Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Publisher: Sega
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Atmosphere, Story
Bad: A bit too short
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It has been nearly seven years since we said our last goodbyes to Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza 6. The series continued to spawn a prequel to this story arc, as well as several other spin-off titles in the series that told original stories. Even so, what seemed to be the end of Kiryu’s story arc now gets a second lease on life with Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which puts Kiryu back at the front of a Yakuza spin-off adventure. After the conclusion of Yakuza 6, we were wondering how relevant a modern-day Yakuza release would be, and the answer to that question can be found in this review.

Story

Kazuma Kiryu has faked his own death, and he is now performing tasks for the Daidoji under the name of Joryu. By doing so, the Daidoji kept funding the Morning Glory orphanage to which Kiryu always had a close connection. Even so, his current life is not without struggles, as Joryu is now basically a glorified bodyguard performing menial tasks for the shady organization. Nonetheless, he lives a relatively peaceful life, even if he is banned from making too many public appearances in case someone recognizes him. Sadly, it seems that this was all for nothing, as other organizations have already caught wind of Kiryu still being alive, and they want to use the legendary Yakuza brawler for their own nefarious deeds.

All in all, while the above description may sound a bit vague, there is actually a lot of story content in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. The game puts a heavy focus on its narrative to give a satisfying conclusion to Kazuma Kiryu’s story. We would have perhaps liked a slightly better balance between story exposition and actual gameplay.

Graphics

Graphically, the game looks quite good. The character models are nicely detailed, and the game boasts an impressive cast of characters, but it’s mainly the environments that steal the show here. While exploring the streets of the different cities you find yourself in, you’ll notice an absurd amount of small details that just motivate you to look around every corner. There are many shops you can just wander in, each with a different decor. It’s just a lot of fun wandering around, punching delinquents in the face, while ending up in different buildings. The SEGA arcade halls are also nicely made, and truth be told, we probably spent hours in these small arcades.

Sound

The sound design of The Man Who Erased His Name is superbly handled. You’ll get a proper cinematic and action-packed soundtrack that is further supported by all the fully-voiced dialogues in the game. There is never a dull moment, and the streets all feel alive. The sound effects, especially when punching your enemies into submission, pack a proper punch. Even less important areas, such as the arcade halls, all have proper atmospheric sound effects that truly show how much work was put into the game.

Gameplay

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is an action-adventure game that puts Kazuma Kiryu back in the lead of his own spin-off Yakuza game. The game takes place several years after the events of Yakuza 6, and you are still presumed dead by your old allies and enemies. You’ll mostly go through fairly lengthy bits of story expositions to then roam around the streets punching shady figures in the face. This spin-off title is also considerably shorter than the older titles because you can probably complete it in about twelve to fifteen hours if you stick to the main content. The experience can be prolonged quite a bit if you dive into the side missions and additional content. The game also contains quite a few original SEGA arcade and Master System titles.

The offset of The Man Who Erased His Name is actually quite simple. As mentioned before, the game puts a heavy focus on its story, meaning the narrative will progress at a steady pace. You’ll often get lengthy dialogues, which often involve little to no interaction from the player. In between these story sections, you’ll be free to roam the streets, and you’ll have to go through quite a few battles. In this newest Kazuma Kiryu adventure, things are a bit different, as Kiryu now has a new fighting style you can choose. In the game, you can swap between his signature Yakuza fighting style and his newly introduced Agent fighting style. The first is more of a brawler fighting style, while the Agent fighting style puts a heavier focus on a more clean way of defeating your opponents with the help of gadgets. Swapping between both forms of knocking your opponents into oblivion is rather entertaining, and it’s easier to find a style that matches your overall preference.

As you progress, you can upgrade Kiryu’s abilities, as well as buy and equip some items he can use. To unlock most of these skills and items, you’re probably best wandering the streets fighting other smaller gangs. You never have to grind for too long to unlock new abilities or items, and it also motivates the player to explore and visit new buildings and locations. When doing so, you can engage in the impressive amount of side content that’s on offer here. You can opt to play some arcade or crane games in the arcade halls, but you can also play some pool or other slightly more illegal gambling games.

Conclusion

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is a great Yakuza spin-off title that adds an even more satisfying conclusion to Kazuma Kiryu’s story. We not only enjoyed the authentic Yakuza brawling action and the great narrative, but we also adored all the side content that was on offer. If you’re a fan of the series, then getting this title is an absolute no-brainer. If you’re a newcomer, you might miss quite a few references, but even then, this game offers a very enjoyable experience.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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