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7 things we learned from 15 minutes of Yakuza: Like a Dragon gameplay

Yakuza: Like a Dragon came out in Japan in January, but we're still waiting for it—impatiently—to make it over to the West in English. I'm not sure if this gameplay video from IGN's Summer Gaming Expo makes it easier or harder, but it is at least full of very good Yakuza tidbits.

Here are some things about Yakuza: Like a Dragon you probably don't know, unless you've been closely following reactions to the Japanese release.

  • The game's turn-based JRPG combat, which includes a job system, all takes place in the protagonist's head. He's imagining real fights as these absurd encounters full of special moves.
  • You can level up bonds between characters, called "drink links," and with higher bonds they'll do follow-up attacks for you in combat.
  • There are 19 jobs, each with their own unique outfits.
  • The new setting, Yokohama, is substantially larger than past Yakuza game areas. It's divided into nine districts, each with their own vibes and threat levels which affect how hard combat will be.
  • One of your party members carries a guitar and attacks by pulling a CD out of his vest and throwing it. It does more damage if you tap a button at the right moment (think Paper Mario).
  • There's a significant business management mode where you take over a "failing confectionery company" and turn it into a "great holdings company." That process will apparently include some "epic shareholder battles."
  • Dragon Kart and Can Quest are racing minigames. In Can Quest, you pick up cans in a rickshaw and try to outcollect other can collectors. 

Like a Dragon doesn't have a release date set for the West just yet, but in the interview above Sega's localization producer said it will be there "day one" for the launch of the Xbox Series X, and also on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam. That's not as specific as we hoped for, but it at least narrows the window down to sometime this holiday season.

When he's not 50 hours into a JRPG or an opaque ASCII roguelike, Wes is probably playing the hottest games of three years ago. He oversees features, seeking out personal stories from PC gaming's niche communities. 50% pizza by volume.