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Yakuza Like a Dragon: 7 Compliments and 7 Complaints

On 12/02/2020 at 04:20 PM by Super Step

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- It's Yakuza through and through, no matter what's changed about the battle system and setting and characters and storyline; everything still feels familiar

- New characters are super likeable

- The turn-based battle system is fast and easy to understand, so beat-em-up gamers like me aren't totally confused by the Dragon Questiness of it

-  Speaking of Dragon Quest, the referential video game humor is great; the jokes work if you don't know the references, but the Pokemon task they have you doing throughout the game is even more awesome if you do get it

- Substories are great as ever, with the typical weird humor and heart-wrenching stories; the persimmon tree saga is a perfect example

- The minigames are fun, which is always helpful; Can Quest, Dragon Kart, and Karaoke scratch that SEGA arcade itch nicely

- I'm loving the focus on party conversations; I can definitely see someone finding them boring, but I find them charming


- In Japan, this is Rya Ga Gotoku (Like a Dragon) 7; in America, it's Yakuza: Like A Dragon; this is why you don't chase after GTA when your game isn't GTA; 2000s edginess strikes again

- Maybe this is something they lifted from Dargon Quest, but the jobs system in this game is ... weird. Why am I switching character jobs when my party has leveled up in those jobs (ranked up, whatever) right before a major mission? Should I? Is the game trolling me?

- You lose HALF YOUR MONEY when you lose a fight?! That cuts down on my minigame playing, dammit! That is sacrilege! 

- Maybe I wouldn't be as upset about the money thing if you could run from fights; I have never played a JRPG where there wasn't a "run" option (whether it actually worked or not); this would come in handy when I accidentally bump into insanely overpowered fisherman and they kill my entire party with an unexpected double attack right as their health bar is on its last legs, ^&%$#@!

- Maybe I wouldn't be upset about the running thing if it were easier to explore without running into fights you don't want on the map. Why are there waves of enemies walking SO SLOWLY in a barricade around the spot I'm trying to get to?

- This is a problem with the whole series and a LOT of anime in general, but I don't need a 30 minute cutscene for what could be a 5 minute conversation

- No way to tell how powerful enemies are BEFORE you fight them

So here's where I get curious: Would all my complaints also be complaints about Dragon Quest? 




12/02/2020 at 07:23 PM

I played one of the Yakuzas this year. i liked it and would play some more, when I get a chance. 

Run option hardly ever works for me in any game. I mostly ignore it now, assuming it won't work. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/02/2020 at 07:35 PM

Maybe that's why they decided against it. I need to start putting money in the ATM ...


12/02/2020 at 09:15 PM

Depends on which Dragon Quest(s). The ones I've played are not as cutscene heavy as Yakuza.  You can run from fights. You may run into more powerful enemies in some of the ones that are more open world, but since you can run it's not a problem.

I'm not clear on what you're complaint about the job system is.  Usually how job systems work is you accrue enough points to move into another class and then you make the change when you want.

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/02/2020 at 10:09 PM

Yeah, the cutscenes aren't gonna be the same, but it seems like the game is leaning hard into Dragon Quest tropes, given how much reverence the entire Yakuza series has for those games and the fact it is now turn-based. 

As someone who does not play many JRPGs, the job system just confuses me. I don't understand why I would want to switch classes mid-game before a big fight. Probably just my ignorance of the genre. 


12/02/2020 at 10:50 PM

Yeah, probably. DQ and FF are still the guide stones for much  of RPG design in Japan. They never had much of a pen and paper RPG scene, like in the west, to draw from.

You'd want to switch for variety and/or to gain certain permanent abilities from other classes.  And it's kind of like a respec option. Don't like the class of a character? Change it into something else, while still having the option to go back. I usually know what class composition I want my party to have ahead of time, so I just switch to whatever jobs are a prerequisite for that as they come, until I get to the class I wanted and stick with it.

Although you can ask what is the point, why not just have a wider class selection from the start? I think it comes from Wizardry, where if you started with or gained the right stats, other class options would be open to a character. It's not something that comes from DnD or any other tabletop RPGs I'm aware of. Maybe 1st edition DnD, which I never played, but it's strange and needlessly convoluted just the same.

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/03/2020 at 01:47 AM

Yeah, that Wizardry system sounds closest to what's going on here. 

The conceit is they all switch jobs at the local unemployment office once they gain enough experience (points) to qualify for them. 

Cary Woodham

12/02/2020 at 10:47 PM

Some of my brothers really like the Yakuza games.  Over Thanksgiving, one of them was telling me about the new one he was playing and that it had a lot of Dragon Quest references in it.  I just like all the SEGA arcade games.  That's all I'd do if I played Yakuza.

