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Yakuza: Like a Dragon – Review Thread

Content of the article: "Yakuza: Like a Dragon – Review Thread"

Game Information

Game Title: Yakuza: Like a Dragon


  • PlayStation 4 (Nov 13, 2020)
  • PC (Nov 13, 2020)
  • Xbox One (Nov 13, 2020)


Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

Publisher: SEGA

Review Aggregator:

OpenCritic – 87 average – 94% recommended – 54 reviews

Critic Reviews

ACGJeremy Penter

"The turn-based combat is a welcome change however combined with some weird decisions and a somewhat bland story its not all sunshine and rainbows for this new kid on the street."

Attack of the Fanboy – Joshua Garibay – 4 / 5 stars

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a bold shift in direction, one that succeeds more than it stumbles in the pursuit of its new design.

BazimagSina GolabzadePersian8.6 / 10

The transition from a top notch brawler to a JRPG feels totally seamless. The gameplay have all the good parts we expect from a JRPG translated to the language of the Yakuza series but it also has some of the bad parts like the need for grinding and some unfair boss fights. The story and new characters are presented in a way that make this new journey for the franchise very well worth taking.

COGconnectedJaz Sagoo86 / 100

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the perfect update for a flagging series. Its clever storytelling, bizarre substories, and engrossing gameplay makes this one of the strongest entries in the franchise. Mixing deep societal messages with references to popular culture, the game is both hilarious and thought-provoking. It is very clear to see that with Ichiban Kasuga, the series is in safe hands

Cerealkillerz – Nick Erlenhof – German8.5 / 10

Yakuza: Lika A Dragon goes a different way but follows what made the series so great. The new protagonist, the story (besides some weak points), the crazy mini games, battle animations, summons and Ichiban Kasuga offer so much fun and action. Some boring dungeons in the middle of the game and balancing issues are the only downsides you should expect. Even if you are not a fan of turn based combat or haven't touched the series yet, you should give this a shot.

Daily Mirror – Eugene Sowah – 4 / 5 stars

Yakuza: Like a Dragon has definitely made some drastic changes to the series but without losing its original charm. The fast pace turn base system has so much added depth while still feeling like a Yakuza game.

The graphics are the best the series has seen to date, players will fall for the ridiculous Ichiban who is a well-worked new hero to the series. Other than the lag between different sections of the games and slightly clunky animations it's really hard to fault this reimagining of the legendary series.

DestructoidJordan Devore – 7.5 / 10

Like a Dragon isn't my favorite Yakuza, and its fresh turn-based combat eventually grows stale, but I have a lot of love for it. If it's your first game, it'll quickly initiate you into this wild, one-of-a-kind series.

Digitally DownloadedMatt Sainsbury5 / 5 stars

Who knows if this wild experiment will bear fruit and become its own series. Yakuza: Like a Dragon has everything it needs; an excellent crop of new characters, and even a new playground to base a series in, as we hadn't been to Yokohama previously. The future of the series would depend on how turn-based combat sells in comparison to action brawler combat, I would assume. Either way, though, Like a Dragon is a delight. It's a parody-homage to every turn-based JRPG trope you've ever known, set against brilliant character writing and the traditional urban playgrounds that have built this series into something beloved. I hope the development team is rewarded for the inherent risk that they took with this undertaking.

EurogamerMalindy HetfeldNo Recommendation / Blank

Like A Dragon pulls off an impressive JRPG makeover while simultaneously taking on all the flaws of the genre.

Everyeye.itGiuseppe CarrabbaItalian8.5 / 10

Like a Dragon is the story of a carp that turns into a dragon, of a gang of scapegoats who decide to defy the established order and come to the head of a desperate situation. Ichiban Kasuga is an individual far from dojima's stoic and serious Dragon but has an equally kind soul and crackling personality, which makes him – along with his strange clique – the symbol of Yakuza's rebirth. A rebirth that passes through a fun and enjoyable but also improveable role-making formula. With this seventh chapter, in other words, the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has shown us the potential of what would seem to be his idea for the future of the series, which with the advent of next-gen consoles could give us great surprises.

Game InformerJeff Cork9.3 / 10

It's a new direction for the series, but Like a Dragon captures the essence of what came before while setting out on its own journey.

