Like a Dragon: Ishin! is Now Available

I walked the streets with a sword, and I didn’t realise all I needed was a mask.

Developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and publisher Sega have released Like a Dragon: Ishin! The game is a remaster of a Japan-only PlayStation 3 game and a PlayStation 4 (2014) launch title. Despite having the Like a Dragon name, it isn’t related to Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2020) or Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! (2008) a Japanese-only PlayStation 3 game.

It is worth mentioning that Like a Dragon (Ryū ga Gotoku) is what the Yakuza series is called in Japan.

Everyone can now play the 19th-century take on the Yakuza series. Despite having similarities to the modern storied Yakuza games, its gameplay is more akin to samurai-based games like Onimusha: Warlords with more focus on realism and fewer demons. It doesn’t feature any turn-based combat.

It is set in 1860s Japan during the Bakumatsu era at the end of the Edo period. Expect to see historically based characters, such as playing as Sakamoto Ryōma, a real-life samurai. Despite the attention to historical accuracy, the likeness of the characters is taken from the Yakuza games. So Sakamoto Ryōma looks like Kazuma Kiryu, and all the other members join in for the fun. It is like a Nintendo game where Mario needs to show up.

I am a fan of games that takes place in any period of Japan, and the Samura periods have always been interesting to me. That alone has piqued my interest in Like a Dragon: Ishin! This game does a fair job of what it aims to do.

It might just be the other Yakuza games with a samurai skin, but sometimes that is all you need to do.

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