Yakuza 7 — or to be exact, Ryu ga Gotoku 7, which implies “Like a Dragon 7,” which is able to drop the “7” and go by Yakuza: Like a Dragon within the West for some motive — made its public debut at this time at Tokyo Sport Present. It was my first likelihood to see how its controversial shift to a JRPG-style menu-based battle system will truly play out in actuality.
First, although, comes our introduction to new sequence protagonist, the wild-haired Ichiban Kasuga, and it’s clear that Like a Dragon’s JRPG infatuation goes past the fight. Kasuga has spent 18 years in jail after taking the autumn for a yakuza boss, and after getting betrayed by his former household upon launch, his first process is to discover a job. As soon as he pulls a mysterious baseball bat out of the bottom that his associates have been unable to shift, he beneficial properties the job class of “hero.” As a result of he likes Dragon Quest.
A brand new trailer launched at this time makes it clear that Like a Dragon will characteristic a number of job courses that grant your characters completely different skills, which means a greater title may need been Yakuza 7: Like Remaining Fantasy V. The “host” class, for instance, offers you gaudy apparel and assaults involving flowers and champagne. The “dancer” class, in the meantime, allows you to deal injury with breakdancing footwork whereas dressed like John Cena.
Simply to be tremendous clear right here, Like a Dragon’s battle system is totally bananas. The interface is paying homage to Persona 5, with top-level classes spinning out on one facet of the display screen earlier than you dive into sub-menus, however the fight performs out in actual time, and particular assaults might be as elaborate as something you’ve seen in additional fantastical RPGs. One devastating approach includes your homeless buddy launching himself into the air, taking a swig of god-knows-what from a bottle, and raining down hellfire in your unlucky gangster opponents. Kasuga’s RPG infatuation additionally sometimes causes him to view common human enemies as distorted, hulking monsters, a lot to his associates’ confusion.
I’m certain there’ll nonetheless be people who find themselves disillusioned on the transfer to what’s primarily turn-based fight, however Like a Dragon’s battles really feel as dynamic because the sequence has ever been. The digicam shifts easily from social gathering members to combatants with cinematic framing, and every thing performs out rapidly in order that the transitions from exploration to battles don’t really feel jarring. In the present day’s demo wasn’t anyplace close to sufficient time to guage the depth of the system, however I’m optimistic that it’ll be a enjoyable new twist on Yakuza fight.
You’ll be able to see the way it works on this new gameplay trailer:
Watch that trailer lengthy sufficient and also you’ll come throughout particulars of Like a Dragon’s new facet actions, which look to be probably the most in depth within the sequence to this point. For instance, there’s an surprisingly full-featured Mario Kart clone known as “Dragon Kart” that sees Kasuga bombing round Yokohama in a go-kart. Yakuza has all the time been about hanging out and doing ridiculous issues in Japan as a lot because it’s been about taking down crime lords, and I’m all the time comfortable to see the custom get taken to the following stage.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is trying good. The seven video games starring Kazuma Kiryu (together with Yakuza zero) would have been be a tough act to comply with even with out switching to a wholly new type of fight, however my time with Ichiban Kasuga’s debut gave me confidence that Sega can stick the touchdown. It’s out in January in Japan, and a Western launch is ready for someday in 2020.