Welcome to Yokohama! What is there to marvel at here? Among other things, sights, Chinese money launderers and incredibly boring classic films – but more on that in a moment! On the heels of the new main character of the Yakuza series, Ichiban Kasuga, we're exploring the second largest city in Japan, going from homeless to hero, collecting tons of can deposits, completing our vocational school education, unable to decide on the right job at the employment office and using the local one Cinema as an hour hotel. So get on the go-kart, because Yokohama is definitely worth a trip!

Yakuzaflair – From Kiryu to Kasuga

After a complex, coherent story with ex-Mafioso Kazuma Kiryu in the lead role, which spanned three console generations, Like A Dragon starts a completely new story in the Yakuza cosmos. With Yokohama, this also includes a new, freely explorable city. The ideal time to get in for all those who have not dared to do the Yakuza series before.






Kasuga runs through Chinatown



Chinatown really has character! Bars and decorations exude flair here.

Source: PC Games




Our preview version of Yakuza: Like A Dragon starts in the fifth chapter of the story. We can move around Yokohama freely and do all sorts of side activities. They also make up most of the charm of the Yakuza range. You can bog down for hours in the SEGA arcades, pubs and backyard casinos, while one completely disturbed NPC after the other demands our attention. The new mini-games in Like a Dragon are possibly the craziest, but also the most creative of the series!

Mini-games – don't fall asleep, or the garbage collection will come!







Kasuga is sitting in the cinema



In the cinema we have to try not to fall asleep. The sheep try so hard!

Source: PC Games




We run into two young guys who come out of a cinema well rested. They rave about comfortable seats and the perfectly set temperature in the hall, which invites you to take a nap. Both slept through the entire film! The frustrated cinema operator then complains to us – young people just don't appreciate classic films anymore! Since we agree with him, shortly afterwards we ourselves are trapped. During a free presentation of the sci-fi flick Robokoch, we have to press the right keys in a mini-game to prevent sheep in chic designer suits from sending us into the realm of dreams. The trip to the cinema is just a simple Quicktime event, but it is so amusing that we sometimes sit in front of the screen laughing. And yes, the secret ingredient Robokoch was looking for throughout the film was salt!







Kasuga rides a bicycle with a trailer through Yokohama and collects discarded cans.



We keep the streets of Yokohama clean by bike, at least from cans.

Source: PC Games




If you go to the cinema regularly, you of course need the necessary change. So let's go to the next mini-game, because here we are eagerly collecting can deposits. On a course we pick up the tinny objects of desire from our bikes in order to recycle them later. But even hostile deposit collectors thirst for our valuable PET and crash into us, which means that a good part of our disposable loot is lost. In the end it is important to save enough cans to the destination and not to collide with the garbage disposal, because they steal all of our "treasures".







Kasuga ponders an answer to a general knowledge quiz.



At the vocational school, we solve multiple-choice tasks to improve our values.

Source: PC Games




But if you don't just want to use reusable bottles throughout your life in Yokohama, you should go to vocational school. There you can develop your personality for little money. Basically, in Guttenberg tradition, you buy academic titles here. Well, it takes a bit more, because a short multiple-choice exam on the respective topic must be taken for each certificate. The further developed personality is shown in the increase in the status values ​​of Kasuga, because Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a turn-based role-playing game!

Peppered and powdered! But one after another







Kasuga hits the mafioso on the pear.



Well seasoned. The mafioso gets hit with the pepper mill, after which it is seasoned properly.

Source: PC Games




The change from action adventure to RPG brings a breath of fresh air into the series and looks wonderfully insane due to the present setting. So we equip ourselves in proper style with the necessary weapons, in our case with a huge massage stick. Yes, this is a massage stick! In line with our character and job, we use insane skills in combat: As a cook, for example, we can beat enemies with a pepper mill and then season them with it. Our companion Saeko Mukoda defends herself with her handbag and its contents. This way, one or the other punk is really powdered.







