Video Games

Like a Dragon: Ishin – The Final Preview

Like a Dragon: Restoration! It was first released in a very different era of the Yakuza franchise.It was released as a quirky launch title for the Playstation 4 in 2014 when the Western world playing Yakuza games was a Japanese import enthusiast. When it was just lovers. Ishin! Establishing itself as one of the weirdest entries in the canon, for a 19th-century-set samurai-western mashup completely detached from the debauched saga of Kiryu and Mashima, the succession of the main line. Replace rain-soaked noir. Sega never bothered to localize its games for English speakers. But American gamers are now in the midst of an ongoing Yakuza renaissance. is in So, it’s Restoration! Finally it comes to our shores in the form of this sleek remake that highlights all of its glorious anachronistic excesses.

Don’t be fooled by the historic vintage, Ishin! It’s very much a yakuza game in the sense that it strikes a precarious balance between hard-boiled revenge tales and dizzying ensemble comedy. I played the remake with him for two hours. Story His mission is for protagonist Ryoma Sakamoto to infiltrate a secret paramilitary organization full of ruthless killers who have mastered a deadly and impenetrable swordplay style called Tennen Rishin. (In that sense, Ishin! borrows liberally from some of the oldest kung fu tropes in the book.) But along the way, I found karaoke bars, chicken racetrack circuits and dance halls. , stepped into the gambling den. A truly lovable villain who gives color to this series. We are deep in an ancient chronology and nothing has changed. Crazy side quests, complex relationship-building subsystems, and ridiculously fleshed-out mini-games are all there. Case in point: I ran into a sweaty samurai nerd (like a katana comic book guy). He promised me a huge prize if I could procure a certain type of blade for him. Of course he didn’t want to use it. he just wanted to see it up close.

All of this is very well rendered for a game nearly ten years old. Ishin! It has that weird plastic sheen you might remember from Yakuza 0, but Yakuza Studio did some impressive work on the cutscenes. This is important in a series like Yakuza, which tells the majority of the story in long, descriptive monologues. Someday, the franchise will need to upgrade its visual chops, but for the re-release of 2014’s Antique, Restoration!

One combo ends with a hail of bullets in every direction, as if easily tapping into potential Devil May Cry DNA.

Despite the title being shared with the 2020 reboot Yakuza: Like A Dragon, it pivoted the franchise to a turn-based combat structure, Ishin. Retains brawler roots. Ryoma cycles through four different fighting styles, wielding fists, blades, or, happily, a Wild West revolver. Yes, this is gun-giving yakuza his game, and it also has a special ability that allows him to get into his Marston-like dreamy Barrett his time and line up his shots better. The one I was most drawn to was what Ryoma called the “Wild Dancer”, he wielded both a katana and a firearm at the same time, drunkenly jumping around the arena, one combo was a potential It ends by unleashing a hail of bullets in all directions, as if briefly tapping into his Devil May Cry DNA. This is a truly revolutionary flip-side to established Yakuza precepts. After years of destroying enemies with cinder blocks and pool clues, sometimes you just want to get the job done with a point of aim.

Ishin again! It doesn’t dramatically change the contours of the Yakuza universe. This is essentially a side story, proudly ancillary, and seems best understood as a chance to savor the extravagant fanservice infused into the new genre trap. You might be surprised by who appears along the way. At the end of the demo, I was introduced to one of his paramilitary battalion commanders. He was a man named Souji who looked and voiced just like Majima. (He even wore his eyepatch.) As part of this remaster, Sega cast many of the actors who appeared in later Yakuza games, recreating loose facsimiles in Ishin. I hope this means the existence of the Yakuza’s epic multiverse. From the Stone Age to the Singularity, Kiryu will continue to beat people up forever. Finally, everything is right in the world.

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