Is Like A Dragon: Ishin! Game Worth It? Review

Is Like A Dragon: Ishin! Game Worth It? Review

Like a Dragon: Ishin! is the remake of an early game that was never released outside Japan. It is about the life of a Yakuza person in 1800. The era when the past and future were divided. You are searching for the killers of your mentor. The game has both guns and katanas. It is a cleaned-up localized version of the original game. It takes different faces from the characters of the Yakuza and tosses them into a single game. Some enemies are allies while some allies are enemies. It uses the faces of characters we know from the Yakuza series but their role in the world is different. Think of it like a reimagined version of Yakuza in the 1800s.

Kiryu is the same guy that we have known in the Yakuza series. However, other characters have adjusted to their new roles in the world. Players have to adjust to new and old characters. The quest of Kiryu is to find his father’s killer. There are politics, criminals, and other things involved in the plot. Players have to get through all the hurdles just to find the killers. It delivers Yakuza-style gameplay as the era is going towards modernization. Some of the characters are reused from the old Yakuza game. A lot of the characters are reused. Players are supposed to find the killer of their mentor and the quest begins.

Plot (Spoiler Free)

The plot revolves around you finding the killers of your mentor who is also your father figure. It is part revenge, part joining enemies to find the killers and part soap operas. There are lots of characters and characters are complicated with good twists. The game starts slow, so it has a slow start and the story takes time to pick up while the cool stuff starts.

Early on in the beginning of the game, there is a lot of talking. You will go, stop talking to a character and a cut scene will start. Characters will tell you something or will point you at something and things like that. Like a Dragon: Ishin! will throw a lot of characters at you. Some of these characters will hold little value in the story and will feel wasted. Slowly the game will start to take pace and everything will start to clarify.

Setting and Missions

As you continue you will unlock new areas in the city. These new areas will have quests that you can do. Ability cards and Trooper cards can now be used in the open world which gives more freedom. It feels like a Yakuza game from understanding the combos to using them. Like A Dragon: Ishin! game shares a lot with the Yakuza series. It is the type of game where you talk to someone and the next thing you know, you are fighting that person.

The game lets you take underling of Shogunate forces. You can send them on missions. The forces you send on missions will earn you resources when they are successful. You will face bosses and mini-bosses while you are tracking down the culprit. You will get to face mini-bosses which can be extra enemies to take down. At times, it can be confusing but rewarding as well.

One moment you are learning ability and the next moment you are planting a garden. The next moment you are building a relationship with a store owner and things like that. Just when you think you are done a card game will start or you will need to find someone’s dog. So there are a lot of different things that one can end up doing.

The city is good you can spend time doing different things. There are marketplaces, general places, and country areas and all of it is beautiful. There is always something to explore in these types of games. The main game is the combination of 3rd person and action adventure.

Streets of Like A Dragon: Ishin!

There are a lot of side missions these small side missions include looking for a dog, finding something, doing something, looking for a person, and things like that. These side quests can include something small to something hilarious and fun. Side quests paint a better picture of the world.

Streets are filled with different things to take advantage of. You can level up and customize your weapon at a blacksmith. Make relationships with different craftsmen, work with them, and things like that. Making relationships with the people outside can unlock more dialogues. The unlocking of new dialogues leads to new side missions. So there are a lot of things players can do in the streets of Like A Dragon: Ishin! game.


Combat of the game starts limited and takes some time to get going. It will feel repetitive and stiff in the beginning but starts to feel better as you spend more time with it. Like the Yakuza game, you will have the choice of swapping fighting styles on the go. Like different katanas, you can use different guns during combat. There is even a combat style that lets you use a gun and sword at the same time. All of the combat styles are cool and present good action sequences.

All of the fighting styles have a heat meter that you can fill up. Filling the meter will let you do a powerful attack that can decimate enemies. In the beginning, the character will feel stiff. However, as you fight you will earn skill points that you can spend on specific styles to unlock more attacks.

Upgrades and Fighting Style

Leveling up will give you access to new moves which will improve your fighting style in combat. Increasing attack, doing combos, and unlocking more challenging attacks makes your character better in combat.

Its fighting is similar to other titles like Yakuza. There are four different fighting styles which include sword man, gunslinger, brawler, and wild dancer. All these different styles will change how your character fights. As you play more you will start to understand what type of enemies are easier to take down with what style. The more you level up attacks the more powerful will they become.

General Gameplay

Graphically the game looks old at times. Its graphics are not at the level of the new games that we are seeing for the 9th generation of consoles. The game lags in terms of looks department and looks similar to the Yakuza games. The main character, the one you control looks good but the side characters and NPCs, not so much. Aesthetically, the environment looks good and the game performs well. FPS of the game are stable and they are stable throughout, unlike some other games.

It is a remake so you are not going to see something insane that’s going to blow your mind. Like a Dragon: Ishin! is a more polished version of an old game. Despite being a remake, it feels rough, camera angles are not good. Compared to other remakes it is not as polished. It is an alternate reality and you can see the choices being made to fit in characters from other games.

One can see characters from other games but they don’t have English voiceovers. All the characters have Japanese voice-overs with English subtitles. The voice-over of characters is pretty good and only the main characters have full voice-overs. The game is mostly about steel against steel.

Explore the World

The game wants you to check things up all around. Pray at a shire, buy things, and do different things in the open world. It will even reward you for certain things. Use Shrine to unlock new things such as better sprint, increase inventory size, a better reputation, and even things for the house.

You have a house and you can farm and do things such as cooking, mini-games, and arcade game. You even have the choice of doing beat ’em-style action. It is good for energy points and things like that. There is a lot of side stuff to be done other than the main gameplay in Like a Dragon: Ishin! game. You are undercover and are searching for the killer of your mentor which leads to some interesting scenarios. There are a lot of hilarious situations as well which is something common in these types of games.


Like A Dragon: Ishin! game is all about Yakuza-style gameplay in the time of Katana and lords. It is a remake of a game that never got released in the West. The game shows the life of a Yakuza member set in 1800. The era where the past and future were forever separate. It takes place in an era when swords were a much important as guns. You will find the killer of your mentors in the era of guns and katana. The game has the essence of Yakuza games and one can see the heavy influence of Yakuza games pretty early on.

Landing shoots, taking down enemies with steel all of it feel great. The combat of the game leaves nothing behind. It has fun arcade-style gameplay. Even the music is arcade-style which sits perfectly well with the gameplay. In terms of feeling and gameplay, it feels like Yakuza games, it does not shy away from showing that connection. You will see a lot of Yakuza game-type things that are part of the game.

It is a game that feels good for the fans of the Yakuza series and it might feel different for the newcomers. Combat is fun and does not shy away from experimenting with fighting styles. If you are a fan of Yakuza-style games then Like A Dragon: Ishin! could be a good game for you. If you are not a fan of Yakuza-style games then this might not hold that much interest for you. It can also be a good entry point in these types of games.

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