Game RevolutionJason Faulkner4.5 / 5 stars

Yakuza fans were anxious about whether the series would survive without the glue of Kiryu Kazama to hold it together. However, Ichiban Kasuga is a worthy successor to the Dragon of Dojima, and Like a Dragon is a great new start for this fantastic series that will please long-time Yakuza fans and newcomers alike.

GameMAGRussian9 / 10

You should look at Yakuza: Like a Dragon through the lens of it's protaginist. This game is unapologetically brash, unmistakable bold, life-affirming and insanely charismatic. The legend of Ichiban Kasuga journey, like a bright flame, tells us one familliar, but sweet and romantic idea – each and every one of us can become a true Hero, even if you have to fight the fate itself, while making your way through hundrends upon hundreds of random encounters.

GameSkinny – RobotsFightingDinosaurs – 10 / 10 stars

Yakuza: Like A Dragon isn't just a great Yakuza title – it's legitimately one of the best modern role-playing games there is.

GameSpewRichard Seagrave8 / 10

Ultimately, despite all the changes that have been made, Yakuza: Like a Dragon feels very much like a Yakuza game. The combat may now be turn-based, and the scenery might be different, but this is still a game full of drama, thrilling battles, and a huge amount of side content, all smothered with an ample amount of humour. And I never thought I’d say this, but I didn’t miss Kazuma Kiryu one jot while playing it; Ichiban Kasuga is simply a more likeable fellow with more depth. So, if you like the Yakuza series, consider Yakuza: Like a Dragon a must-have.

GameSpotMichael Higham9 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon's cast of misfits makes the wild RPG combat, absurd humor, and dramatic storytelling soar.

GameWatcherGavin Herman9.5 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon reminded me why I loved video games to begin with. I cannot think of a game this year that has gripped me this tightly and didn't let go. Here comes a game brimming with joy and excitement that is earnest with its drama and comedy. It's the sort of game you can gush about for hours, and I will long after this review is published. Anyone who loves RPGs, open world games, comedies, crime dramas, and games PERIOD should have a lot of fun with the newest Yakuza.

GameblogRomain MahutFrench9 / 10

As the Yakuza franchise is still trying to become a household franchise in the West, the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio decided to flip the switch and create a turn-based RPG. The result of that experiment, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, is a resounding success. The "dynamic RPG" gameplay fits the Yakuza universe and tropes like a glove and its mechanics are surprisingly deep. And the fact that the game's new characters are lovable doesn't hurt. The turn-based gameplay will probably put off some gamers but Yakuza: Like a Dragon truly deserves a shot. The Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio made the JRPG genre proud.

GamesRadar+Hirun Cryer4.5 / 5 stars

Yakuza: Like a Dragon impressively pulls off the switch to an RPG in style, providing an excellent combat system supported by loveable characters, and a tantalising main storyline with meaningful side quests.

GamingBoltPramath9 / 10

Yakuza is reborn in this brilliant and compelling new addition to series canon that recontextualizes series tropes and mechanics for an entirely new genre, delivering one of the best outings the series has ever seen.

GamingTrend – David Flynn – 95 / 100

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has topped themselves once again with Yakuza: Like a Dragon! This new take on Yakuza brings a lot of fun, new ideas to the table while remaining its heartfelt self. Turn based combat is somehow a perfect fit for this new direction, the characters are all instantly loveable, and the story is endearingly melodramatic.

Generación Xbox – Adrian – Spanish9 / 10

Yakuza: Like A Dragon is a great turn-based RPG that will keep you hooked on the screen for many hours. One of the best games of the genre on Xbox.

God is a GeekChris White9.5 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a phenomenal entry into the Yakuza franchise, with an interesting new protagonist, a compelling story, and a combat system that constantly mixes things up.

HeavyElton Jones – 8.8 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon largely succeeds at moving the series forward in a bold new direction. Kasuga and his band of unlikely heroes are incredibly interesting and make it so easy to care about their crazy antics. The new main locale is massive and plays host to so many compelling things to do. Getting wrapped up in everything Like a Dragon has to offer is worth it and you’ll easily pour 30+ hours into its captivating tale. The turn-based battle system works in parts, but its annoying character placement issues and faulty summons system keep it from being a total victory. Like a Dragon is still worth hopping into if you’re looking for an amazing parody of RPG tropes, however. It’s a Yakuza sequel that signals a bright future ahead for the beloved franchise.