Kasuga beats up opponents with a bicycle.



If we attack with the standard attack, Kasuga uses his surroundings and then hits with a bike.

Source: PC Games




That causes a lot of damage, not only to the street thug image. If we don't have any MP available for special moves, we can still use standard attacks. Then Kasuga automatically uses objects around him to inflict additional damage, a trademark of the Yakuza series. Also, one should always pay attention to the positioning and weaknesses of the opponents in a fight. At the right moment, several opponents can be dealt with at the same time.

Our opponents are bizarre, but somehow commonplace: In China-Town we have to deal with cooks who are under great pressure, in the underground of Yokohama we fight cash patients and so-called ore bums and in the streets we meet again and again Members of triads and yakuza.

Wanted: sales engineer, product manager and queen of the night

In the demo four characters are part of our team, in the finished game there will be a few more. Everyone can change their job (i.e. their character class), that's possible at the employment office. So far, the jobs of self-employed, hero, bodyguard, host, breakdancer, foreman, musician, cook, enforcer, detective, fortune teller and homeless person are available for our three male game characters. Female characters like Saeko, on the other hand, can choose between the jobs of bartender, hostess, idol, giver and the so-called queen of the night. More jobs will be unlocked as the game progresses.






Saeko in the costume of the Queen of the Night



The so-called "Queen of the Night" is a job that only female characters can accept.

Source: PC Games




Our status values ​​also change with the job. With a change we increase the hit points, mana points, attack, defense, magic, healing, dexterity, dexterity, as well as various resistances against weapons and elements. Yakuza: Like a Dragon takes its role-play approach very seriously. The interpersonal relationships of our characters also want to be cultivated.

Every now and then, they have one or the other story to tell, or they strengthen their bond while eating together. The many restaurants in Yokohama invite you to feast and the dishes shown whet your appetite for Japanese delicacies.

Jokes aside – this is about serious gangster stuff!







Saeko in mourning clothes.



The character models of Yakuza: Like a Dragon are as detailed as ever.

Source: PC Games




In addition to all the funny and bizarre stories that Yokohama has to tell, the game also has a serious and dark main story. It tells of failed existences, money laundering and the war of the various mafia clans. Kasuga itself was once a small fish belonging to a yakuza family. To pay off a debt and protect a big animal of his clan, he goes to jail for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. When he comes out, he finds that he has been betrayed by everyone, especially the former head of the family.

Like a Dragon offers the usual yakuza look. Characters and objects are beautifully detailed and the city shimmers in all the colors of neon lights at night. During the day, however, this impression is reversed. Many corners seem unkind and sterile. In general, the graphical representation cannot keep up with modern blockbusters. We played on an Xbox Series X and never had the impression of seeing a next-generation game. In return, the loading times on the new Microsoft console were pleasantly short or nonexistent.






Kasuga runs through Yokohama with his group.



Yokohama's neon lights set the mood at night. Despite the actually rather poor graphics.

Source: PC Games




We haven't told you everything that was in the demo by a long way. Go-kart racing in the style of Mario Kart, for example, a complex company management mini-game and the rise of a street hero, as well as the complex story with many different and funny characters – you can soon experience all of this for yourself.







Go-kart mini-game shortly after it starts.



Every franchise needs a kart racing decoupling. In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, it is included directly in the main game.

Source: PC Games




The weird Yakuza series is not for everyone, the dialogues in the numerous cutscenes drag on. Many of the storylines in this deeply Japanese game do not always seem logical to the Western understanding. We look forward to another trip to Japan when Yakuza: Like a Dragon is released on November 10th for the Xbox Series X, as well as on November 13th on PS4, Xbox One and PC. The Playstation 5 version is announced for March 2, 2021. Owners of the PS4 version will receive a free upgrade, but your save data will not be transferred.

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Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon: Tons of can deposit in Yokohama (1) (Source: PC Games)

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