Like A Dragon Ishin: A mini-review | Kaser Focus

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It’s a strange week when the announcement of Counter-Strike 2 is the highlight. We had a lot of interesting news from GDC, and peeks at upcoming games like Redfall and a TMNT game adaptation of The Last Ronin.

But I’ve been in a mood to talk about games themselves. So indulge me while I talk about a title that got eclipsed when Resident Evil 4 Remake dropped into my lap: Like A Dragon: Ishin! I returned to playing the game after RE4R and have a few thoughts about it.

Ishin takes place in Bakumatsu-era Japan, and follows a fictionalized telling of real ronin Ryoma Sakamoto. He, like every other character in the story, is “played” by a character from the mainline Like a Dragon (formerly known as Yakuza) series — in Ryoma’s case, he’s played by longtime series hero Kazuma Kiryu. As per usual in this series, you have a serious main story about revenge and societal justice, offset by wacky side activities and funny NPCs. There’s even a whole in-game life-sim side quest where Ryoma buys a house and starts a farm for no particular reason.

I didn’t get enough time with the game before starting RE4R to pass judgement. I’m still working on finishing, but I have enjoyed my time with it. I would easily recommend it to fans of the series.


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Ishin! has the same silly, charming fun as the rest of the series. It’s just a bit strange to me that we time-traveled centuries into the past and one of the first things the game does is give Kiryu a gun. The whole blacksmithing subquest was needless busywork, but I still enjoyed the game and give it a thumbs-up.

In addition to more of Ishin!, I’ll also be working on a third run-through of Resident Evil 4 Remake — let’s see if I can make it on Professional mode. I’ll also check out Tchia, if only because I feel like I must see what the new day-one launch on PlayStation Plus is like. It feels like we’ve already had several good releases this year, and I look forward to the Star Wars/Zelda one-two punch that’s coming in just a few weeks.

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • Resident Evil 4 Remake
  • Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key
  • Tchia
  • Have a Nice Death
  • Storyteller

New on subscription services:

  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – The Prince’s Edition (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Ghostwire Tokyo (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Life is Strange 2 (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Street Fighter V Champion Edition (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Untitled Goose Game (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Rage 2 (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Neo: The World Ends with You (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Haven (PS Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Ridge Racer Type 4 (PS Plus Premium)
  • Ape Academy 2 (PS Plus Premium)
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (PS Plus Premium)
  • Book of Demons (Prime Gaming)
  • Peaky Blinders: Mastermind (Prime Gaming)
  • Chess Ultra (GeForce Now)
  • Amberial Dreams (GeForce Now)
  • Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga (GeForce Now)
  • No One Survived (GeForce Now)
  • Clue: Hasbro’s Mystery Game+ (Apple Arcade)

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