Like A Dragon: Ishin!

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Release Date: Feb. 21, 2023

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As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.


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13. 'Like a Dragon: Ishin!' (PS5, PS4, XSX, XOne, PC)

by Judy on Jan. 12, 2023 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

In 1860s Kyo, a solemn samurai's fight for justice stands to change the course of Japan's history forever. Draw your blade and join the revolution in this heated historical adventure.

Chris "Atom" DeAngelus: One of the coolest things about the Like A Dragon series (until recently known primarily as Yakuza) is how it combines the small everyday with a larger, overarching story. Ishin moves the setting from modern-day Japan to feudal Japan. Despite this, you'll see a lot of familiar faces and familiar beats, just given a new samurai coat of paint. As much as I love Yakuza's modern styling, it's easy to be excited for the chance to see the same mix of genuine and goofy in a new setting.

Claudio Meira: I've been eagerly awaiting this game's localization since its original PlayStation 4 release in 2014. Like a Dragon: Ishin! is set in the historical Japanese period known as the Bakumatsu. I can't wait to see Kiryu, Majima and other known characters from the series as famous historical figures.

Tim McDonald: Men only want one thing, they say. They're right, and it's Like A Dragon: Ishin! (and, I guess, Like A Dragon: Kenzan, which I imagine we'll also see in the future). Before Yakuza really hit the mainstream with Yakuza 0, the Like A Dragon series was always a weird cult hit, which meant the localized versions tended to have limited (or digital-only) releases, and we completely missed out on the Ishin and Kenzan spin-offs in 2014 and 2008, respectively. Ishin replaces the neon-hued streets of Kamurocho with the chaotic throes of 1800s Bakumatsu-era Japan, and puts familiar faces in historical roles. Instead of Kiryu, we have master swordsman Sakamoto Ryoma (who just happens to look and sound like Kiryu) going undercover to find out who assassinated his mentor ... while, inevitably, getting embroiled in silly side-quests, gambling, minigames, and about a billion street fights. But with swords and more guns! It's Yakuza, but not as we know it, and I'm always up for more Yakuza.

Andreas Salmen: I remember when the Like a Dragon/Yakuza titles were a rare commodity in the west, but Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku have changed that with a flood of new ports in the last years. Like A Dragon: Ishin! is a samurai-themed spin-off of the series, and if you're fond of the Yakuza games, this seems like a sure bet to be more of that, except with katanas in the mix. We'll have to see whether it still holds up nine years after its Japanese release.

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