Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth – Game Review

Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth

(available on PlayStation 5, Xbox X and S, and PC. PS5 used for this review.)

In 2020, with the release of Yakuza: Like A Dragon, the Yakuza series went through a massive shift in gameplay. Instead of being a real time Beat ‘em Up with some RPG elements, the latest entrée in the cult classic series became a Turned-Based JRPG. They also made the risky decision of swapping out Kiryu Kazama as main protagonist with newcomer Ichiban Kasuga. These changes were met very favourably with series fans and newcomers, and the game especially received heavy praise for the new protagonist, making Ichiban an instant fan favourite. So, of course, there was going to be a follow up to it, which we finally got with Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, not only continuing Ichiban’s story but also bringing back Kiryu as a fellow lead protagonist (yes, immediately making my Like A Dragon Gaiden review outdated). Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth was developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios and was released on 26th January 2024 for PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X and Windows.


Three years has passed since The Great Dissolution, where the two biggest Yakuza families, the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance, disbanded, and things are going very well for Ichiban and his crew, with our hero working at Hello Work, attempting to help fellow ex-yakuza’s get back on their feet. After some events (including one very disastrous with fellow party member Saeko, ending up with her no longer answering his calls), Ichiban and two of his friends, Adachi and Nanba find themselves fired from their jobs after some false claims about him were reported by VTuber Hisoka Tatara. Some more time passes, and the gang learns that the Seiryu Clan has been recruiting a large number of ex-yakuza lately; turns out that the Clan’s Acting Chairman, Ebina, is planning on using them to disband the country’s remaining yakuza clans, an event he’s calling the Second Great Dissolution. Through this Ichiban meets with his former captain Jo Sawashiro, who informs our hero that his mother, Akane Kishida, is still alive and has been living in Hawaii for almost half a century now, asking Ichiban to venture forth to Hawaii to meet her. Though it doesn’t take long for things to go sinister, as a number of people are on the hunt for Akane, including the Daidoji and Kiryu Kazama who desire to get her to Japan and keep her safe. Thus, it’s up to Ichiban Kasuga and Kiryu Kazama, alongside friends old and new, to go on yet another adventure, featuring crime syndicates, a cult-like religious group, and no doubt lots of getting distracted by side content.

As with every Like A Dragon story, this story is sublime. As always, the mystery is very enticing and makes you want to keep playing just to see what the hell is going on, and there are plenty of heavy moments and jaw dropping reveals. The game isn’t afraid to go silly at times though, having a number of moments to relieve the tension or that will make you laugh, all of which is exemplified by the likability of the character and especially with the louder than life personality of our lead protagonist. That being said, they seem to have made Ichiban a bit too silly this time around, making him go from an oblivious goofball to just being a complete idiot. 


I know I recently said this in my Like A Dragon Gaiden review, but I have to repeat myself, this is the best looking Like A Dragon game to date. It could be because of the Hawaiian setting, but the game looks a lot brighter and has a larger variety of colour than any other game did, making the bright beaches and walkways brimming with detail. The use of lighting and shadows especially sticks out in this game, from simply making the colours pop more, to even going as far as shining light through gaps of leaves in trees. Improvement’s not just exclusive to environments, character models have also been improved, having added detail and just looking sharper overall.

Voice acting is really good as always – I played this in Japanese dub. Kazuhiro Nakaya once again brings out the louder than life personality of Ichiban flawlessly, while Takaya Kuroda nails the more stoic yet badass voice of Kiryu, and the rest of the main cast play their roles as perfectly as you can expect. There’s a lot more English in this game than there ever was before – it is taking place in America of course – so there was a chance of us getting Japanese actors badly mimicking how Americans speak (I’m not throwing shade but… come on), luckily, they didn’t go down that route, having English speaking actors take those roles, and for just the occasional line, they really go for it. The one blemish in this near perfect cast is Toru Furuya who plays Bryce Fairchild, when speaking Japanese, he sounds great, however they also got him to do his English voice and it’s very obvious, I don’t understand why they didn’t just use the English voice actors’ lines during those bits as the game did release with both dubs simultaneously. It’s not a massive complaint but it’s very jarring, especially since the character is a native English speaker. 

