Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name – A New Adventure With Kazuma Kiryu
Following the release of Yakuza 6, fans believed that Kazuma Kiryu’s story as a protagonist in the franchise had come to an end. However, during last year’s Tokyo Game Show, RGG Studio surprised us with two new games that allow players to once again step into the shoes of the legendary Dragon of Dojima. One of these games is Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, and I had the opportunity to experience a demo of it at this year’s Tokyo Game Show.
A Bridge Between Two Games
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is a spin-off game that is sure to captivate longtime fans. It delves into the story of what Kiryu-san has been up to between Yakuza 6 and the upcoming mainline entry, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth (or Ryu ga Gotoku 8 in Japan). Gaiden serves as the connective tissue that bridges the gap between these two games, potentially providing important details that will enhance later Like a Dragon titles.
A Return to Real-Time Brawler Combat
In 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the series shifted from real-time combat to turn-based RPG gameplay. However, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name brings back the beloved real-time brawler style that RGG Studio has showcased in the Judgment games. In this new story, Kiryu has become a secret agent for the Daidoji faction and adopts the name “Joryu.” His combat abilities now reflect his new role as an agent, with gadgets straight out of a spy film assisting and enhancing his combat prowess.
New Gadgets and Abilities
Kiryu can now summon mini drones called Hornets, which can distract enemies and deal minimal damage, allowing him to focus on his opponents. Additionally, he has acquired jet-propulsion shoes called Serpent, enabling him to swiftly evade danger or execute charging attacks. To add a controlled explosive element to his combat, he can utilize a small short-timed bomb resembling a cigarette, known as Firefly.
Awe-Inspiring Combat with the Spider Gadget
One of the most exciting additions is the Spider gadget. When activated, Kiryu shoots out wires that attach to nearby enemies, allowing him to swing them around before detaching the wire and throwing them. This attack not only inflicts damage but also knocks down both the swung enemies and any other foes hit by the thrown enemies. The Spider gadget truly feels like a power pulled straight out of a Spider-Man game.
Anticipating an Exciting Adventure
Overall, I found the new Agent style combat in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name to be incredibly enjoyable. It adds a fresh spin to the bombastic fights seen in the Yakuza series. I hope to see even more unique ways to fight in the final release of the game. While this preview focuses on the combat mechanics, there are still numerous other aspects to look forward to, such as the intriguing espionage storyline and the delightful characters and mini-games that await. I am eagerly awaiting the release next month to uncover all the surprises this game has in store.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will be available on November 9, 2023 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, and PC.
Special thanks to SEGA for inviting me to their booth at Tokyo Game Show 2023.