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Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!, is he or is he not a Samurai?

In this review of ours, we’re going to analyze and find out what Like a Dragon: Ishin! has to offer (both positive and negative). Let’s dive into the land of the rising sun!

What is the definition of the term “hybrid”? Hybrid is a complex word, a word that takes on different meanings and colors depending on the reference context. Something that has a hybrid nature is something that arises a little halfway between two souls and that’s what happens with ours recensione di Like a Dragon: Ishin!a title that implies, when it is analyzed, an approach that takes into account its middle-man soul.

Sometimes a cinematic film, sometimes not – Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Let’s start immediately analyzing, in the very first phase of ours review (as usual), what it is narrative management Like a Dragon: Were! We are not going to make any spoilers about the plot but we are going to deal precisely with the ways in which the plot of this game is narrated.

In our opinion, one of the strengths of this title lies precisely in the narration which always alternates between two moments: on one side of the cut-scene nothing short of exquisite and that would envy a real film set in Japan, on the other hand dialogues among the characters who go alongside the kinematics just mentioned. The latter dialogues, however, suffer from a certain plate and static which does not respect the level of the cut-scenes.

Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!, is he or is he not a Samurai?

The art of the Katana… and the revolver! – Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Before going into the analysis of the gameplay of the title, it is necessary to make a necessary clarification and, not surprisingly and you will understand the reason by continuing to read, we make this clarification at this point in the review and not before; Like a Dragon: Ishin!, is a revival, halfway between a remastered and a remake of a game released in 2014 exclusively in Japan. It is a spin-off of the Yakuza series in which some characters, or rather, some models of the Yakuza series appear in Ishin in some different clothes, wearing the clothes of obviously different characters. This clarification serves to underline two elements: how much the title is derivative of its Yakuza cousins ​​and how much the nature, precisely hybrid, of the operation impacts on the gameplay.

In fact, we are faced with a product which, with all its lights and shadows, is perfectly in line with the productions of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Among the lights we certainly find a title long-lived with a lot of side activities e minigames always satisfying and fun, a combat system that is articulated in four action styles with respective skill wheels and a map that lends itself to a timido free roaming.

Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!, is he or is he not a Samurai?

During our wandering in the city we will often come into contact with what are defined in JRPG jargon: “random encounters”. The fights, as mentioned a few lines above, provide for four different approaches: one in which we will simply use our fists to bare handsanother dedicated exclusively to the use of the katanaone in which we will go to shoot and one last, in our opinion the most interesting in terms of playability, combos and fluidity, in which we are going to use katana and pistol at the same time.

Among the shadows, relating precisely to the gameplay, we cannot fail to underline a certain one woodiness which permeates a bit all the movement system and therefore also the purest action and combat phases. However, that somewhat half-hearted atmosphere remains – the key concept, that of remaining halfway, of this review evidently – between realism and surrealism offering a taste that only the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio team is capable of delivering.

Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!, is he or is he not a Samurai?

What year are we? – Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!

As for the purely technical sector by Like a Dragon: Ishin! there is a need, also in this case, to make some clarifications and to clearly clarify our position on the matter which, guess what, lies somewhere between a criticism and a general appreciation. If on the one hand one cannot help but notice, even after just a few minutes of play, how technically the title is behind and does not belong to the first range of the remake category (because on balance we cannot define it as such), from we cannot fail to take into consideration how much it also affects the style that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio gives to their games.

Although we are fans of that style that does not aim for a realistic rendering, in this case we are faced with solutions far too obsolete: recognizable in many of the textures used in the creation of the environments and in many models which, at times, recall models of the first era PS3/Xbox 360. From the point of view of optimization, the title appears to be quite stable even in the most agitated phases. All this is accompanied by a good sound in which stands out, placing itself as a real excellence, a Japanese dubbing of the highest level, truly extraordinary.

Review Like a Dragon: Ishin!, is he or is he not a Samurai?

Let’s sum up!

Our recensione di Like a Dragon: Ishin! has now reached the final stages and let’s go, therefore, to draw conclusions. The operation done by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio in collaboration with SEGA is very interesting and, if we can afford it, we hope that you are not unique in the industry. There are many titles released only in Japan that deserve to be known and appreciated by Western audiences and, if only for this reason, we feel like promoting Like a Dragon: Ishin.

A gameplay in full “Yakuza style”, satisfying and long-lived aligns with a plot full of twists, drama and intensity, told through the use of very very high level cut-scenes. At the same time, however, the static nature of the dialogues, a woody movement system and a technical sector not in line with other similar productions, do not allow this title to enter our very high valuation range but, surely, our judgment expresses its soul decisively more than discreet.

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Between a remastered and a remake!

Plus points

  • Intense plot full of twists and turns
  • Outstanding voice acting
  • Long-lived, with many secondary activities
  • Excellent cut-scene…
  • Varied combat system…

Points against

  • …on the contrary, many dialogues are static and flat
  • …at times tainted by a woody movement system
  • Technically back