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Three new "Yakuza" games and a name change

At the start of the Tokyo Game Show, the Japanese studio Ryu Ga Gotoku presents several new "Yakuza" games with a big surprise.

With a total of 10 mainline games and countless spin-offs, "Yakuza" is one of the most successful and longest-lived Japanese gaming franchises. For a long time, however, the open-world brawler had a hard time outside Japan. Delayed releases, poor translations and censored game content prevented the big breakthrough in the West.

With the release of the critically and fan acclaimed prequel "Yakuza 0", the Japanese crime epic was able to win new fans in the West. In the meantime, "Yakuza" has become one of the most important international game series for publisher Sega.

The developer studio Ryu Ga Gotoku announced three new games at a press conference. One important change: The game series is now called "Like a Dragon" in the West and no longer "Yakuza". This corresponds to the exact translation of the Japanese name and should hopefully lead to less confusion and inconsistencies in naming in the future.

"Like a Dragon 8": The Greatest Yakuza Game Ever

With a cryptic teaser, the next mainline game in the series has been announced. Ichiban Kasuga, the main protagonist of the seventh installment, returns to the neon-lit underworld of Kamurocho and must once again fight his way through countless Yakuza henchmen. Also at the start is Kiryu Kazuma, the main protagonist of the first six "Yakuza" games. For long-time fans of the series, this announcement is a big surprise, because the story of the Yakuza legend was actually concluded with the sixth part.

In terms of gameplay, the game does without real-time brawls and instead continues the turn-based JRPG combat system from "Like a Dragon 7". According to the game's director, the latest installment is the studio's biggest and most ambitious game to date.

"Like a Dragon 8" is the most ambitious game to date.

"Like a Dragon 8" will be released in 2024 for consoles and PC. Even the last-gen consoles will still be catered for with the release.

"Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name"

The biggest surprise of the press conference: the little spin-off "Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name" answers the question of what happened to the "old" main protagonist Kiryu Kazuma after the events of the sixth "Yakuza" game and prepares you story-wise perfectly for "Like a Dragon 8" . In contrast to the next mainline game, this is a classic action adventure with real-time combat. In terms of scope, you can expect about half of a normal "Like a Dragon" game. A perfect snack to shorten the waiting time for the eighth part of the series.

"Like a Dragon: Ishin!": samurai action in feudal Japan

. The remake of the previously Japan-only game was announced yesterday at the Playstation State of Play livestream. The new story trailer gives you even deeper insights into the spin-off.

Instead of fist fights on neon-lit streets, you can expect samurai sword fights in historical settings in Like a Dragon: Ishin! The game makes use of the main characters from the mainline games and mixes historical facts with an epic, fictional storyline.

You like the trailers shown, but you've never played "Yakuza" - sorry: "Like a Dragon" - and don't know where to start?

If you want to start at the "old" saga with Kazuma Kiryu and real-time brawling, I recommend the prequel "Yakuza 0" or the remake of the PS2 first "Yakuza Kiwami".

You're more into RPGs than action games? The 2020 release "Yakuza: Like A Dragon" - known in Japan as "Like a Dragon 7" - pays homage to JRPGs and has a turn-based battle system. Story-wise, you don't have to worry here either - a new game world with completely new characters is at the heart of it.

Or you can try your hand at the detective spin-off "Judgment". The game is also set in the Yakuza universe and features an action-packed real-time combat system. In contrast to the mainline games, however, you take on the role of a private detective and get to know Japan's underworld from a slightly different perspective.

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