The soundtrack for this game is very good. Like all other Like A Dragon games, music doesn’t appear when wandering through the city, only really showing up during cutscenes, mini-games and battles. Battle music goes hard, most songs being a techno jam that would make any rave go wild, with the boss battles especially standing out as certified headbangers. Other songs are much calmer but can still enhance emotions and feelings that you’ll feel in the moment, whether it’s sinister intrigue during cutscenes, or the bright calmness while cleaning up Dondoko Island.

World Design

Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth is split between two key locations, Honolulu in Hawaii and Isezaki Ijincho in Yokohama, Japan. Players of Yakuza: Like A Dragon will remember Ijincho as that was the primary location in that game, and fans will be happy to know that the map is mostly unchanged. There are of course a few differences, some minigames are no longer available such as the Seagull Cinema and Dragon Kart, and a number of icons for certain shops have changed (you now have separate icons for armour and weapons shops for example), but aside from that all locations still serve the same purpose as they did before. Also, unlike the previous game, you no longer have to traverse the entirety of Ichinjo to uncover the whole map, all of it is unshaded right from the beginning; this makes sense as before Ichiban was new to the town, and now he’s been living there for a few years so of course he would know the place inside out. 

The new area, Honolulu, is of course quite different in layout. It feels much less condensed, with the streets being much wider, so you won’t be trudging through as many alleyways. It also has a number of American staples, a sunny beach, more grass, there’s even an indoor mall. While Ijincho’s map is fully open from the start, Honolulu’s is fully covered, meaning that you will have to wander the town in order to fully expose the map. 


As mentioned, Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth is a turn based JRPG, with a heavy focus of positioning for both your characters and enemies. You’ll have a variety of attack types, from physical attacks to “magic” attacks. While a number of characters do carry weapons, like Ichiban and his trusty bat or Zhao with his sword, a number of characters will perform these attacks with basic everyday objects, such as Tomizawa pulling out a car battery for an electric attack, or Nanba spitting alcohol through a lighter to create a flamethrower. It’s ridiculous and I love it. 

The type of damage you can deal, whether it be skill or basic strikes, will be entirely dependent on what jobs you have. Just like last time, you’ll have a variety of jobs that can be unlocked as you progress through the game, some being exclusive to characters of a certain gender or just to one character in particular. Each job has a rank separate from your own character level that will increase as you battle with them, increasing your stats and possibly gaining new skills each time you do. Though this time jobs are unlocked a little differently, ln Yakuza: Like A Dragon you needed your characters to be at a certain level, and for their bond level to be at a certain point. In this game you instead need one of Ichiban’s personalities to be at a particular level and must then be able to purchase it from Alo-Happy Tours. Personally, I don’t mind this method of unlocking jobs, it likely won’t take as long till you’re able to unlock these and I like that once you get the job it’s available to everyone who can use it, instead of having to grind with each character to be able to unlock one that everyone else has. 

The combat in Yakuza: Like A Dragon was a lot of fun in my opinion. I liked that, as I said, a lot of it focused on enemy positioning and using the board layout to your advantage – some attacks working better if your opponents are in a line or clustered together as an example. That being said though, there was definite room for improvement, and you could tell that it wasn’t the final form of this style to turn-based combat. I’m happy to say that, not only does this game greatly improve on combat, in my opinion it’s as perfect as it can be. One big improvement is that you can now move your characters… I know this may not sound like a big deal but believe me it is. It always irked me that previously, despite how vital to combat enemy positioning was, you were never able to move your characters to try and get into the best position for a particular attack, well not only can you now, but you also even get a great advantage by doing so. If you attack an opponent that’s directly next to you, you get a proximity bonus, meaning extra damage will be dealt. You can now knockback enemies when you attack or perform certain skills on them, of course you can knock them into walls and objects for more damage, or even better, you can knock them into their allies to deal a bit of damage to more enemies, or you can knock them into your own allies, and they will do a follow up attack. You can also position yourself near objects to use them to attack, instead of having to hope you’re near something. Of course, you can’t just move wherever you want in battle, you will be limited to a small circle, so you can’t run straight up to an enemy that’s like ten feet away from you and get a proximity bonus. See what I mean, just this one simple addition has greatly improved combat, to the point where I don’t think I can play the previous game as easily. 

