Game reviewAbout two months ago we were thrilled about Kirio Kazuma's return in Like A Dragon: The Man Who Erase His Name. It was a much more complex adventure than what “Yakuza”/”Like A Dragon” fans were accustomed to, but above all, it meant reintroducing the infamous hero from the nearly two-decade-old series. The latest addition, “Infinite Wealth,” also features a major role for Kiryu, and the long-awaited meeting with Ichiban Kasuga, the protagonist of “Like A Dragon.” And this time it's more than just a short snack (in Yakuza terms). much more than that.
After all, Infinite Wealth was announced by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio as the biggest game ever in the series, and that's saying something if you've played one of the older installments before. So, allocate around 80 to 100 hours in your schedule if you want to experience everything this game has to offer. And you will also want to try everything, because “Infinite Wealth” is a powerful and always unpredictable ride in which you will still discover new surprises even after dozens of hours of gameplay.
To the bar
At first, it doesn't seem like much has changed compared to the previous release, “Like A Dragon.” Ichiban is still active in Yokohama, where he tries to keep former yakuza members on the straight and narrow. Naturally, something soon goes wrong and he ends up back on the streets, the same streets that the experienced enthusiast already knows by heart.
And look, you'll soon be back at the bar with Saeko, Nanba, and Adachi, the popular cast from the previous part. So everything initially feels like a typical game from the series, safe and familiar but not immediately innovative. However, it doesn't take long (again: in yakuza terms, that's about three hours) before the story takes a sudden turn and the setting suddenly changes from the bleak slums of Japan to the sunny beaches of Honolulu in Hawaii.
It's the first time in twenty years of the series' existence that a game has left the Land of the Rising Sun behind, and this immediately gives “Infinite Wealth” a completely different and unique look compared to all its predecessors. The gray colors in Yokohama, Kamurocho and other places from the previous parts give way to colours, sun and a more relaxed atmosphere. It is in this tropical environment that old and new meet, Kiryu and Ichiban, and the adventure truly begins.
The gameplay is going Old school
In terms of gameplay, “Infinite Wealth” continues the path already taken by “Like A Dragon.” No more real-time battles like in 'The Man Who Erased His Name', but an old school RPG with turn-based battles.
Old school So it's not that it's an old-fashioned game because although all the typical RPG elements are there and deploying attacks strategically is often of vital importance, combat runs smoothly and special attacks and associated full-screen effects fly around your head.
The beginning of the game
In addition to stunning battles, the games “Yakuza” and “Like A Dragon” are, of course, famous for an almost endless stream of side quests, mini-games and a cute and funny sense of humor. Three elements are also present in abundance here. As expected, there are the usual Sega arcade games to play, a dating game, and Sujimon to collect and fight with, but the highlight this time around is Dondoko Island, a mini-game that becomes available about halfway through the game. Well, Mini puts it mildly, because the smaller studio will simply market this as a separate title at full price.
Dondoko Island is nothing more or less than “Animal Crossing” with gangsters. On what was initially an island full of waste, you can clear the land, collect building materials, place decorations, fish, catch bugs,… in short, everything you would do in “Animal Crossing”, but more violent and with more obscenities. . There's a good chance that Dondoko Island will significantly increase the number of hours you spend in Infinite Weatlh.
“Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth” feels like a passing of the torch in every way. The story, which is quite silly at times, quite manages to grab your throat at the right moments. It is the quest of two heroes to change against their will. And that's what the game itself feels like, like a climax that's been in the works for 20 years and that has done its best to end as epic as possible. The only downside is that the sequel has to be genius to top this one.
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