Hey Poor PlayerFrancis DiPersio4.5 / 5

No doubt about it, SEGA took some considerable risks when they decided to change their established formula so radically for Yakuza: Like A Dragon. But in the end, I think the gamble paid off. Ryū ga Gotoku Studio's latest offering may not pack the punchy, moment to moment gameplay of its predecessors. Still, it makes up for that with its more in-depth brawls, an engaging job system, and a story that focuses not just on a single protagonist, but on several compelling heroes with their own complex motivations. While beat-'em-up fanatics may find this change in direction blasphemous, I couldn't be happier. If you're a Yakuza fan who loves JRPGs, adding this underworld epic to your PS4 library is a no-brainer.

Hobby ConsolasRafael AznarSpanish90 / 100

It keeps the great narrative and setting from the Yakuza series, using a new protagonist, a city that has more life than even Kamurocho and turn-based combats. It suffers from some of the classical troubles of the J-RPG, but it is a breath of fresh air and a great example of how to reinvent a franchise.

IGNTristan Ogilvie7 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon takes some bold steps in a new direction for the series but neglects to maintain its balance.

IGN ItalyBiagio EtnaItalian9.1 / 10

An extraordinary and courageous restart for the new Sega title, an extraordinary JRPG that lays the foundations for even more prosperous growth.

IGN SpainÁlex ParejaSpanish8.5 / 10

Yakuza Like a Dragon is a real and huge JRPG who knows how to maintain the essence of the saga. Fun fighting system and deep script with too many ups and downs to justify the new playable elements. I hope this new formula that works and gives new wings to the franchise will be repeated.

InverseJen Glennon9 / 10

Like a Dragon is right up there with Yakuza 0 in terms of sheer fun-factor and an almost dizzying abundance of stuff to see and do.

Metro GameCentralNick Gillett7 / 10

The turn-based battles don't fully convince but the new protagonist and bizarre mini-games still feel distinctively and entertainingly Yakuza.

Noisy PixelAzario Lopez9 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon makes for an excellent new entry in this long-running series. The developers took a chance on a new protagonist and battle system, which forces fans out of their comfort zone for a very different yet, familiar Yakuza experience. Although the opening exposition can be a bit overwhelming, this is a standout video game on its own with plenty of emotional story beats, insane sub-stories, and plenty of ways to spend your time around Ijincho.

PC GamerAndy Kelly72 / 100

A fun, charming, and occasionally brilliant Yakuza game, let down by an overabundance of repetitive turn-based battles.

PCGamesNIan Boudreau9 / 10

An utterly charming yarn about friendship and kindness that breathes gritty modern life into the quaint JRPG format of classic Dragon Quest.

Pixel Arts – Arman Akbari – Persian8.5 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a very good sequel to the popular Yakuza series which shows that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios still manages to create a great story and narrative. The game's turn-based battles are good in themselves, but due to the extreme use of enemies in the environment, they soon became repetition.

PlayStation UniverseJoe Apsey8.5 / 10

Yakuza: Like A Dragon is an impressive and quality JRPG that successfully acts as a jumping in-point for new fans and also ties itself to the series' past in exciting and engaging ways. The turn-based combat has been infused with some mechanics that help retain the action and over-the-top hilarity the series is known for. Mini-games once again shine and there is a lot packed into Ijincho. Like A Dragon paves the way for a bright future for the franchise. del PradoA or higher

It was a gamble on Sega’s part to make such major changes to a tried and true formula, even more bewildering given its recent meteoric rise in Western markets. If Yakuza: Like A Dragon proves anything, it’s that fortune does indeed favour the bold.

PolygonKazuma HashimotoUnscored

Like a Dragon's story attempts to touch on certain social issues that are relevant in present-day Japan, such as classism, social status, sex work, and government corruption on a prefectural level. However, the writing often lacks the nuance or range to address the topics at hand, and doesn't give any of them adequate room to breathe. The second half of the game gains some measure of focus as plot threads tie together and result in genuinely surprising twists, but when Like a Dragon drops the ball, it drops it hard. Despite this, the Japanese cast's performances sell the story with evocative deliveries that breathe life into the characters. The finale is an emotional one that brought me to tears and moved me, just as most previous Yakuza games have.

PowerUp!Greg Newbegin9 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon, when all of its pieces are taken together, is not only a fantastic new direction for the series, it's also one of its best titles.