It’s not just moving that’s been added to the game, there are also a number of quality-of-life improvements that have really enhanced this game. One of my favourite ones is that now the game will let you know the area of effect of certain skills. If you use an attack that can hit more than one enemy, the game will show you a circle indicating the range of attack so you can position yourself to hit more enemies, if an attack will knockback an enemy, the game will display an arrow letting you know in which direction they will be launched. This is super useful as it helps you figure out what the right move is and takes away a lot of the previous games’ guesswork. This isn’t exclusive to attack though, healing or buffing moves also have a range, and allies that aren’t in said range won’t get the benefit, at first, I thought I wouldn’t like this at all, but as the game went on it grew on me, it made me analyse the board state and turn order and really consider who needed the heal more. On top of that, if you encounter a group of enemies that are a significantly lower level than your party, you can activate Smackdown before the fight, basically wiping out the enemy party before the fight begins with the sacrifice of getting less EXP for it, making random encounters and grinds less of a chore.

As you play the game and deepen your bonds with your fellow party members, they will give you added benefits to combat. The main one of these is the Tag Team Skills. During fights your characters will fill up their Hype Meter, which once filled that character and Ichiban can perform a powerful attack that will hit every enemy that’s within the attack’s range. Or you can wait until everyone’s Hype Meter is filled and activate Ichiban’s Ultimate Tag Strike to hit every enemy for some heavy damage. 

One thing I was very curious about was how Kiryu would play. This is the first time we’ve ever had Kiryu fight using a turn-based system, so I was curious if they would implement his combat styles into it. Well, they did, and they absolutely nailed it. Kiryu has access to the same combat styles that he has in Yakuza 0, Brawler, Rush and Beast, and they all affect what kind of attack Kiryu can perform. Brawler is your basic attack, very similar to the rest of the party, the others on the other hand really change things up. Rush deals a lot less damage than the others, but it increases the range that Kiryu can move, and you can attack twice in a row using this style, and Beast decreases the range of manoeuvrability, but Kiryu resists attacks better and basic attacks all have the grapple effect, instantly breaking the guard of any enemy. Kiryu even has extra benefits when getting a proximity bonus, when achieved his attack combo changes up, dealing more hits than he would otherwise, not only that, but a button prompt also – that’s normally exclusive to skills – will appear, giving you a damage bonus when done correctly. Also, notice before that I said “Ichiban’s” Ultimate Tag Strike, that’s because the Dragon of Dojima’s ultimate attack is very unique. Instead of doing a single powerful strike, when Kiryu’s Hype Meter is filled he can activate Dragon’s Resurgence, giving him free range across the battlefield, letting you button mash to wail on every opponent in sight for a limited amount of time. I absolutely love what they’ve done with Kiryu in this game, they could easily have just made him play like everyone else in this game, but they decided to change how he works, and the game is all the better for it. 

Finally, we get the grand return of Pound mates, basically this game’s summoning system. As you complete substories and minigames you’ll have more characters that you can call upon to help you in fights. These allies aren’t free however, as you will need to spend a decent amount of money to hire these guys. However, once again, this works quite a bit differently compared to the last one. In Yakuza: Like A Dragon, these guys basically just showed up, did their thing – whether it be an attack or heal up your party – and then left. Some of your summons will still do that, others, however, stick around, acting more like a party member that acts on their own, they’ll remain for a few turns and then will leave. Pretty much, less Final Fantasy more Kingdom Hearts. I quite like this, I like that these guys will stick around for a while, helping you out as the fight goes on instead of just doing one thing and then leaving.

