Like a Dragon: Ishin!

It took close to 200 hundred hours, but we finished Like a Dragon: Ishin! with 100% completion. The game is a spin-off from the Like a Dragon/Yakuza series, set in the late Edo period, and features real historical figures, who in the game look like characters from the mainline series. The game was originally released on PS3/PS4 in Japan back in 2014, and has now been remastered and released outside of Japan. For the most part it’s exactly what you expect from a Like a Dragon game. A story that starts off simple but ends up with more twists than you can count, seemingly endless minigames, and insanely fun combat.

The story follows Sakamoto Ryōma, who is hunting down the person who killed his adoptive father. To do this he travels to Kyo and that’s where the majority of the game takes place. Like the other games in the series there’s a ton of side-quests and things to do while you complete the main story. If you want to 100% the game, like I always try to do, then the majority of time will be spent with the minigames and side content. I actually think this may be the shortest story of the series, out of the ones I’ve played at least.

Combat-wise this is definitely a lot of fun. You have four different fighting styles, that level-up based on how much you use that specific style. The wild-dancer style was the one I used most, a mix of sword and guns at the same time. It was definitely overpowered to a lot of enemies, but a lot of fun to play with. I never got bored getting into fights or finding boss fights.

There is a lot of minigames and side content in this game and it was such a grind to get everything done. Nothing is painstakingly impossible, it just takes an age and a half to do everything. The smithing completion list is immense and takes way too long to complete. I found the karaoke a lot easier than in other games, and the dancing minigame was alright once I got used to the controls. It was just waiting for specific seals to drop from enemies that made me want to give up.

I enjoyed Like a Dragon: Ishin!, but what I’ll remember most is just repeating the same stuff over and over. If you don’t care about getting that elusive 100% then this is a brilliant entry to the series. Kyo is a lot of fun to explore and while it is a grind in places, there’s still a lot to enjoy.

Thanks for reading!


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Magic in London: Enrolment – Part Fourteen

Catch up on Magic in London here:

The bricks didn’t stick out of the wall far enough for Chuck to climb down into the well with ease. Instead, he had to step down onto them, with his feet sideways and they still hung over the edge a little. As he stepped onto the highest brick he was holding onto the top of the well’s opening as tightly as possible. He was shaking and was pretty sure if he took another step he would drop to his death, probably crushing the boy at the bottom of the well at the same time.

“I don’t think I can do this,” he said to Fiona.

“C’mon Chuck, just try. I have to stay up here in case anything comes to attack us. I think you’ll do better climbing down there than protecting us from attackers. You’ll be fine, just go slowly and try not to panic.”

“That’s easier said than done.”

As he slowly lowered himself down the well, his feet shakingly reaching for the next brick, Chuck was sure he was going to drop. His head went below the entrance to the well and the light dimmed. It also meant that he had to stop holding the edge of the well and move his hands down to the steps that he’d been standing on moments before. Chuck hugged the wall as tightly as possible, positive that he would stumble and fall at any moment.

Slowly he made his way to the bottom, his teeth gritted and eyes closed for most of the way. He was breathing heavily, terrified that his death was imminent, and still he continued. As he got deeper into the well, he was brushing up against fungus that was growing out of the cracks in the wall. It felt like there was more and more.

“You doing alright?” Fiona asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Just keep going. You’re almost there.”

Chuck didn’t respond again, he just focused on breathing and climbing down to rescue the boy. Chips from the bricks flew away as he stepped from one brick to another, spiralling around the well and slowly making his way to the bottom.

He looked down, thinking the end wouldn’t be in sight, but it was and he felt a lot more confident knowing that if he dropped down he wouldn’t hurt himself that badly, could probably even land on his feet.

“Are you okay?” he asked the boy as he got closer. “Are you able to stand.”

“I think so,” the boy spluttered and tried to stand up.

The bottom of the well was covered in the fungus, making it very soft to stand on. Chuck thought it would probably have been enough of a cushion to avoid serious injury when falling, but it was still a miracle that the boy hadn’t smashed his head open on the wall during the fall down.

“Okay, grab onto me and hold tight,” Chuck said while helping the boy onto his back.

He was almost frozen in fright as Chuck carried him upwards. It was slow going at first, as Chuck had to adjust to the weight. His arms and legs were aching and there were several points on the way up where he was sure his muscles would just give up and they would both fall. Something about knowing someone else’s life was in his hands kept him moving and the pair made their way upwards and out of the well in a fraction of the time that it took for Chuck to get down it.

“Well done,” Fiona said while helping the boy get off Chuck’s back while he was still clambering to the edge of the well, kicking away pieces of brick as he did.

“Thank you. Oh God, thank you,” the boy said.

He was shaking, covered in dirt, and was on the brink of bursting into tears.

“It’s okay now,” Fiona said. “It’s okay. Don’t worry anymore. We won’t let anything bad happen to you.”

Chuck fell to his knees as soon as he was out of the well and then collapsed onto his side. His arms and legs were aching more than they ever had done in life.

