Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Review — Infinite Possibilities

Fans of Ryu Ga Gotoku and the Like a Dragon Series (formally Yakuza) have been nothing but spoilt over the last few months. First, back in November, with Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which I gave an 8/10. Now, three months later, the release of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth has arrived, and I have a lot to say about this game.

I would like to be upfront with everybody by letting you know that I have never played the original Like a Dragon game, which stars the ever-charismatic Ichiban Kasuga in RGG’s first foray into the turn-based battle system. Unfortunately, it just managed to sit on my backlog of games, and I never had the time. Luckily for me, the beginning of Infinite Wealth does such a great job of describing what has previously happened. I was, however, a little taken aback as Kasuma at the start of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth has his hair in a pony tale and not his recognisable frizzy afro I knew him to look like. I felt so dumb about this, but I guess that’s what happens when I haven’t played the original.

Ichiban Kasuga returns with old and new friends

You begin by working at a job agency alongside an ex-Yakuza who is attempting to secure employment for former Yakuza members to start anew. After the events of the Great Dissolution, this was his boss’ dying wish. In between your day job, you are spending time with your friends from the previous title doing the normal things you would in Yokohama, just on a much more limited scale than in previous games in the series. There are only really supermarkets and bars to visit where you catch up and recount the previous game and move the relationships a bit further. 

After a few hours in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, the story starts to take over. It is a few hours into the game until you make the move to the much-publicised Hawaii in the game due to a huge turn of events that requires Kasuga to travel there. He is travelling there to find his thought-dead mother at the request of the former Yakuza. Kasuga, in his normal happy-go-lucky self, just decides to go with the flow and do as he is told, not having much of a plan.

It was so fantastic to finally see a huge change up in the scenery between previous games set in the dark and mysterious Japan, with bright neon lights changed out for the tropical setting of Hawaii. The change of pace and relaxed nature of Hawaii was a welcome change.

Hawaii is such a refreshing change

That is as far as I will go in terms of details of the story of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. If you have played this series before, prepare for all the melodrama and twists and turns that you know (and probably love) from previous games. I, for one, couldn’t step away from this game. All the cutscenes are incredibly long, but there was not one time throughout that I was not on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was coming next. The story of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is RGG at its best.

This was also the first time I had played this game with English voiceovers. I appreciated this because the cutscenes can go on for quite a while, and if you miss any dialogue, that could mean a potential story plot too. Whereas other Yakuza games are all created in Japanese, and don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with this. It’s just the constant attention required to read all the subtitles. I was concerned with this as Kazuma Kiryu is in this game, and the attention the Japanese voice actor commands is so iconic that I was worried the English voiceover would disservice it. While it is in no way as definitive as the Japanese voice, it didn’t take long for me to appreciate the new take. I’m sure purists of the series will be rolling their eyes at that comment, but it didn’t end up bothering me as much as I thought it would.

Prepare for the drama of previous titles

All the story missions and side quests in the game involve a diverse range of objectives, including exploration of local religions, navigating through dungeons, and dealing with various gangs. Speaking of gangs, not only do you have a local Yakuza gang in town, but there is also a huge street gang known as the ‘Barracudas’ who are ruthless killers, feared even by the Yakuza. Walking down the street and walking into battles doesn’t change that much from the original formula of previous titles. However, as mentioned earlier, the turn-based fighting system is the most significant difference in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth compared to its predecessor.

For those not familiar with the original Like a Dragon, instead of the usual action fighting in the original games, this is now a turn-based system. Think of it as a hybrid between the Tales of Arise and Persona series. It takes the circular moving area of Tales of Arise and the turn-based battle appearance of Persona. While you can move outside of the circle to attack your foes, the damage you will do is not as effective as them being closer, which you will receive a proximity bonus damage amount and the ability to press certain buttons to maximise the overall effectiveness. Positioning is also key, as you can smash them into their gang members or hit them towards a team member, and they will follow up with an attack of their own. Attacking a foe from behind is also a positioning tool, so make sure to take advantage of everything you can in battle. When being attacked, you can press the B button at the moment of impact for a perfect block to make sure you minimise damage received.

Battles are still over the top

On top of normal attacks, there are skills that are special moves and buffs that can be performed. Think of it like magic in other turn-based RPGs. They are fantastic and over-the-top attacks, one that stands out at the start is the battery attack where you spark up a car battery and shoot out electricity at your enemies. If there are traffic cones, or store signs, depending on where the fight takes place, you’ll be able to use them too as a weapon.

