Like A Dragon Gaiden The Man Who Erased His Name – Review

Learn what the Legendary Yakuza has been doing after faking his own death

Like a Dragon Gaiden Takoyaki Featured Image
Release Date
November 8, 2023
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Reviewed on

Yakuza or Like A Dragon franchise has always become a major franchise among the SEGA and gamers such as myself have been fully immersed by the drama and its impact on the community. With many great storylines, whether long or short, SEGA and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio have delivered fans with a promising franchise to look forward to. Recently, a new game, titled “Like A Dragon Gaiden The Man Who Erased His Name,” was released and this game sort of appeared out of nowhere, answering the many questions about what has happened to the original protagonist of the series and what lies for him in the near future.

Like a Dragon Gaiden takes place after the events of Yakuza 6 Song of Life and during the early days of Like a Dragon (2020). The game focuses once more on the original protagonist of the series, Kiryu Kazama. Players will learn what he has been doing after faking his death in Yakuza 6 and what kind of jobs he has been doing under the Daidoji faction leading to the events that occurred in Like a Dragon.

The story of the game answers a lot of questions and gives us a reality check that no matter what the cost, Kiryu is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family and loved ones. The game’s story is full of twists and turns players will come to expect from a Yakuza game.

However, I am deeply disappointed that the game’s length is quite short as normally, a game like this usually takes 20-plus hours to finish. In this game, it is around 10 plus to finish it and kinda expected more from it. Nevertheless, the game is expected to be this short as it just fills in the blanks for certain events that will lead to the next Yakuza game, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.

The combat system utilizes the original fighting style of Yakuza games where players can punch, throw, and perform HEAT actions to finish off opponents. Using items such as wooden signs, baseballs, guns, katanas, and even more items that can be found depending on where you are. Players will enjoy the amount of carnage they can do to their opponents.

Of course, when it comes to playing as Kiryu, he has the natural ability to switch fighting styles. From his usual fighting style known as the Dragon to a new style known as Agent which allows Kiryu to fight opponents using gadgets provided by the Daidoji faction. Fighting in a new form feels refreshing and somewhat unorthodox out of Kiryu using them. I think that this way of fighting can further help SEGA in developing ways to utilize their combat system in their future game titles for Judgement and other RPG games.

The only downside I see from this combat system is that it lacks innovation to further strengthen its domain as players nowadays, in my opinion, have shifted more towards the Judgment series as being one of the most prominent games to use an action combat system.

Unlocking skills is quite challenging in Like a Dragon Gaiden as players will be focused on earning money and skill points known as Akane Points. Mostly, the only way to earn them in humongous amounts is by clearing substories found in the game through Akane or clearing up achievements through the Castle. In my opinion, this feels somewhat easy, but at the same time entertaining as it is the perfect way to see some not-so-serious moments like meeting the old lady or meeting familiar characters which are not limited to the Yakuza series.

Now the maps used in the game are very nostalgic as players will get a chance to travel around Osaka and Yokohama. Though most of the areas that players will visit are familiar looking. my only regret in this game is that the map size is too small. Frankly, when it comes to Yakuza games, players should get a chance to freely explore the different cities of Japan. Sadly for this game, exploration is limited thus making certain missions a bit too easy to clear.

Of course, a Yakuza game isn’t complete without playing the bonus activities such as singing in Karaoke bars, visiting the SEGA arcades and playing classic games, racing in Pocket Circuit, and more. All these activities are worth playing and allow me to experience what it feels like to enjoy both the nightlife and daytime of Japan. Aside from these good activities, a bonus was added to this game and that is the demo for Like A Dragon Infinite Wealth.

Gaining access to this demo gives me a clear understanding of what we can expect next year and what kind of adventures players will face as they use Ichiban, Kiryu, and other characters who will be present in and out of Japan.

Like a Dragon Gaiden The Man Who Erased His Name is a pretty decent game by itself. It is better appreciated if seen for what it really is, the prologue to Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. If players want some nostalgia, they should get this game despite its shortcomings. Whether it’s on console or PC, this game has met certain expectations of SEGA fans who didn’t know what they wanted.

Like A Dragon Gaiden The Man Who Erased His Name – Review
Score Definition
When the issues of a game are rolled and stomped by its greatness, then it’s something to invest in if you have some spare.
Nostalgic Combat System
Great activiities and substories to play
Dramatic and deep dive story lines
Map is smaller
Short in comparison to previous Yakuza games
Fighting system lacks distinction