Side Content 

A big part of this game is Ichiban’s and Kiryu’s comrades in arms, more notably how close the bonds between party members are. Each character has their own bond levels that you can increase throughout the game. Just battling with a party member would be enough to increase their bond with our leads, but a big way to increase levels is the Bond Bingo. In both Honolulu and Ijincho there are locations where you and one of your allies can have a small chat and learn a bit more about them, doing so will fill in a slot on their Bond Bingo Sheet and will increase bond with you, by a bit if it’s just one slot, but way more if it’s a line. When a character gets to a certain bond level, you are able to do a Drink Link with them, Drink Links are a bit like the Social Links in a Persona game, where you have a one-to-one talk with that character, learn a bit of their back story and can increase one of your personality traits depending on the responses you give. These Drink Links are very helpful as doing them will let your allies perform more actions in battles, not only do you need at least one Drink Link to unlock their Tag Team Strike, but they can also do things like follow up attacks when the enemy’s been knocked to the floor or will attack with other party members when standing next to them. It’s literally the definition of friendship is power (yes, I cringed at that line as well, and I wrote it). 

Now the Like A Dragon series is known for its excessive amount of side content… but this might be a bit too excessive. I’m not kidding when I say that this game has more side quests than any other game in this series that I’ve played. Of course, you’re getting your usual suspects, karaoke, gambling and a few select SEGA games at GiGO (RIP SEGA Arcades). Substories are still a common encounter, where you’ll interact with the lives of the good, the bad, and the bizarre populace of Honolulu and Ijincho. However, there are some that I’m really going to go into detail with, just because of how unique to the series and how strangely detailed some of them are. 

Crazy Eats: Crazy Eats is a minigame very reminiscent of SEGA’s Crazy Taxi. You’re tasked with the job of collecting food and delivering it to hungry customers, collecting money from doing so. The catch is in the name, you have to be crazy when delivering the food. While delivering, you have to pull off stunts and tricks, from flips to manuals, not only do you get a bit of a bonus for each trick pulled off, but you also get a massive bonus when you deliver food after pulling off a long series of stunts. The more money you make at the end of the game, the higher the ranking you’ll get. This game is a lot of fun, it’s super quick and is challenging enough to make you want to do it again and again in an attempt to try and get a higher rank. 

Sicko Snap: Okay, this is a weird one. Sicko Snap is basically this game’s parody of Pokémon Snap. So, you know how a lot of Yakuza games have some form of pervert in them – bald guys in trench coats or just guys in only white underwear – well… now we’re taking pictures of them. You’re on a trolley cart driving down the Honolulu streets, and you have to snap a picture of these “Sickos” when they come into frame. The more in frame they are and the better the picture is, the more points you’ll get. It’s a weird one, but it’s also a fun one. Just keep a vigilant eye and make sure your parents aren’t watching (that was an awkward Monday) and you’ll master this minigame without much problem. 

Underground Dungeon: This is one I did quite frequently. The Underground Dungeons are a series of gauntlets that are all procedurally generated and filled with enemies. There are three difficulties, and each has ten floors and a miniboss at the halfway point and at the end of each one. There will also be five civilians that have wandered into the Dungeons that need to be saved. Why did I do these so often? They’re a really good place to grind; if I get a new character or decide to swap jobs for a character, it’s straight to the Underground Dungeons to increase their levels. Not only that, but these places also have some really great and rare materials that are essential for crafting the more powerful weapons for your characters. In other words, these places are really useful, and a lot of fun. 

Sujimon Battles: This is one of the more insane and extensive minigames. Of all the things I was expecting in this game, I most certainly was not expecting a damn Pokémon clone. Sujimon were in the previous game as well, but that was just a compendium of enemy types, this time however, you’ve able to capture and battle with different Sujimon against other Sujimon Trainers. There are five different types of Sujimon, each with their own advantages and disadvantages and you can carry a party of six of them at once. When you can attack with a Sujumon depends entirely on the SP (Sujimon Power) gauge. Each attack from a Sujimon will require SP, which is taken from your SP gauge. When you’ve attacked, you have to wait until the SP gauge is filled up again, so basically, the stronger the attack, the more SP the Sujimon will require and the longer until your next move. Who the Sujimon attacks depends on their positioning, a Sujimon in the middle of your line up is able to attack every opponent, though can also be attacked by every opponent, while the ones to the sides can only be attacked by two of your opponent’s Sujimon but can only attack the one in front of them and in the middle. You can swap the positions of your Sujimon, but it can only be done once per turn. As the battle progresses, Ichiban will accumulate MP (Morale Power). MP can be used to perform the Special Attack of one of your Sujimon, these attacks have one of two properties, dealing major damage to an opponent Sujimon or heal your own. 

