Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Nov 132019

(No, it’s not the return of action combat; it’s still turn-based.)

Yakuza 7, or Yakuza: Like a Dragon as it’s known in the West, has met with its share of controversy since the reveal of its turn-based combat system, and now the latest story trailer has revealed another divisive surprise.

This massive 11-minute trailer is in Japanese and doesn’t have a translation yet, so I can’t tell you a lot about the included story details. It shows a lot of what we’ve seen before about the story premise, but there’s a fair amount of new content, too.

Even without understanding it, however, I can say the story trailer is exciting and makes me want to know what’s going on.

Then there’s the end of the trailer, which shows Ichiban facing off against a familiar face. Without context, it’s hard to say if this is a spoiler or not…

Yes, Ichiban prepares to fight Kiryu, the protagonist of the previous Yakuza games.

Kiryu’s story officially ended in Yakuza 6, and he was expected not to appear in the next game at all, so this reveal has been met with mixed opinions. Some fans are happy, because they’d been hoping he would at least get a cameo.

Other fans are disappointed, because they feel his story was wrapped up nicely. Then there are fans who are concerned they’re including Kiryu simply as a hook to keep people interested who might have been turned off by the switch to turn-based combat.

And of course, there are people worried about how it will feel if new protagonist Ichiban is able to defeat Kiryu, although it could be an unwinnable battle.

(There are even theories that Ichiban is just hallucinating him, but that’s a topic for another time.)

Meanwhile, a Yakuza: Like a Dragon demo is available now in Japan, so if you have a Japanese PSN account, you can download it to try out the new combat, mini-games, etc. for yourself. Reception of the demo seems pretty positive so far.

How do you feel about Kiryu appearing in Yakuza: Like a Dragon? What sort of role do you think he will have? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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