Sega is ramping up the marketing for its upcoming fall releases. With that comes a ton of news on the upcoming Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. We went hands-on with the latest entry in the Yakuza series from the Tokyo Game Show floor. In addition to actually playing the game, it was featured in the Xbox TGS 2023 presentation. As well as its own Ryu Ga Gotoku digital presentation.
From The Ryu Ga Gotoku Summit
Developer Ryu Ga Gotoku underscores the premise of Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. The game is to fill the gaps between Yakuza 6 and Yakuza Like a Dragon. Gaiden will take us back to the roots of the series, taking on the role of Kiryu Kazuma. In addition to the return of the brawler-style combat from the previous games.
The real news from the showcase is the new mini-games. In Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, many of the classic Yakuza mini-games are returning. Although the headline comes in the form of something new. Mini-games like Sega Bass Fishing and an unreleased version of Daytona 2001 from the Dreamcast will join a collection of Mega Drive and arcade games. In addition to a NSFW live-action cabaret mini-game.
The rest of the Ryu Ga Gotoku Digital Direct dives deep into story spoilers and we will leave that out from here.
From Our Hands-On At Tokyo Game Show 2023
This week I got to play a 20-minute slice of Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name on the show floor at TGS. While I am happy we are getting a return to the classic style, I think the team struggles with the combat and how to make it feel interesting. The combat changes in Yakuza 7 Like A Dragon, revitalized the series. I think they wanted a way to create a more complex system than a brawler would allow. With Like A Dragon Gaiden, RGG tried to add something small to the brawler mechanics and I feel like it falls flat.
Essentially, the combat is the same in Like A Dragon Gaiden as it is in Yakuza 6 with the addition of armaments. Now holding down any one of the face buttons introduces a magical power given to Kiryu. Hold down the top button and a series of drones fly in to assist you. Hold down the left face button and Kiryu will through a grenade. Finally, holding down the circle button gives Kiryu a web attack that lets you rope and fling enemies. Maybe in the final game, it is delivered in a way that makes sense, but, right now the whole thing just feels out of place.
After an opening battle, I ran through a series of mini-games in a new area called Osaka Castle. The first let me pick a girl at the local cabaret. This mini-game introduces live-action scenes where you are given a series of choices, what you say and do impacts the live-action scene. It is safe to say that Yakuza is as over the top as ever. I am glad to see them lean into the adult elements.
From the Xbox TGS 2023 Presentation
On Thursday, Xbox held a digital event showing more of the same on Like A Dragon Gaiden. Although they did announce it will be coming to Xbox Game Pass day and date when it launches on November 9th.
For physical fans, Play Asia has a multi-language release that supports both English subtitles, as well as English voice dub. Digitally, Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will be out on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S when it launches this November.