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/03/2020 at 01:50 AM

There are Dragon Quest references throughout the series, but yeah they leaned into the joke about the similar structure between these series REALLY hard in this one and just flat out made it an RPG. 

I haven't found the arcade yet, unless I just missed it. I usually do substories more than anything else in Yakuza, and they at least haven't had one in an arcade yet. I hope I find one (I *think* one was available in Kaurocho early on, but that's a really early part of the game). 

Cary Woodham

12/03/2020 at 08:02 PM

My brother talked a lot about an arcade, so there must be one, unless he was getting it mixed up with another game in the series.  I liked the one that had an arcade lady in a tacky outfit who helps you unlock Fantasy Zone.

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/03/2020 at 11:21 PM

Yeah, I liked the substory with that one, too. And I bet there's an arcade, yeah. 


12/03/2020 at 05:47 PM

You can run from battle, on the PlayStation you hold L1. It doesn't always work on the first attempt, but if I keep trying it usually works before I cycle through all my characters.  

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/03/2020 at 11:22 PM

Yeah, I figured it must be there somewhere, but I could not for the life of me remember it, and with them not putting it on that diamond of options, I don't feel bad at all for not remembering. 

Thank you, though. This is a lifesaver. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/03/2020 at 10:55 PM

Pretty sure they dropped the 7 from the Western title to drive home the point that this is a new story with a new character and you don't need to have played the other ones to enjoy it. Once you get into numbers that high you usually want to drop the numbering altogether. Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy are probably the only series that can really get away with the double digits. And I guess Mortal Kombat, but I think they should drop the numbering too.

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/03/2020 at 11:25 PM

I know why they did it. Let me make my throwaway jokes. Tongue Out

I do kinda like that there will now be a Kiryu saga (still not understanding why some people are ragging on him now that Ichiban is here; like I get it, Ichiban is fresh, but people have been straight disrespectful to my main man, Kiryu) and an Ichiban saga and the developers know they need to freshen things up, cause ... man, if you play the remasters all in a row, you start to realize just how same-y this series can get. And yet. it's part of its charm. What a double-edged sword we walk in this life, Julian. What a double-edged sword, indeed. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/04/2020 at 01:02 AM

I'm guessing that there is a murder, and it all revolves around a plot that involves some land and a ton of money. And the government is involved. Am I close?

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/04/2020 at 01:23 AM

For Yakuza 7, I'm not sure ... but otherwise, you are always close, yes. I see you are a man of culture. 


12/04/2020 at 04:47 PM

Mortal Kombat did drop the numbering between MK5 (Deadly Alliance) and MK9 (which was simply called Mortal Kombat). It came back with X. King of Fighters XV is getting ready to release soon as well, and up until  KOF 11, those games were numbered by release year. 11 was also where they stopped doing annual iterations.


12/04/2020 at 04:49 PM

A lot of the stuff in Yakuza 7 is lifted from Dragon Quest, including the money penalty for dying. However, every Dragon Quest game I ever played, including the first one, did have the option to run. DQ also isn't as cut-sceney as the FF, Persona, or Xeno games. They usually try to keep things moving along, although VII had an extremely lengthy prologue where you didn't even fight a single battle until two or three hours in. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/04/2020 at 05:16 PM

Ah, ok. And it turns out there IS a run button, I just forgot where it was and the game never reminded me. I do not blame myself for this. 


12/04/2020 at 05:24 PM

The run button probably came from Final Fantasy, where you held the shoulder buttons to run away starting on the SNES. I guess it's lucky Yakuza 7 doesn't take its dying penalty from Fire Emblem (permadeath). 

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/04/2020 at 11:57 PM

To hell with permadeath in any game, frankly. What a non-game, real life thing to impose on someone. Are you as much of an asshold as GOD? No? Then don't do permadeath, you heathen sadist! 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

12/04/2020 at 06:07 PM

I think other commenters have addressed most of your questions, and I've never played a Yakuza game. But this one sounds right up my alley. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/04/2020 at 11:58 PM

Get it all up in your alley, Snee. Get it up in your alley ALL NIGHT LONG. 

Julian Titus Senior Editor

12/05/2020 at 12:14 PM

You're gonna want to watch this.

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/06/2020 at 01:32 AM

I've seen enough interviews with Toshihiro Nagoshi that there wasn't too much in there I didn't know about, but I did love the aside about the lack of planning in the series. lol I guess that's why it helps for them to have kind of a template for each game. Glad things worked out for him and his team the way they did. 

Thanks for the link! It was a good watch. 

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