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Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth review – An infinite wealth of gameplay

Kasuga and Kiryu are the international dream team

I lived in Japan until I was 30. A young member of the yakuza once grabbed my friend’s boob, and I slapped him in the face. He was wearing only a gas mask and swimming trunks at the time. The man was a member of Japan’s largest yakuza faction, the Yamaguchi-gumi. At that time I lived in Kitakyushu, home of another faction, the Kudo-kai. They hung around the gates of junior high schools and recruited straight out of there. I’d often see high-ranking members cycling around with their children on the back of their bikes.

Japan’s real-life yakuza are human. Behind closed doors, there is a pecking order, criminal activity, and betrayals, but to the general public, they are similar to your everyday Taro Tanaka. I think this is why the Yakuza, now Like a Dragon, series has always resonated with me. They say reality is stranger than fiction, but even my run-in with Mr. Gas Mask doesn’t come close to what Kasuga and Kiryu seem to experience.

Like a Dragon Inifinite Wealth screenshot

Infinite Wealth features both longtime favorite Kazuma Kiryu and Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s Ichiban Kasuga as protags.

If you are a long-running fan of the series, you might have been skeptical when developer Ryu Ga Gotoku claimed that Infinite Wealth would be the largest Yakuza game yet. After all, Yakuza 5 had four protagonists, five regions, and a whole host of mini-games and substories. However, the team seems to have pulled off the impossible. Infinite Wealth is by far the biggest game in the series, and it’s not even close.

The story is split into two halves. For the majority of the story Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s Ichiban Kasuga will fight alongside his team in Waikiki, Hawaii, while longtime favorite Kazuma Kiryu and his crew explore Ijincho, Yokohama, and the iconic Kamorucho, Tokyo. They have different party members, different mini-games, and different substories, but their goals are the same. Find Kasuga’s mom and make sure she’s safe. Still, this means that Infinite Wealth feels twice as big as every other game in the series, and it might very well be.

Like a Dragon Inifinite Wealth screenshot

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth's story is split into two plot lines, each following one of the two protagonists.

Aside from your usual mini-game selection that is a part of every Like a Dragon game, two of the substories are almost entire games in their own right. The Sujimon questline, where you catch, train, and battle Sujimon and the legally distinct ‘Discreet Four’ can easily suck up hours of your time. There are hundreds of Suijimon to collect, trainer battles all over the world, and even high-level raids to take part in.

The second mode, Dondoko Island, lets you clean up a resort island, add new attractions, catch fish and bugs, decorate your home, and invite guests. This weird mix of Animal Crossing and Theme Park World could also easily be a standalone game, thanks to its length. The Sujimon quest is probably the stronger of the two, but I’m sure there will be plenty of Dondoko Island stans. This is all without mentioning the other hundred or so substories for you to enjoy.

Like a Dragon Inifinite Wealth screenshot

The game features tons of side activities, two of which could easily be standalone games.

Infinite Wealth has some of the strongest side content of the series, but many fans are in it for the main story. This is also one of the best and longest in the series’ history, but still doesn’t overstay its welcome. The narrative is tight and moves swiftly from one plotline to the next while also letting you connect to all the new characters and their motivations. The bond system has returned, giving you a look into the backgrounds and motivations of your party members. As for the other characters, there is always a satisfying arc, redemption, or fall, which you can see to its conclusion.

The main story has it all: a religious cult, warring gang factions, and a tell-all V-tuber, with plenty of betrayal and intrigue between. This is tied together by our charming main characters: Kasuga, with his unwavering trust and love, and Kiryu, who always gives his all to protect others. Newly introduced characters are just as rich in development and could easily be new mainstays in the series.

Like a Dragon Inifinite Wealth screenshot

Infinite Wealth brings a stellar cast of old and new characters.

While there is plenty for new players to enjoy, Infinite Wealth is a love letter to fans. If there is a character that you remember from the series, you will likely see them here, even if it’s just a brief cameo. Many of the characters have their own subplots, returning to some stories that felt unfinished to tie them up more thoroughly. It’s incredibly satisfying for longtime fans to finally see a conclusion to these stories, even if it will go over the heads of newbies.

Infinite Wealth has kept the combat feeling fresh, too. While even Kiryu’s sections have Kasuga’s turn-based battle system, it has been refined since the last game. Yakuza: Like a Dragon had a number of difficulty spikes that often required grinding, but Infinite Wealth has a far more balanced difficulty curve, and lets you know what milestones you should be reaching. For those who fall behind, there are Tartarus-style – Persona fans will understand – dungeons with incredibly powerful gear to find, and battles to quickly level up with.

Like a Dragon Inifinite Wealth screenshot

Combat in Infinite Wealth feels fresh and refined.

Like a Dragon’s turn-based combat relies on classes, and these are still here with some fun new additions. Testing out the new jobs is very fun, and it is satisfying to find the right fit for each character. The main storyline has ten different party members, and it’s really enjoyable when you find the right combination of gear, members, and jobs that work for you. As with all good JRPGs, there can be some really great synergy between all these aspects, making for exceptionally powerful combinations.

If you’ve never played a Like a Dragon game before, Infinite Wealth is not the place to start, but only because you will get the most out of the game if you know the history behind it. However, if you have been following Kiryu and Kasuga’s journey for all these years, then it is absolute perfection. It’s everything we’ve ever wanted and so much more.

Score: 10/10

  • Presentation: 10/10
  • Story: 10/10
  • Side content: 9/10
  • Combat: 9/10

Version tested: PS5

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth technical performance

Infinite Wealth runs on the Dragon Engine, and anyone who has played a Like a Dragon game knows what that experience is like. It can be finicky with targeting and hitboxes at times, but it generally runs smoothly and keeps a steady framerate at all times. During testing, we experienced no crashes, soft locks, or anything else that would upset our enjoyment. We also played a considerable amount on PS Portal, and it plays perfectly here, too.