Press StartKieron Verbrugge9 / 10

Yakuza Like a Dragon is both a fresh start and a shot in the arm that caters to series veterans and newcomers like. It bears all the hallmarks of a great Yakuza game, while making a damned good case for its revamped battle system. After Yakuza 6 topped the rest of the franchise with a matured and succinct focus it feels even more exciting to see the whole thing blown wide open again and have Ryu ga Gotoku just run wild. Kudos is deserved at Sega of America for their commitment to the game's localization as well, which is incredibly considered and comprehensive. I think I've found a new favourite Yakuza game.

RPG Site7 / 10

With a new battle system and new main character, Yakuza: Like A Dragon aims to be a new entry point to Yakuza newcomers even though it is anything but that.

ShacknewsDonovan Erskine8 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a successful pivot from traditional Yakuza mainstays. The game goes heavy on style, while still packing in enough substance to keep players satisfied. The party system and new RPG elements give players more ways to play than ever before. The turn-based combat is solid, and never feels too foreign. Longtime fans of the franchise will appreciate what Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and SEGA have to offer in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

SiliconeraGraham Russell – 9 / 10

Much like Kasuga’s dragonfish tattoo feels like a quirky but faithful successor to Kiryu’s dragon, Yakuza: Like a Dragon rebuilds the franchise by leaving a lot of it in place. The new protagonist doesn’t feel like he has seven games of story in him, but his eagerness to join the fray could carry the next few entries.

StevivorMatt Gosper8 / 10

After the culture shock of such a total change to the Yakuza recipe, I’m extremely glad the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio team took such a big leap when Kiryu’s tale came to an end. Like A Dragon is a revitalised game full of fresh ideas and proves that the series won’t be re-treading the same ground with Ichiban in the driver’s seat. If this is the first step into the new age of Yakuza, I can’t wait to see how bonkers the next game will be.

TechRaptorRobert Scarpinito8 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon refreshes the action with a turn-based JRPG that retains its charming identity, but it falls into some pitfalls that are emblematic of the genre.

The Games MachineDanilo DellafranaItalian8.2 / 10

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is an interesting new entry into the criminal universe created by SEGA, and undoubtedly represents the most courageous and anarchic chapter so far. It's not entirely convincing, but what works bodes well for the future of the series.

TheSixthAxisThomas HughesUnscored

Yakuza Like a Dragon is an enjoyable new twist on the series, although it's not hard to imagine that many long-time fans of the series will be put off by its slow pace. In a day and age where video game companies rarely take risks, Like a Dragon is a refreshing change of pace for a series that risked starting to feel stale.

TrustedReviewsJade King4.5 / 5 stars

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a triumph, and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio should be commended for redefining such a seasoned franchise, despite the backlash it might have received. Leaving Kazuma Kiryu behind hasn't been easy, but Ichiban Kasuga and company have crafted a compelling path into the future that I cannot wait to see continue.

VideoGamerJosh Wise9 / 10

This is the crux of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It is fascinated by the way that games lurk at the soft verges of life, vesting our days with dreams.

WccftechKai Powell9.1 / 10

The mean streets of Yokohama offer the opportunity for a new cast, a new suit, and a new hero. Ichiban Kasuga might not be the role model in the same way that Kiryu-chan was, but this dragon's quest might be the most fun Yakuza title to date!

Windows CentralZackery Cuevas5 / 5 stars

Yakuza: Like a Dragon feels like everything I ever wanted in a game. Once the game stomps on the gas, it very rarely slows down. Its unique cast of characters and gameplay had me hooked and wanting more, and it almost feels like it never stops giving. Even after the story ends at the 45+ hour mark, I was ready to fight more, complete more side missions, and squeeze out every drop of gameplay that this game has to offer.

ZTGDKen McKown9 / 10

The Yakuza series continues to grow and expand in the gaming world. I love its quirky humor and deep narratives. This new entry begins a new saga and I cannot wait to see how the story of Ichi evolves over time. If it is even half as good as Kiryu’s the studio will have another series of great games on its hands. Everything about this title feels good and for those worried about having previous knowledge, don’t be concerned. Like a Dragon is a wonderful jumping in point for the series and also one of the best titles in it to date. Don’t sleep on this game, it is worth digging into.


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