HAVE A VIDEO YOU WANT TO FEATURE ON OUR PAGE?

Submit Video

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert
Advert
Advert

Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name review

Richard Lee Breslin

Published 
| Last updated 

Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name review

Featured Image Credit: SEGA

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room. As much as I love this series, who thought it was a good idea to give this game the long name of Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name? Seriously, this isn't going to do our URL any favours. It’s a good thing that I absolutely love this SEGA series.

Advert

Like a Dragon Gaiden takes place three years after the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, but also during the events of 2020s Yakuza: Like a Dragon. During the dramatic conclusion of Yakuza 6, our beloved protagonist Kazuma Kiryu was shot and left for dead, saving those he loved - or so we thought. Kiryu used this moment to not only ensure the safety of his loved ones but also to fake his own death and live a quiet, Yakuza-free life.

Check out the Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name trailer below!

Loading…

Advert

However, as fans of the series will know, it’s practically impossible for our Kiryu to live a peaceful life. There are usually two likely scenarios, either Kiryu is recognised by other members of a criminal organisation or he partakes in his seemingly favourite pastime, punching random thugs in the face and drawing attention to himself.

Like a Dragon Gaiden takes place in Osaka and Yokohama, as part of the deal to fake his own death, Kiryu now works for a faction called Daidoji under the false identity “Joryu” as a secret agent. Unfortunately for Kiryu, the proverbial sh** hits the fan and Kiryu’s once iron-clad pact is no longer the buried secret that he thought.

At its core, Like a Dragon Gaiden plays almost identically to all the previous games (formerly known as Yakuza) starring Kiryu. The combat is easy to pick up and play, and only really challenges you with some of the latter boss fights. Granted, you do have the option of the harder difficulty settings, other than Normal which is my default preference on first playthroughs.

Advert
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name/Credit: SEGA
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name/Credit: SEGA

Kiryu has two fighting styles that you can switch between on the fly during combat. You can choose from ‘Agent’, which is high-octane where speed is of the essence, handy for fighting extra large mobs. When using ‘Agent’, Kiryu also has access to a Wire Gadget which almost acts like Indiana Jones’s whip as you tangle enemies, pull and throw them about to your heart's content. The Wire Gadget can also be used when exploring to acquire out-of-reach items.

As for the second style, ‘Yakuza’, this is the button-mashing combat that we know and love from previous games. Much like the Wire Gadget, the ‘Yakuza’ fighting style has its own handy perk in the form of a well-timed counter which can be performed by pressing L1 and Cross (on PlayStation) at just the right time to knock your enemy on their backside.

Advert

As with previous games, both of the two fighting styles can be upgraded, as well as other abilities, such as improved fighting and health stats, and new moves to unlock. Yet, unlike previous games in which XP earned can be spent on upgrades, instead you’ll have to use in-game cash, which means that you will want to spend your money wisely, especially when you’ll also need to buy health items, gear and of course, partake in the many minigames that Like a Dragon Gaiden has to offer, including classic games at the SEGA arcades.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name/Credit: SEGA
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name/Credit: SEGA

The SEGA arcades feature machines such as Sonic Fighters, Virtual Fighter 2.1, Daytona USA 2 (called SEGA Racing Classic 2, likely due to an expired licence), the UFO Catcher and more. Other minigames outside the arcades include awesome karaoke, darts, pool, the cabaret club, and a battle arena to name but a few. What’s more, as with Lost Judgment, Like a Dragon Gaiden even features SEGA Master System games a little further into the campaign with a personal favourite of mine being Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Advert

Prior to the release of Like a Dragon Gaiden, during an interview on Automaton, writer Masayoshi Yokotama confirmed that the game was intended to be a DLC prelude to the upcoming Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, but morphed into a standalone game. This is likely why it has a low launch RRP of £44.99/$49.99 USD and can only be purchased digitally (at the time of writing). Yet, I wouldn't hold that against Like a Dragon Gaiden, because if this news wasn't made public, I doubt I would have known otherwise. Regardless, you can probably expect to spend a little less time playing Like a Dragon Gaiden compared to other mainline entries before you see its conclusion, but that time will vary from gamer to gamer.

Unlike previous games in the series starring Kiryu, you will have the option to play the game in English-speaking dialogue or Japanese with English subtitles. From what I have heard in previews, the English-speaking dialogue delivered by YouTuber and actor Yong Yea does a fine job voicing Kiryu, but it just sounded off to me and my preference will always be the soothing voice of Takaya Kuroda. That being said, it’s still nice to have this option as we had with Lost Judgment and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The English dub will arrive via a free update in December.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name/Credit: SEGA
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name/Credit: SEGA

Like a Dragon Gaiden doesn't do much to challenge the tried and tested formula of this series. Yet speaking as a devoted fan, this is what I’m here for. I love the character Kiryu and I’ve always enjoyed the easy-to-pick-up gameplay of this series. For that reason, I’m happy that this series continues to be my creature comfort of video games. After all, Yakuza: Like a Dragon and its upcoming sequel Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth offers an alternative to this series with its turn-based combat.

Don’t go into Like a Dragon Gaiden expecting game-changing mechanics, though I suspect that’s not what you’re here for anyway. Like a Dragon Gaiden is the video game equivalent of a cosy night in, whether you’re punching street thugs in the face or partaking in a spot of karaoke. Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name brings us a heavy dose of Kazuma Kiryu with an abundance of joy that will have you grinning from ear to ear and I wouldn't want it any other way, ridiculously long title and all.

Pros: Fun gameplay, loads of great side-activities, wonderful voice acting, Kiryu is forever charming

Cons: Doesn't do much to change the series formula

Fans of: Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Lost Judgment, Shenmue

7/10: Very Good

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name releases for PC, PlayStation and Xbox on 9 November 2023. Review code was provided by SEGA. Read a guide to our review scores here.

Topics: Sega, Yakuza, PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Richard Lee Breslin
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Amazon

Fallout 5 has left me with one major concern

a day ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read