During the Inside Xbox a series of trailers were shown, all very interesting, on the titles that we will see coming up Xbox Series X between third party titles and temporal exclusives. One of these is certainly the one dedicated to Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which with a new protagonist is preparing to take the gigantic name of the brand on his shoulders. But what do we know about it? Let's start with the simplest information: it will be part of the program Smart delivery, which will allow anyone who buys a title on Xbox One to get a free copy for Series X and vice versa. It will also have the cross-save enabled, so you can continue your game on the two Microsoft consoles without having to start over, and last but not least, it will be released at day one of Xbox Series X in the West, given that as regards the land of the Rising Sun, the title was put on digital and physical shelves on January 16 2020.
Loyal to the end
As for the plot, it seems that this new chapter of the series will be very focused on the concepts of responsibility and loyalty, as it is possible to see from the beginning of the trailer two types of choices that Kasuga Ichiban will be forced to take: one is the first turning point of the plot, which will lead him to live well 18 years of his life in prison (since his Boss will ask him to turn himself in for a crime not committed by him, but by Jo). Despite the sacrifice, no one will be waiting for him when he comes out of prison, but not only that, he will also be betrayed by the Boss himself, who will plant a bullet in his heart during what seems to be their first meeting after the years spent behind bars. . But for some strange reason, Ichi will survive.
From here, a rundown of action scenes worthy of a Yakuza, from typical hand-to-hand fights to new ones Summon, which can be recalled via the mobile phone (and can be for example a lobster, or a huge laser fired by a satellite that performs area damage, which is very similar to others RPGs, such as Final Fantasy). Together with the Summon, in this new Yakuza there will however be a change regarding the combat system, which is presented in shifts, instead of the usual action we have come to know from previous chapters. In fact, there will also be moments in which party members can also attack together (or in pairs), in a sort of "All Out Attack" of Persona 5 less cartoonish, albeit non-lethal.
Of course, despite the strong classic RPG footprint, it is impossible to say that this title is in all respects, given that the typical magical component is totally absent. So how are the classes divided? In Job Opportunities. According to the chosen Job, you will get advantages and disadvantages, some will allow you to have the increased attack, others instead the defense, but above all, each of them is unique and will be "represented" not only by the list of possible moves to our protagonist, but it will also be recognizable thanks to his clothing. For example, should you choose to be a Dancer, huge hoodies and hats will be unlocked, and the martial art of reference will be there capoeira (for the “uninitiated”, it's that of Eddy Gordo from the Tekken series).
What is Japan without the karaoke? We have already seen in the animated series Aggretsuko how important it is for the inhabitants of the land of the Rising Sun, and between a beating and the other, it is always nice to relax with a good song, right? In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, karaoke will be featured with it same system already seen in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life e Kiwami 2Also, this mini-game, which may seem silly, could give information on how characters really feel when certain topics are touched upon. This is only the first of the minigames present within the title, as there are also three others: PachiSlot, cinema and go-kart. The first is easy to imagine, you can have fun playing PachiSlot originals from Sammy and Universal Entertainment, and one of them will also be dedicated to Ken the Warrior. Go to movies sometimes it can be a real challenge, especially when the movie is so boring to make you sleepy, but we the players will force Ichiban to stay awake by pressing the controls at the right moment. Last but not least, the new entry: i go-kart. This pushes the ludonarrative dissonance a lot, since it will be a "Mario Kart" in all respects, so it will not only be necessary to push on the accelerator, but it will be possible to devastate the competitors launching missiles to knock them out.
Not just Yakuza
In this seventh chapter, we will not only talk about Yakuza, but also about criminal organizations from other countries, specifically the Yokohama Liumang (of Chinese origin), the Geomijul (Korean), but obviously the number one enemy will be the Clan Seiryu, of the Japanese mafia, led by Ryuhei Hoshino, who has control over the whole of Ijincho. Furthermore, excluding the various organizations, within one of the first trailers shown some time before the release of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, it was shown how the socio-political situation of the country will have an impact on the stock. There will be political demonstrations, and some of the protesters will have shirts with the "Bleach Japan" print, which unfortunately is not a reference to the Bleach manga, but appears to be the name of a far-right movement, and therefore refers to a certain type of "cleansing" that the world has already experienced in its history. Seen the involvement of people from from China and Korea, it is easy to imagine who that message is addressed to.
Show your muscles
As for the technical side, the steps forward seem truly extraordinary: all the characters are very expressive, not only thanks to the dubbing and the chosen voices, very apt from what little it is possible to hear, but also and above all thanks to the well-groomed facial expressions. Along with this there are also small moments in which the graphic engine manages to impress even the most skeptical, just think of the scene in which Ichiban decides to turn himself in, and how the tears and the facial expression of pain on the face of the young man. Not to mention that i liquids and reflections are perhaps the strong point of the graphics engine used by SEGA, given how far forward Yakuza 6: The Song of Life was already. Finally, it must be admitted that everything that the developers decided to show during the Inside Xbox, was a test of strength and desire to scream "this is Yakuza" to anyone who came upon that trailer and thought that the title was been distorted.
This new chapter is definitely one to wait and watch for, especially now that it has decided to give a twist to its combat system. We will see what SEGA has in store for us and how Yakuza: Like a Dragon will behave on the next generation console Xbox Series X, even if the anticipation arrived thanks to the video that highlighted the potential of Microsoft's next-gen console has already given us excellent hopes.