Yakuza 7 — or to be exact, Ryu ga Gotoku 7, which suggests “Like a Dragon 7,” which is able to drop the “7” and go by Yakuza: Like a Dragon within the West for some purpose — made its public debut as we speak at Tokyo Recreation Present. It was my first probability to see how its controversial shift to a JRPG-style menu-based battle system will really play out in actuality.
First, although, comes our introduction to new collection 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 activity is to discover a job. As soon as he pulls a mysterious baseball bat out of the bottom that his associates had been unable to shift, he features the job class of “hero.” As a result of he likes Dragon Quest.
A new trailer launched as we speak makes it clear that Like a Dragon will characteristic a number of job lessons that grant your characters totally different skills, which means a greater title might need been Yakuza 7: Like Closing Fantasy V. The “host” class, for instance, provides you gaudy apparel and assaults involving flowers and champagne. The “dancer” class, in the meantime, enables 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 harking back to Persona 5, with top-level classes spinning out on one aspect of the display earlier than you dive into sub-menus, however the fight performs out in actual time, and particular assaults may 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 upset on the transfer to what’s primarily turn-based fight, however Like a Dragon’s battles really feel as dynamic because the collection has ever been. The digicam shifts easily from social gathering members to combatants with cinematic framing, and the whole lot performs out rapidly in order that the transitions from exploration to battles don’t really feel jarring. At present’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 aspect actions, which look to be essentially the most in depth within the collection thus far. For instance, there may be an surprisingly full-featured Mario Kart clone known as “Dragon Kart” that sees Kasuga bombing round Yokohama in a go-kart. Yakuza has at all times 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 at all times pleased to see the custom get taken to the following stage.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is wanting good. The seven video games starring Kazuma Kiryu (together with Yakuza 0) would have been be a tough act to comply with even with out switching to a wholly new model 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.