons of enemies), and very basic mission design in a playable sense. Of course, although past installments suffer from an extremely slow start, that is not a problem in Like a Dragon Gaiden .

The Man Who Erased His Name, But Not His Legacy

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is a game that comes more as a luxury than a necessity. When it seemed that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and SEGA had completely handed over the baton to Ichiban Kasuga, they spoiled us with an installment that pays tribute to everything that made the series great and that treats Kazuma Kiryu and the legacy he has with immense respect. within its universe as in the real world. Yes, we will see Kiryu again in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth , but he may never star in another installment. If so, it would be a phenomenal goodbye for the Dragon of Dojima. Thanks for everything, Kiryu.