“I know it’s a lot right now,” Fiona said. “But I need to know. What’s going on here?”

“I don’t know. He just started saying things and they became true. He said he was going to keep us all here to die. I was so scared.”

“It’s okay. Don’t worry. Look, you need to find somewhere safe. Are you able to go home by yourself?”

“Yes, I normally get the bus.”

“Okay, go straight home and don’t look back. This will all fade like a dream soon, as long as you don’t come back here, got it?”


Fiona helped the boy to his feet and walked him over to the school gates. She waved her knife and helped him step through back onto the street.

He ran. Faster than he’d ever ran before. He turned corners, skipped the bus, and just continued running. He ran all the way home and when he reached the front door he unlocked it and walked in, without remembering a single thing that had happened in school that day. He got a glass of cola from the fridge, sat down, and turned on the TV to play some games.

“Are you ready?” Fiona asked Chuck, who was still lying on the floor wishing that he’d never have to move again.

“Not really,” he replied. 

To Be Continued…

Part Fifteen will be available next Friday! Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss a post:

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Mob Psycho 100 – Volume One – Mange Review

Mob Psycho 100 is a comedy manga from One, the creator of One Punch Man. The story follows Shigeo Kageyama, who is nicknamed Mob as he blends into the crowd. Mob is a super human and has psychic powers. He’s a middle-school student who also has a parttime job as Arataka Reigen’s assistant. Reigen is a fake psychic who uses tricks in order to make money from clients. He also uses Mob to actually deal with spirits, calling it learning experience for him.

The art style is really unique, but perfectly fits the story and makes the comedy even funnier. It’s a very understated style, which reflects how Mob doesn’t seem to care that he has powers, and is just trying to live a normal life. There’s a real rough around the edges feel to it all, and it’s quite different to the art style normally found in a superhero manga.

The first volume introduces you to Mob and Reigen, and shows their relationship and how they go about helping customers. Mob takes everything Reigen says at face value, even when it’s clear that Reigen is lying about being psychic. I really like the dynamic the pair have. Reigen is clearly using Mob, but he just can’t see it.

In the second half of the volume a much bigger story kicks off, where a cult attempts to recruit Mob and that backfires. It’s a bizarre and funny story and while at first it seems completely inconsequential, it leads to things that kick the overall story into gear.

Mob Psycho 100 is a really fun read. There’s laugh out loud moments, great characters, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Thanks for reading!

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Build King – Manga Review

After reading the first few chapters of Build King I was hooked. It instantly feels like a classic Shonen manga, and is similar to Dragon Ball, One Piece, or Naruto. If someone told me that it was from twenty plus years ago I would have believed them, but it was actually serialised between November 2020 and April 2021. Somehow this went completely under my radar as it was coming out, and it seems like I’m not the only one as the series was sadly cancelled after twenty chapters. Thankfully Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro was able to give the series an ending with five additional chapters in the third collected volume.

The story follows brothers, Tonkachi and Renga, who live on Hammer Island and dream of becoming builders to make the world a better place. Tonkachi is incredibly strong, and aims to build peace, while Renga is very good at construction. They make a good partnership and set off from the island to achieve their dream, meeting other people and facing struggles on the way.

It’s a typical Shonen manga, and even though it’s about two builders, they still end up in plenty of live or death situations and have to fight a whole bunch of bad guys along the way. There’s all the tropes you’d expect from the genre. The first two arcs are really great, and a lot of fun to read. The pair find a way to help their home island from house eaters, and travel across the sea in a sentient house. Before reading this manga I didn’t think it was possible to care about a sentient house, but this series manages it.

As the story gets closer towards the ending it does start to get very rushed and muddled. There’s a lot of talking about vigor and special abilities and none of it really matters as the story doesn’t get that far. It’s a shame that the series didn’t get more time to explore and expand on these ideas.

Still, it is a lot of fun to read and if you’re a fan of Shonen manga then this is pretty decent. It’s still satisfying, even though the story is far from over. I enjoyed it while it lasted and will hope that maybe in the future the story will live on.

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Invasion – Final Part – Short Story

Panic raced through Lukas’s body as he saw the new Tony walk towards him, as the decomposing Tony was laying on the sofa inches away. He backed up and started to make a mental route in his mind to the front door so he could leave as quickly as possible.

“Are you okay Lukas?” Tony said, still walking towards him without any trace of emotion on his face.

Lukas couldn’t speak. He didn’t want to speak. He just wanted to leave. Tony was getting closer, but Lukas was sure he could get to the front door.

“You do not need to leave, my friend. I am here for you. What is wrong?”

Lukas had made his way to the hallway, half-twisting his body to reach out his hand to the latch on the front door. Tony made his way to the doorway.

“There is no need to be scared. You are one of us. We are one.”

The front door opened and he threw it against the wall and left as quickly as he could, going into a full sprint as soon as he was outside. Lukas raced down the street and once he reached the corner he turned to see that the new Tony wasn’t following. He was standing in the doorway to the house, watching. His face completely neutral. They stared at each other for a few moments, as Lukas caught his breath.