Ordering food at a restaurant can heal HP and MP as well as deepen bonds with your team. If you pick the right combo of food, it can add further increased stats for a set time. Once they hit a certain level through the battle, you will be able to complete tag team moves for maximum damage. There is also the option of walking the streets of Hawaii and finding locations familiar to your companions where you can discuss their thoughts of nearby places, this also serves to increase friendship bonds. 

Clothes now have a stat bonus in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Instead of just being a cosmetic purpose, they can improve defence, max health, and other stats. I wish that there was an option to change your clothes, the only time this will occur however is in battle and depending on what job you have selected as your fighting stance.

You have the flexibility to modify your fighting stances by visiting the tourism shop, where you can explore various areas to pass the time. During these visits, you may find inspiration to unlock new ‘jobs,’ granting access to entirely different move sets for battles. If you desire to wield different weapons and unleash a fresh array of moves, this is the ideal place for making such changes.

There are a lot of side activities to complete, such as making friends, dating apps, and delivery biking, just to name a few. Substories also return with 52 to complete across Hawaii, ranging from helping an old man make it snow in Hawaii for his wife’s dying wish to standing in for an over-the-top director who demands realism in his movies and requires a stunt double. There’s even a Pokémon style collecting game (but with real people) called Sujimon. It’s all a bit insane, but a separate part of the game that can consume your time for hours and hours collecting all the different Sujimon characters, levelling them up and evolving them. 

The depth in this game is incredible

Your character’s personality in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth significantly influences the perks and traits you earn based on your reactions to various situations. These traits encompass Passion, Confidence, Charisma, Kindness, Intellect, and Style. The first time this is introduced, you find a woman who has been on an all-night bender and called over, you have two options, tell her to take it easy on the drinking or offer to help her and walk home. Offering to walk her home (everyone deserves a big night out) rewarded me with kindness added to my personality.

Hawaii is so quite large. You do have taxis available to use, but if you still want to get around fast and see the sights at the same time, you eventually get access to a Street Surfer (an e-scooter). You can either manually ride it around or set a destination on the map and select to auto-cruise to your destination. Mind you, you will have to recharge them at stations which can end up being costly. Alternatively, if you don’t want to miss out on anything, there’s the old-fashioned walking and running around town. I did this at the start due to the fact there were so many collectables to pick up from point A to B that I wanted to get as many things and fight as many gang members as possible to get resources and money to improve my characters and their weapons. On top of this, there are also a few shops in town where you can modify and create new weapons based on your fighting style/job that requires money and the resources I was speaking about.

Lastly, I would be remiss not to speak about Dondoko Island Resort. This is Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth’s take on Animal Crossing and can certainly be treated like a game on its own. Your island is an old resort that fell victim to a waste disposal group illegally dumping waste on the island. There is way too much to do here, and I spent so much time trying to grow the island to its former glory and aspirations of achieving a 5-star rating. Each star will require a certain set of requirements to be hit all the time, keeping the tourists happy and keeping the pirates at bay. For the first time I stepped foot on this substory that introduced Donoko Island to the game, I spent 15 in-game days there, which equated to roughly 5-6 hours of game time doing all I could to build up the island. I was addicted. But if I had any chance of finishing this review, I needed to step away and play out the remainder of the game. 

Dondoko Island Resort is a spin on the Animal Crossing formula

I LOVE Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth! All the characters are so well-written that I was genuinely interested throughout my entire time in this game. If you find something becoming monotonous, like fighting foes, sometimes labelled ‘Assholes’ (I had a chuckle over these), you have the alternate options to go on a date, engage in conversations with friends, play mini food delivery games, or my personal favourite, revisit the Dondoko Island Resort. There is absolutely something for everyone in this game and the addition of English voiceovers made it much easier to digest for myself. While the cutscenes can be a bit drawn out, they just work and feel like they belong. This is an unmissable title.



Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth excels at showcasing the organised chaos that the Like A Dragon series encapsulates. The change in scenery from Japan to Hawaii makes Infinite Wealth feel like a totally brand-new experience that old fans and new ones are sure to love. RGG Studios expands the series even further with a healthy assortment of mini-games and, of course, the game within a game – Dondoko Island Resort.


  • Story is engaging

  • So many mini-games that could be their own game

  • All companions are likable

  • Sub Quests are a load of fun

  • Dondoko Island

  • Combat can be changed and is fun


  • Cutscenes can sometimes run too long
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