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!