“I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away, I don’t know where my soul is,” sang Nelly Furtardo in 2001. “I’m like a Dragon,” retorts Ichiban Kasuga in 2019 as Sega have fully revealed Yakuza: Like a Dragon and it’s heading to PlayStation 4 in Japan on January 16th, 2020, with a Western launch planned for 2020.
“Yakuza: Like a Dragon is much more than just a new chapter in the Yakuza series,” say Sega. “Much like the new English title itself, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a complete reimagining of the franchise, a landmark to coincide with the series’ 15th anniversary.”
“With the bulk of the game taking place in the large-scale, painstakingly-realized setting of Ijincho in Yokohama, players will explore an entirely new side of Japan never-before-seen in the series. Not only that, but Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s combat system has undergone a major overhaul, combining Yakuza’s established brawling action with a turn-based RPG battle system.”
Creator Toshihiro Nagoshi is describing Yakuza: Like a Dragon as a “watershed” moment for the franchise.
Ichiban Kasuga, the lead character in the game is said to be a big fan of Square Enix’s Dragon Quest, Sega and Square have come to an arrangement where Kasuga will talk about the game within his own game. Kasuga went to jail in 2002 and now, eighteen years later, he finds himself looking down the gun barrel of Masumi Arakawa who Kasuga owes his life. He manages escape, saved by Nanba (Ken Yasuda), and heads to the city of Yokohama. The story will tell the tale of Kasuga’s rise and the new location, Yokohama, is said to be three times larger than Kamurocho.
The biggest change to the franchise is that it now has turn based combat.
“Classic Yakuza game format reached one complete style so wanted to try totally different to jump,” tweeted tech journalist Takashi Mochizuki who was at the”Ryu ga Gotoku Latest Title” conference in Akihabara Japan . “Our experts of action game creation made this RPG with their flavor; hope fans welcome this change. If not, happy to change back to action game for future releases.”
The Yakuza Remastered collection was recently announced for western shoes, you can read more about that here.