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Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Review

Like a dragon Infinite Wealth review
Image: Sega

Hot on the heels of Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, we now have the next proper entry in the long-running Yakuza series. Fronted by Ichiban Kasuga, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is the second game in the series to feature turn-based combat, making it feel like a genuine RPG. And along with a new setting and more things to see and do than ever before, it’s yet another engrossing crime-driven caper full of humour, violence, and some genuinely surprising twists.

Picking up after the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Infinite Wealth finds Ichiban hard at work in Yokohama trying to fulfill his promise of helping ex-Yakuza move forward now that all the clans have been dissolved. But of course, while Ichiban himself is easy-going, there’s nothing about his life that’s a walk in the park. Soon enough he’s once again fighting on the streets alongside friends Adachi and Nanba. That is until an encounter with someone from Ichiban’s past reveals that his birth mother is still alive and living in Hawaii, and she wants to meet him.

It’s upon arriving in Hawaii that Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth truly begins. Of course, nothing quite goes to plan, and Ichiban goes from one hair-raising scenario to another, acquiring unlikely friends in the process. You’re soon accompanied by a new cast of supporting characters, as well as a familiar face in the form of Kiryu. It’s the setting that the real star here, though, Hawaii really is a breath of fresh air for the series, being more light, airy and laid back than the usual dives you’re free to explore. It’s also huge, giving you more space to breathe while also allowing for more activities and substories to be crammed in.

Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth review
Image: Sega

Perhaps because of the sheer size of Hawaii, getting around has been made easier than ever before. You can now simply open up the map and fast travel to any taxi point you’ve unlocked, for a fee of course. Encounter a certain sub-story out in the world and you can unlock a Segway-like scooter to get around on, too, though you’ll have to charge it every once in a while. For the most part, though, it’s wise to travel by foot: not only does it give you to opportunity to pick up all sorts of useful stuff as you make your way from one place to another, but also engage in battles and discover other interesting opportunities to grow your characters.

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As ever, combat plays a huge role in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, and while the turn-based system on offer here remains largely unchanged there are some tweaks that have quite an impact. Perhaps the biggest of these is the introduction of powerful back attacks, which makes positioning more important than ever. You can now also score extra damage by knocking an enemy into a party member, with them getting in on the action to land another blow. In addition to lots of other small tweaks, the combat in Infinite Wealth feels more lively, dynamic, and ultimately more enjoyable.

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Jobs also make a return, and there are lots of new ones to learn inspired by the Hawaiian setting. There’s the Maraca-shaking Geodancer, for example, and the Aquanaut that clads its user in a wetsuit. Some of these jobs are only available to specific party members, and with multiple skills and stats boosts to obtain in each job, it pays to level up multiple of them. Eventually, you’ll be able to really customise your party, incorporating your favourite skills from numerous jobs to give you all the options you desire in combat. Even better, you don’t feel as penalised moving from a high level job to a new low-level job this time around, giving you more incentive.

Pacing is perhaps where Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth really falters. Sometimes you’ll just want to push on with the main story but find the game fighting against you. Sub-stories and aside-activities are frequently introduced to pad out the running time, forcing you to engage with side-content that you might not care all that much about. And there really is a lot to go at here. Alongside the usual such as being able to visit arcades and play classic SEGA arcade games, there’s Sujimon, a Pokemon-esque quest to collect outlandish fighters and lead them to victory in league play, and Dondoko Island, which is essentially Animal Crossing. In fact, if you really get into Sujimon or Dondoko Island, you could spend enough time with them to make purchasing Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth worth it for those alone.

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By far our favourite new activity in Infinite Wealth, however, is a food delivery minigame that takes clear inspiration from Crazy Taxi. Against the clock, you get on your bike and race to collect various fast food objects while pulling off tricks that increase your speed. Once you’ve got all of the items a customer needs you can pull up near them to make your delivery, with more points being earned if you’ve displayed skill in the process. The questions is, how many deliveries can you make?

The biggest Yakuza game to date, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth certainly doesn’t disappoint. While its story is somewhat hampered by frequent diversions to introduce new mechanics or side-content, there’s still plenty to keep you gripped. And while we have to admit that we enjoy the combat more when it’s action-based, the turn-based system here is entertaining. In any case, Infinite Wealth delivers exactly what you’d expect by now: a lengthy story full of surprising twists and turns that manage to elicit a wide range of emotions, and a ridiculous volume of side content that will keep you playing long after the credits have rolled – or simply delay that from happening.


Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is based on the P55 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!