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#7: Yakuza – Like A Dragon
After years of plot continuity and lore coming to a head with Yakuza 6 comes a new Yakuza game that’s now a turn-based RPG and a thinly-veiled Dragon Quest tribute. And I wholeheartedly would recommend this entry to anyone even slightly curious about the crime drama franchise because it lacks one key barrier: baggage.
It’s really hard to jump mid-way between Yakuza 1 to 6 without getting lost in the story and plot points. But with Yakuza: Like A Dragon, you have a new likeable-yet-emotional meathead of a protagonist Ichiban Kasuga and a host of loveable party members ranging from a dad-like beat cop to Korean Vergil. The turn-based combat might take some time getting used to, especially if you need to figure out positioning and enemy movement while between turns. But it’s serviceable and still fun, like a Persona game circa 2010.
However, it’s overshadowed by the game’s epic-if-trope-filled story on Japan’s downtrodden & unfortunate society, and its many, MANY sidequests and optional minigames. From trying to stay awake watching old films in a novelty cinema to an entirely detailed investment management-slash-shareholder appeasement minigame (with its own in-game gacha system involving employees), Yakuza: Like A Dragon will keep you glued to its antics for weeks to come. Or months.
Besides, any game that lets you summon a chicken named Omelette to mass-heal your party that can double-bill as a viable employee in your rice cracker shop for the investment minigame is worthy of a Best Of 2020 top 10 spot.