A Preview of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

Edmund_McGowan
edited February 2 in Gaming

On the eve of the lunar year of the dragon, let’s take a look at the upcoming Sega release Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Enter the open world of Like a Dragon, (formerly known as Yakuza), the RPG/beat ‘em up/action-adventure where you step into the shoes of larger than life heroes Kazuma Kiryu and Ichiban Kasuga.  

Fans of the Yakuza franchise will be excited to hear that the ninth installment of the Like a Dragon series takes place in Hawaii, as well as Japan. If you’ve never heard of the franchise before, no worries, read on to find out all you need to know about the Yakuza game series and Infinite Wealth.

Release date

First of all, the Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth release date is Jan 26th 2024 across Playstation 4/5, Windows, and Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Nominee for Most Anticipated Game at The Game Awards, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth preorder is available on Steam with standard, deluxe and ultimate editions offering something for everyone.

Introducing Like a Dragon and Yakuza

Like a Dragon is a wildly successful Japanese video game series from Sega’s famous Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio production team. With rich storylines inspired by crime dramas and yakuza (Japanese organized crime syndicate) films, the games in this franchise have so far been set in Kamurochō, a fictional district in Tokyo, as well as real life locations in Japan, from Fukuoka to Hokkaido. Players are free to explore the open worlds, get into brawls with various enemies, and earn money and experience, as well as enjoy the various facets of gangster life, including dining, drinking, clubbing, as well as blackjack and, of course, karaoke.

As we mentioned above, Infinite Wealth breaks the mold, sending Kiryu and Kasuga to Hawaii (albeit on different paths towards the same goal) for the biggest Like a Dragon game ever! The well-crafted stories that form the backbone of each of the Like a Dragon games are presented chapter by chapter, expanding to around 100 subplots in each game. Rife with missions and side missions, the Like a Dragon franchise showcases cinematic storytelling and action, complemented by larger than life main characters, and many recurring minor characters.

Story and characters

So, who are the characters in Infinite Wealth? While there are 14 characters in the story of Infinite Wealth, 10 have so far been confirmed as playable. While there are many other characters in the game, the scope of this article means we must continue with our journey! Here’s a rundown of the cast in Infinite Wealth. For now, let’s take a look at the 10 playable characters: 

  • Ichiban Kasuga is the protagonist of Infinite Wealth, on a mission to reunite with his long lost mother Akane Kishida, who lives in Hawaii and is now the target of several organized crime groups. Kasuga is a former member of the Arakawa Family, and is a loyal, resilient and charismatic character, able to use the Hero job, healing party members and boosting their abilities with encouragement. Note: jobs are classes that give each character unique advantages and play styles.  
  • Kazuma Kiryu is the second protagonist of Infinite Wealth, tasked by the Daidoji faction to protect Akane from her pursuers in Honolulu. This is the first installment where Kiryu and Kasuga team up, and possibly the last, as Kiryu has cancer. Using his Dragon of Dojima job, a powerful and fast fighting attack, Kiryu is also the only character in the game to have real-time special Action Mode. 
  • Yu Nanba, a former nurse, is now a wandering hobo, and one of Ichiban’s closest mates, using pigeons and umbrellas in combat. 
  • Koichi Adachi is another of Ichibans compadres, and a former police detective out for justice and personal redemption. 
  • Saeko Mukoda is a tough, yet refined bartender who can inflict status ailments on baddies with her trusty handbag. 
  • Tianyou Zhao is a returning character from Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and armed with his saber, is now a reformed mafioso. 
  • Joon-gi Han is a hitman from the Korean mafia, able to execute lightning fast strikes with ease. 
  • Seonhee is leader of the Geomijul group and makes easy work of enemies with needles and crossbows. 
  • Eric Tomizawa is a local taxi driver in Hawaii, and a dab hand with electricity  and water. 
  • Chitose Fujinomiya is Ichiban’s mother’s maid, and her attack job is based on dance. 

 Gameplay mechanics

Following the tradition of the franchise, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth features a turn-based combat system, where players select up to four characters to brawl with a multitude of baddies. Players can position themselves as they wish before commencing combat. While in Honolulu, Kasuga is keen to see the beautiful sights of the island, finding further inspiration and jobs that characters can put to use. These include Samurai, Aquanaut, Desperado and Pyromancer Job classes.  

What’s more, there is certainly no shortage of missions, side missions, activities, enemies, and allies in the most extensive map so far in the series. By taking tours with Alo-Happy Tours, an agency specializing in providing trips to Japanese tourists, you can learn new skills. A short course in fire dancing will equip your party with mage attack style. 

The turn-based combat has been updated for Infinite Wealth, with an improved command interface: Tag Team moves are now displayed next to the command menu, no longer hidden in the skill lists. There are many games within the larger game of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Dondoko Island is Kasuga’s project, a trash filled island that he plans to transform into a 5* resort. Cleaning the garbage, crafting and redecorating, as well as dealing with bugs, fishing, and repelling pirates all contribute to a nice holiday from the main action in Honolulu. On a more somber note, Kiryu’s cancer diagnosis has inspired him to write out a bucket list of things to do before he dies. In Yokohama, Kiryu’s side missions include fishing and karaoke, Kiryu can open various fighting styles by ticking off items on his bucket list.

The takeaway

We hope that you have enjoyed this preview of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Remember, Like a Dragon is released on Jan 26th 2024 across Playstation 4/5, Windows, and Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. For all of your favorite games past, present and future, head over to Acer’s Game Pass, and see what’s cooking. Lastly, if you want to get the most from Like a Dragon and similar games, you need the best equipment possible. If you’re a gamer on a budget, and you require optimum performance at an approachable price, check out Acer’s Nitro V 15 Gaming Laptop - ANV15-51-59MT. This laptop boasts a 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display with 144 Hz refresh rate, in addition to a powerful Intel® Core™ i5-13420H Processor with up to 4.6GHz. On top of these features, the NVIDIA® GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card promises to impress, delivering crystal clear graphics. Check out the Nitro V 15 today, for the best gaming experience at an affordable price.

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Edmund is an English copywriter based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He is a widely published writer and translator with two decades of experience in the field of bridging linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English.

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