Entertainment Earth

REVIEW: Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth

Let’s dive back into the world of the Yakuza and our newly minted protagonist Ichiban Kasuga in SEGA‘s latest addition to the “Like A Dragon” franchise, Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth

It has been years since I last played a Yakuza game err sorry, Like a Dragon game and I recently finished my second playthrough of Yakuza 0, so I missed out on a lot of stuff. I have barely any idea who Kasuga Ichiban is, have old and obsolete details (Yakuza 5 era) story beats about Kazuma Kirya so I was hesitant to play the game especially after seeing the trailer and how vastly different it was from the previous games I know. But then, the other trailer dropped and a couple of new details emerged about the game and I immediately knew that this was a game you have to experience firsthand; not watching other content creators’ playthroughs on Youtube and not reading details on Wikipedia. You need to play the game.


“Infinite Wealth” follows the standard formula established by past Like A Dragon and Yakuza games. The biggest difference here is that most of the story happens abroad, in Hawaii to be exact where Kasuga is on a quest to look for his biological mother that’s hiding somewhere in the islands of Hawaii. And of course this won’t be a LAD game without boisterous and quirky Yakuza-types gunning for Kasuga. Then by the time we reach Hawaii, Kasuga also gets involved into whatever the hell Joryu / Kazuma Kiryu is currently doing for his new bosses.


The whole thing mentioning Yakuza 0 was important because I’d like to stress how different it feels to play “Infinite Wealth” especially if you’re like me, and more familiar with the beat em’up brawlers of the previous games. While you still go on a larger scale sandbox game both in Japan and Hawaii, there are a couple of big changes namely the fighting has become RPG style, turn-based. We’ll get to more on that later.


In case you missed it, Like A Dragon’s combat system has moved from the Dynasty Warriors beat ’em up and went for the turn based RPG approach. This makes for some interesting ways of doing things and drastically changes the way you deal damage and get past the fight.

At the start of each character’s phase, you get to choose four options including:

  • Attack
  • Special
  • Guard
  • Etc

There’s also the staple HP and MP system that you constantly need to check on especially Kasuga. Kasuga’s HP drops and it’s Game Over for the entire team.

MP is generated with every basic attack on an enemy. This will be useful for certain characters in the game like Nanbu and Tomi whos first special attack involves casting lightning element on enemies by bringing out a car battery and charging it.

Guard is pretty self explanatory while Etc is where you access the various items in your inventory whether it’s to heal, buff or attack enemies.

RPG Elements – Kasuga Ichiban 

There are a ton of characters that wait for customization but for this segment let’s talk about our boy Ichiban Kasuga. Expect to see standard RPG stuff placed in this game including choosing the right items and weapons but there’s also the trait element that’s built specifically for just Kasuga.

You can choose to play and respond to certain stuff in the game in a number of ways to increase the capabilities of our hero. Answer one person in the substory differently and you’ll see the increase in a specific aspect which opens doors to some unique stuff.

Combat Additives

The combat here in Infinite Wealth is just so overwhelming and that’s in a good way.

Using skills will open some quick time events that you need to master in order to really deliver harsh punishment on your enemies. You also have to early on learn how to block properly because that will really provide additional percentage in winning a fight.


Weapon customization

Still following the RPG formula, Infinite Wealth also brings customization for weapons you attach each character for the game. Aside from buying them at stores around the vast city, you can also customize and upgrade the weapons imbuing it with specific elements and making them look more menacing.

And you can get to upgrade or put elements into your weapons with those little ore you find while running around town. This gives you incentives to actually rummage around garbage bins and walk around every nook and cranny in the game.

Another combat addition that makes things interesting is the returning Poundmates.

This bit has already been introduced in the last game and it makes its glorious return for this. Basically this is the LAD version of summoning (for those that are familiar with RPG lore and games but not LAD). Instead of using MP though, Poundmates require specific amounts of money for you to summon.

I was laughing hard at the section of the game where they introduce Poundmates and totally love Chitose Buster Holmes. Too bad she’s super expensive to use but she sure got the job done.

It’s these insane things in the game that makes me love it even more. Just when you think you have a clear idea on what’s going to happen, something crazy or a new gameplay element gets added that makes it easier and a tad complicated at the same time.


One drawback from jumping into this game rather than playing the first LAD game is that they are often talking about stuff I have no idea. So if you have the comfort of time, I definitely suggest you avoid what happened to me and play the first game. But if you don’t have the luxury of time, this is still pretty OK.

