7 Best Moments Of ‘Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth’ That Stay True To Franchise’s Charm

The Like a Dragon games have undergone a fair bit of identity changes over the years, from shedding its former Yakuza mantle outside of Japan, to embracing a turn-based playstyle with a new cast of characters. But through it all, its blend of drama, humour, and action remains the beating heart of the series, taking the form of mini-games, zany side quests, emotional story moments, and more.

7 Best Moments Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

The biggest entry in the franchise, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth continues to ooze charm in abundance, as the sprawling Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) bakes a 40-hour-or-so campaign into over 100 hours of playtime, featuring plenty of side content that should prove familiar to longtime fans. Naturally, there are some new additions to the list here, further accentuating the series’ complete devotion to mini-games and, as fans have come to embrace, playful absurdity. 

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Here are seven of our best moments from the game that endears it to the Like a Dragon formula and its loveable, idiosyncratic tone.

1) Domo arigato, Mr Dondoko

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Dondoko Island is the talk of the town, and for very good reason. Unlocked in Chapter 6 via the substory ‘The Island at Rock Bottom,’ the social simulation game-like feature is where plenty of playtime will go into. The premise is straightforward enough – build a luxury five-star resort from ground zero, and earn loads of Dokobucks. 

In reality, though? Dondoko Island is a full-fledged investment that makes even the most menial of tasks, such as clearing out trash and chasing bugs, an enjoyable affair. Farming for resources, crafting and placing DIY furniture, and growing crops, are all in the day’s work, but there are also guests to attract, who can be pleased by giving them preferred gifts.

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Let’s not forget about Dolphine, the trusty dolphin that brings protagonist Ichiban Kasuga back to Honolulu at any point to continue the main story. A bizarre mode of transportation for sure, but one that fits perfectly within the quirky world of Like of Dragon: Infinite Wealth.

2) Becoming the sujimon master

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Gotta collect ‘em all! Making a return to the game are the sujimon, who like before, are just regular enemies that can be added to the player’s Sujidex (if this sounds like a coincidence, you’re not alone). This time, though, it’s a more fleshed out system, complete with raids, battle gyms, and a final showdown against the Sujimon League King.

The fun is doubled with Hawaii now in the picture, because not only are there even more sujimon to capture and tame, they can be put to work in the farm on Dondoko Island, or levelled up in a dedicated training spot. The activity’s biggest appeal, though, is easily the entire storyline, which includes plenty of ridiculous moments (in true Like a Dragon style), making everything more enjoyable and memorable than ever before.

3) Character interaction and building bonds

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As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. In Ichiban’s case, the starting crew is one full of lovable, endearing knuckleheads, brought together by a single collective brain cell. Like its predecessors, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth offers cabs as a fast-travel feature, but if you want to enjoy some amusing banter between local himbo Ichiban and his various companions – and especially so for Koichi Adachi and Yu Nanba, walking is also a great choice.

These conversational bits set up the framework for the wider bond system introduced in its predecessor, with Bond Bingo coming in as a new addition. As its namesake suggests, this involves completing a row, column, or diagonal line of a diary entry, which is set up like a Bingo board. 

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Other bond-raising features include eating at a restaurant, casual chatting, Party Chats, Combo Meal conversations, Drink Link, gifting, and playing mini-games together. Not only does strengthening friendship allow players to learn more about a character, completing bonds will impact combat, unlocking new Tag Team attacks or specialised jobs for each character.

4) Connecting with Hawaiian locals through Aloha links

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An expansion of the Drink Links feature in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the Aloha Links app serves as the primary way for Ichiban to befriend the people of Hawaii and establish relationships with them. Sometimes, greeting them with a simple “Aloha” and a hand wave is enough; other times, players have to save them from trouble or help to perform a task.

In any case, all the social interaction makes for a pleasant time – stopping to say “Aloha” to anyone who passes by is as silly as it sounds (in a good way), and it’s made better by some of the best self-aware, fourth-wall-breaking profile descriptions. Case in point: the user page for an NPC named Jacob reads, “He’s been wanting to upgrade his PC, but the people around him keep saying it isn’t a good time for it. This has gone on for four years.” 

Oh, and did we mention that dogs and cats can be befriended as well? Paw-some.

5) Auto battle, auto victory

Similar to Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Infinite Wealth employs a turn-based combat system but unlike it, party members can now move within a fixed radius. More notable, though, is the auto-battle mechanic that affords players the flexibility to play the game however they wish: manually, with full control over their actions, or have the AI take over. 

This comes in particularly handy in a pinch, or when the grinding gets tough. Turn auto-battle on, sit back, and take delight in Ichiban raining blows down on his opponents. In a welcome nod to the series’ old roots, Kiryu’s play style involves switching between multiple fighting styles, and temporary use of real-time combat.

6) Seeing Ichiban’s wild imagination at work

On the note of street brawling, the game offers a multitude of “jobs”, which act as classes that grant characters distinctive perks and play styles. But that’s only on paper because when Ichiban’s vivid imagination kicks in, logic flies out of the window. The first sign is how wildly different spells can be – Essence of Big-Ass Bird and Fresh Dim Sum for instance, are gleefully absurd, while Shadow Slash and Voltaic Whip actually sound like a threat. Elsewhere, an enemy labelled Peusdotrash spits gum at you to deal damage (see what we mean?).

The hilarity of it all is already established from the get-go, with Love Magic, the weapon shop in Isezaki Ijinchio’s Red Light District, being the first available place for players to purchase new equipment. An adult toy shop in disguise, it doesn’t hold back on the innuendos, selling items like the Massive Massage Machine with a paralysing effect. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is as goofy as it’s enjoyable, sticking true to the franchise identity in the best way possible.

7) Scoring dream dates for Ichiban

Like owner, like pet. In Ryu Ga Gotoku’s latest JRPG, Ichiban can hop on the dating app Miss Match to score dream dates and develop a love life, but he isn’t the only one with romantic pursuits. The brawler’s crawfish, Nancy also has her own love story to tell (yes, we kid you not), revealed in the aptly-named substory, Coming Out of Her Shell. 

Naturally, Ichiban can’t lose out to his beloved pet, which is where the chat mini-game comes into play. It shares similarities with the cabaret hostess mini-games in the previous entries, with players having to go through several conversation topics with their match, press a sequence of buttons correctly, and impress them within an allocated time. Succeed in the charisma game, and you’ll receive points to your personality traits.

BONUS: Singing karaoke together with Kiryu

Singing karaoke is arguably one of the most iconic mini-games of the Like a Dragon series, with ‘Baka Mitai’ being a highly popular hit among the community – so much so that even non-fans are aware of its cultural footprint in the real world.

It feels only right, then, for the two cross-generational legends to belt out a duet together, paying perfect homage to the series’ roots and the long way it has come. In Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Ichiban cheers Kiryu on as the latter sings ‘Baka Mitai’, but the pair do get to sing alongside each other for ‘Judgement’, another signature karaoke soundtrack. 

In any case, it seems Kiryu and Ichiban got some good bonding time from singing ‘Baka Mitai,’ however, as evidenced by the former’s dad joke involving sharks. “Heh, you know that part of Baka Mitai, the ‘dame da ne’ part? I’ve always imagined a shark singing it, ‘Same da ne… Same yo…” he says to Ichiban at one point (shark is ‘same’ in the Japanese language). Not going to lie, that was a good one. 

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is out now on the PS5, PS4, Xbox X|S, Xbox One, and PC (Steam). For more information, head on down to the official website.