In 2014, the Yakuza game series received a spin-off titled Ishin! Which took us back in time to the Samurai Era, the version that was released exclusively in the Japanese market and did not receive a western version. Now, 9 years after the release of the original game, we get the remake version, Like a Dragon: Ishin! Afterwards, the western name of the series was changed.
The Story of Like a Dragon: Ishin!
The events of the story begin in 1867 and take us to an era in which Japan was politically and security unstable. The story focuses on the samurai Sakamoto Ryoma, who, together with his teacher and childhood friend, tries to change the political system based on his class, which was the cause of the suffering of the common people, including Sakamoto and his friend. The plan fails before he begins the assassination attempt. Sakamoto’s teacher and the accusations against him begin. This is where Sakamoto’s journey begins to find his teacher’s murderer and take revenge on him.
The Complexity of the Story
At first glance, you get the feeling that this story is a classic revenge story where the hero is ready to do anything to achieve his goal, but the story is more interesting than that. There are many complexities and twists and turns that the story goes through with a large cast of characters, most of whom play important roles in one way or another. In other words, most of the characters have personal, political or reform agendas through which they attempt to change their reality, and despite the absurdity and strange comedy that the series is known for, the story seriously and beautifully sheds light on a range of political ideas and issues presented in this historical era.
The Historical Background
Many important details of the story are covered in long scenes and lots of dialogue. What’s nice is that the game offers a menu that can be opened during dialogues and provides a historical background to some terms that may appear in dialogues and has an important historical dimension to understanding the events, even if only partially. We see that one of the disadvantages of the story is the many complications and details that appear at the beginning, especially with the large number of characters who play an important role, but as time goes on it becomes easier to understand the events and them to link together.
Technical Level and Design
On a technical level, it can be said that attention has been paid to the design of the main characters and their characteristics, and the environment is well presented, but it feels that the level of some details in the environment varies, and the non-essential characters appear on a weak level technical level. We believe it could be improved. We also see that the camera can be improved. Getting used to it is annoying and takes some time, but in terms of music, the game offers a good level.
The Game System
When it comes to the game system, the game offers four different fighting styles. We have the Swordsman style, which is mainly based on the use of the sword and deals the most damage, with limited ability to dodge and you have to focus on your blocking skills. This style is medium fast. The second style is the Gunman, where using a pistol alone deals less damage but has the ability to fight from long range and limited evasion, requiring you to keep your distance from the enemy for most of the time.
The third fighting style is the Wild Dancer, a fast fighting style that combines the use of a sword and a pistol, but deals less damage in exchange for a high ability to dodge and dodge attacks. Finally we have the Brawler style, which is the least powerful, and in it you rely on your fists to defeat enemies, with the ability to block some attacks when they are. Your timing is precise.
The Gameplay and Content
To keep the gameplay interesting most of the time, start with a very limited set of attacks. To upgrade each fighting style, you must play that style during battle to gain special upgrade points for it, and as Sakamoto’s character level increases, you gain general upgrade points that you can use on any style you want. This principle encourages the player to play between the different styles in a balanced way, as upgrading expands the capabilities of each style, adding more skills to it in a method that adds more depth and stimulates your interest in learning the capabilities of each style.
The fights in the game are undoubtedly entertaining, especially with the expansion of the development of fighting methods, as we have already mentioned, but one of the shortcomings we encountered in this regard is that the reaction is inaccurate, especially with less fast fighting methods such as swordsmen and brawlers, which is annoying in confrontations with bosses and more powerful enemies, but that happens. In a limited way and not with repetitions that could spoil the experience.
As for the content of the game, it’s difficult to decide what to start or end with: “Like a Dragon: Ishin!” You really feel like you’re living Sakamoto Ryoma’s life in every detail. There are responsibilities placed on his shoulders that need to be taken care of from time to time. There are many hobbies and side games that one can indulge in such as fishing, dancing, singing, games like Mahjong and many other activities that one can spend time with.
One of the things that enhances the feeling of experiencing the life of the character Sakamoto is the relationships that are built with a range of characters around you, be they characters who play a central role in the experience or supporting characters such as the vegetable seller or the blacksmith from whom you buy weapons. You can develop your relationship with these characters and benefit from the impact of this relationship by… continuing to shop in these characters’ stores and interact with them regularly, and the charitable actions you do help you win something special Points known as Virtue that allow you to develop many aspects of secondary experience that can make a difference over time.
As you walk around the city, you will come across many situations in which you can provide assistance, and they represent the game’s side missions. In these situations, the series’ tendency to portray funny and strange situations is evident, and they come to you too benefit. Through Maybe you’ll find a new hobby to pursue with them, or you’ll meet one of the martial arts instructors who will help you discover more specialized skills in different fighting styles.
The game’s content is huge and just focusing on the main story missions will take around 23 to 25 hours. If you mix main and secondary content in a balanced way, you can easily spend more than 50 hours without getting bored. I strayed from the story missions from time to time and spent a lot of time on side quests and some fun mini-games, Like a Dragon: Ishin! An entertaining experience that tells us a story full of branches and storylines, with huge content and an immersive experience that allows you to easily spend dozens of hours without getting bored.
Pros and Cons of Like a Dragon: Ishin! PC Game
- Engaging and complex storyline with political themes
- Well-designed main characters and environments
- Historical background provided during dialogues
- Four different fighting styles to choose from
- Encourages balanced gameplay and upgrading of skills
- Entertaining side activities and mini-games
- Large amount of content, including main story and side missions
- Immersive experience that can provide hours of gameplay
- Complicated and detailed story may be overwhelming at first
- Varying levels of detail in the environment and non-essential characters
- Camera controls can be frustrating and take time to get used to
- Inaccurate reaction in fights, especially with slower fighting styles
- Limited availability in the western market
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the storyline of Like a Dragon: Ishin! PC Game?
The game is set in 1867 during the politically and security unstable Samurai Era in Japan. The story follows the samurai Sakamoto Ryoma as he seeks revenge for his teacher’s murder and tries to change the political system that caused suffering for the common people.
2. What are the different fighting styles in the game?
The game offers four different fighting styles: Swordsman, Gunman, Wild Dancer, and Brawler. Each style has its own strengths and weaknesses, allowing players to choose their preferred combat style.
3. How can I upgrade my fighting styles in the game?
To upgrade each fighting style, you must play that style during battles to gain special upgrade points. Additionally, as Sakamoto’s character level increases, you gain general upgrade points that can be used on any style. This encourages balanced gameplay and adds depth to each fighting style.
4. How long does it take to complete the main storyline of the game?
The main storyline of Like a Dragon: Ishin! PC Game takes approximately 23 to 25 hours to complete. However, if you engage in side quests and explore the game’s additional content, it can easily extend to over 50 hours of gameplay.
5. What additional activities and side games are available in the game?
Aside from the main storyline, players can indulge in various activities and side games such as fishing, dancing, singing, and playing games like Mahjong. There are also side missions and opportunities to build relationships with other characters, which can unlock special rewards and enhance the overall gameplay experience.