The characters are charming and interesting with everybody having some bit of drama that Ichiban needs to address or talk about or deal with. Characters look more refined from the last appearance and they definitely have their respective personalities down pat even during a fight. I like that SEGA and RGG Studio took extra effort in fleshing out more stuff for Kasuga and his crew. The other NPCs / not-really-NPCs are also interesting like Kei…

And the pretty weaponsmith, Jessie.

Even the baddies have a lot of substance and that’s something we already know the Yakuza franchise is full of, and that’s what makes all their games such interesting games to play.

Teaming Up

When Kiryu’s meter fills up and you hit the sufficient friendship level, you can also perform these hail mary tag team attacks that can deal heavy damage to enemies or if their a lot weaker than your team, you can even land an Insta-Kill on them. This incentivizes your game and put in more effort into developing friendships with various members of the party. In the first few chapters though, you get to improve relationships with party members Kiryu and Tomi but as you progress through the game you can also enjoy other perks from other characters.

Personally though, there’s something nice seeing the two protagonists from these games joining forces and delivering a powerful attack on some hapless surfer dude who just picked a fight in the streets of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Boss Battles 

I’m a little confused though with the boss battles here in “Infinite Wealth” especially those that are heavily tied to the story like with the first meeting with faux John Wick as you can see above. I sure as hell would love to go and beat him up the way we usually beat up bosses in the past Yakuza games but we are suddenly hampered by the RPG mechanics for the game. The good side about this though is that we get a smoother AI with some characters like in the aforementioned boss battle, we have Eiji giving crazy buffs to make the fight flow smoother.

Still, it does leave a satisfying mark but very unlike the satisfaction you get from the first few Yakuza games. I guess this one is on me, but objectively, you’ll be fine.


If there’s one thing that really makes me take a deep look at when it comes to video games, it would have to be in-game content and Like a Dragon passes that with flying colors. You can literally spend an entire day just going about doing various sidequests and mini-games. They’ve highlighted the Sujimon before the release of the game and the comedic and darkly creepy fake Pokemon game is back here.

And while I’m a bit iffy with these guys, the fun was definitely higher especially as you rank up in the Sujimon battles plus the actual battles are helluva fun. It’s really the small details that will make it worth your time. For Sujimons it would the timed raids throughout the city where you get to unlock and use stronger sujis…

And when you manage to do defeat these creeps, you also have to persuade them to join you (the one thing that wasn’t in the Pokemon archetype).

The staple karaoke is also here and you can even choose between using Kasuga or Kazuma to sing certain songs.

I prefer using Kasuga just because he’s a lot “fresher” compared to Joryu.

There’s also the various racing games including the food delivery game which would bring in extra cash.

You also do timetrial games with the Segway, something you can also use throughout the game

And yes, even the battery and the actual Segway can also be customized to some extent.

Another minigame or game element I really did like are those food minigames whether it’s that short substory where you end up becoming a waiter or getting ingredients that the Barkeeper would need to prepare delicious food for you and your party.

You want souped up weapons? Then you should also be on the lookout for these charms  that’s positioned all over town. Getting the really good ones gets you good equipment and items too, just ignore the creepy mascot guy that you need to meet in the Shrine.

There are also swimming minigames that is just really the devs flexing that they are already doing this.

Verdict: 10/10

Final Thoughts: As a returning fan of Yakuza/ Like a Dragon, I’m totally down with all the stuff that they placed in the game. You don’t have to worry about finishing the game in like under 10 hours because there’s just so much you can do. You can grind like hell before continuing the story or you can walk around doing all sorts of stuff. There’s just so much things you can do in this game and we are truly blessed by the gaming gods that we have been given this game. It’s definitely up there for the top 10 games of 2024 and it also sets a very high benchmark for SEGA and the RGG team for their next project or next installment for this game franchise. The story has just the right amount of drama and depth and continues to paint the new series protagonist Ichiban Kasuga as the character that will bring the games further in the coming years. At the same time, providing us with more Kazama Kiryu means that veteran players and fans can still have something to root for as we bid adieu soon to the “Dragon of Dojima”.

Overall, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth truly does live up to it’s name of having “infinite wealth” with so much things packed into it, this will keep you occupied for hours on end. A really great way to spend your money on games if you ask me.


Special thanks to SEGA and RGG Studio SEA!

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