The doors to every other house on the street opened in unison and people came forward and stood in the doorway, looking towards Lukas with the same empty expression as Tony. Lukas backed off, turned, and started to run again. He ran as fast as he could and every street that he ran down people opened their doors and stared at him. At first it was every single house, but then a door here and there would stay closed.

At least there’s still some people still alive, Lukas thought as he ran down the street. He made a quick decision in his head to go and see Melony, maybe the thing that had answered the door earlier was one of those things and Melony was still alive inside the house. Maybe if he got there quick enough, he could save her. He’d all but forgotten about Gloopy in his bag. It only entered his mind when he thought about throwing his bag to the side of the road and leaving it, but those little eyes popped into his head and he just couldn’t. He was still hoping that Gloopy was one of the good ones, whatever was going on couldn’t have anything to do with it.

Lukas turned onto Melony’s street at a quick walk. He’d stopped running a few streets back, his body ready to give up on moving at all. He approached the house, and his heart sank as Melony came to the front door with that empty expression on her face.

“Why are you here Lukas? There is nothing for you here. You should go home and rest.”

“I’m here to see if Melony is alright.”

“I am okay Lukas.”

Lukas rushed passed the fake Melony, pushing her to one side as he did. She didn’t make a sound, just stumbled slightly and let Lukas go by.

“Where is she?”

“I am here, Lukas.”

He went from room to room looking for her, silently wishing she was still alive. It felt like time was moving too quickly as he searched the house. He would go into a room, look around and leave and go to the next one, but he almost immediately forgot the room before. The world was spinning around him. The downstairs was clear, so Lukas headed upstairs taking two steps at a time. The fake Melony followed him, walking casually behind him.

He found her on her bed. She was a husk of her former self, and dead. Just like Tony, her skin was grey and clung to her bones. The only colour on her was the purple bruise on her arm. Lukas felt like dropping to the floor and crying. He just wanted to give up on everything. The fake Melony walked past and stood next to the body on the bed. She looked at Lukas, made eye contact and then plunged her fingers into the bruise on Melony’s arm. The thing’s finger pierced the skin and then tensed. Melony’s already decaying body started to decompose further. It was like a deflating balloon.

“This is all you are to us, Lukas. Food.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“We must eat. That is all. This is not personal. This is not a vendetta. You are food and we want to survive.”

Lukas stumbled out of the room, practically falling down the stairs. He managed to keep himself upright by holding onto the railing as he went down.  As he reached the bottom he turned and saw her standing at the top, watching him.

“Why?” he croaked, tears and snot filling his face.

“Our kind travelled here on an asteroid that burnt up in your atmosphere but we survived as a bacteria that caused illness in you. The one you call Gloopy is one of us. She will take your nutrients and your form and then join us. It is inevitable and she has known it since the first day you met. Our planet was dying and just like your kind we want to survive. If Earth was dying and you had the power to leave, wouldn’t you? Don’t take it personally. We are the superior beings. That is life. There is nothing more meaningful than that.”

Lukas made his way out of the house, back onto the cold and quiet street where nothing had changed from the last time, he’d walked down it.

“Your time is almost up, Lukas. There is no stopping the inevitable,” the fake Melony said from the doorway.

Lukas stumbled onwards, not sure what more there was to do. Almost instinctively he was walking home, but for what? Tony was dead, Melony was dead, and soon enough everyone would be dead. Who could he warn? Who could he save? Were the police already dead?

He turned a corner and found his way to the little park where he and Melony had spent so many afternoons together. It was still cold, still quiet and peaceful. He changed direction and headed towards the bench they used to sit at, thinking it was a good a place as any to organise his thoughts. As he sat down, he realised that Gloopy was still in the bag wriggling about. He opened it and let his friend out to sit next to him. He couldn’t believe that Gloopy was one of them.

Gloopy was very still and the pair sat still watching the sun as it started to set. He could feel an itch on his foot, but he ignored it. The wind continued to move around them, stopping for no one, and he felt it chill his face. He didn’t care. Gloopy sat still as well, which surprised Lukas as normally it was very inquisitive and moved around a lot.

The itching grew so he pulled his leg over the other and started to scratch beneath his shoe. He couldn’t quite reach it, so ended up taking his shoe off and pulling down his sock. There it was, the thing that he’d been dreading, a small purple bruise that glowed with life. Gloopy moved from where it sat and headed towards the bruise. Lukas pushed it away, standing up and jumping away from the little monster. His heart was beating so fast that he was sure it would fail. Gloopy stayed on the bench, looking at him. Most of Lukas wanted to leave, but he just couldn’t. He looked into Gloopy’s eyes and just couldn’t leave. He fought his instincts and started to back away. Gloopy continued to look at him with those eyes, filled with wonder and innocence. Gloopy didn’t understand what he was doing was hurting him, Lukas had to believe that. He couldn’t walk away. Instead, he sat down next to his little friend.

The End

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