Catching Sujimon can happen in one of many ways. Sometimes, after you defeat a group of enemies, one of them will stick behind, giving you a chance to capture them and recruit them to your team. There are certain spots where Sujimon will congregate, by raiding those spots and fighting them, you’ll get the opportunity to capture them. The final way is by finding a Gacha machine, by battling and visiting Suji Spots you’ll obtain Gacha tickets that can be used to instantly gather one or multiple Sujimon at once depending on what ticket you use. 

This minigame is so much more in depth than I ever would have expected it to be… and I kind of love it because of that. I like how they create their own rule system and unique style of battles when they could have just stuck with the normal battle system of this game just with different characters. This could easily have been a game on its own, the fact that it’s an optional minigame is just insane. 

Dondoko Island: If you thought that a Pokémon minigame was crazy, just wait until I tell you about the Animal Crossing knockoff (that’s right, we’re not ripping off one, but TWO Nintendo games). Dondoko Island was intended to be an island resort but has unfortunately not been able to reach that goal with the constant littering from the Washbuckler Pirates, so Ichiban agrees to help them out in trying to turn this place into a five-star resort. You have a series of jobs to do each day, often including building stuff, gathering resources, chopping down trees and plenty more. From doing these as well as many other tasks, you’ll obtain Dokobucks, which can be converted into money to be used back on the mainland, though they are also very useful in Dondoko Island so be sure not to convert all of it. 

As mentioned, you’re able to do a bit of DIY in this place. You get a DIY station where you can build a variety of objects to make the island better for guests, all that’s needed are the correct resources and for your building talent to be at a certain level. Once you build something, you can place it anywhere on the island, or save it to put into your house. 

Be careful though, as while you’re fishing for shells, destroying garbage and building squat toilets, the Washbuckler Pirates will show up and try to mess things up for you. All you need to do to get rid of them is to bring out your trusty bat and beat the devil out of them. They’ll keep coming every once in a while, and you won’t be able to edit the island until they’ve been gotten rid of, so best to do so sooner rather than later.

Yet another minigame that could have been a full game all on its own. I admit that I didn’t have time to really go into this one, which is a shame as it seems like a lot of fun and I can see a lot of people sinking a lot of time into it. I’m quite tempted to go back to it at a later date, so it definitely has my interest. 


As much as I do love this game, there are unfortunately a few issues that I have with it. For starters, despite the vastly improved combat, it does still get quite repetitive after a while; granted I mostly felt this while exploring the Underground Dungeon which is literally just fighting, and it only really happened during longer play sessions, despite that though, let’s just say a lot of karaoke was played. 

The other problem is that there are a couple of glitches, most aren’t major and are just a slight annoyance, mostly just characters getting stuck on fences while fighting bands of goons, but there was one that soft locked me for a good while, almost making me have to cancel this review entirely as it would have required me to restart the entire game if I hadn’t fixed it. 

This was probably my most hyped game of the year. I absolutely loved Yakuza: Like A Dragon and could not wait to see what Ichiban and the gang would do next, as well as what they would do with the new setting. Needless to say, that hype was very much exceeded. Everything that could have been improved has been, the amount of content can easily last you a very long time, and the story and characters are just as good as you would hope. This is now my new favourite Like A Dragon game, and I absolutely recommend it if you’re a fan of the series. Though let’s be honest, you likely already have it. 


Elliot Chapman
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

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The Next Axia29th May 2024
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