“Like a Dragon: Gaiden is a perfect entry point to the series” RGG Studio’s comment causes turmoil among fans
The Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s official X/Twitter account referred to Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name as the “perfect entry point” to the Like a Dragon series in a promotional post made on November 23. Unsurprisingly, fans had a thing or two to say about the statement.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, the most recent addition to the series, tells the story of Kazuma Kiryu and what happened to him after he faked his own death and disappeared during the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. The story is centered around Sotenbori, and provides the background for the events that follow in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
On November 23, RGG Studio posted a quote from Game Rant’s review of Like a Dragon: Gaiden that describes the game as “a must-play for veterans, and the perfect jumping-on point for newcomers,” with the addition of the comment, “Tell your friends, co-workers, distant relatives, and barista that Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is the perfect entry point to the series and available now.”
It seems like your standard promotional post if you don’t give it too much thought, but fans of the series were quick to point out a contradiction they felt, commenting things like “I can’t think of a game that requires more context than this one” and making memes about the official Like a Dragon account spreading misinformation.
As mentioned previously, Gaiden is a game that bridges the stories of Like a Dragon 6 and 7, which makes it a rather high-context game. As the characters and events of the previous two titles are largely intertwined within it, Gaiden definitely has more meaning (and is a lot more enjoyable) when played with knowledge of what happened in the other games. Taking all of this into consideration, it’s no wonder that many don’t think Gaiden a suitable entry into the series for newcomers.
But at the same time, the argument for Gaiden being a good entry-point can’t be dismissed entirely either, as the game can definitely be enjoyed even on its own. After all, it has its own characters, and includes a lot of explanations by Kiryu himself, providing the player with necessary background info. In a sense, there is a lot to be learned about the series from the game. Most importantly, it is probably the smoothest way to ease into the upcoming title Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.
As the Like a Dragon series is in the process of expanding further and further with new releases, it’s understandable that the publishers want to make the latest editions easy to pick up for newcomers. On the other hand, veteran fans of the series find the idea of playing Gaiden without knowledge of the previous games scandalous. In this respect, many recommend Yakuza 0 as the perfect starting point, as it tells of the events of the series right from the start and is a highly regarded game.
The problem is, if you start with the series from Yakuza 0 now, it’s going to take you an eternity to catch up with the latest releases. So, even though recommending Yakuza 0 as a starting point is definitely more orthodox, it would be a daunting journey for someone who just wants to play next year’s releases to go through all the 30-to-70-hour games in the series so far. In this sense, giving Gaiden a quick play (10 to 20 hours) to get an overall understanding of the atmosphere and worldview of the series doesn’t seem like an entirely bad idea. Conversely, Yakuza 0 remains an ideal option for those set on having an extensive Like a Dragon experience.
Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is available for the PC (Windows/Steam)/Xbox Series X|S/Xbox One/PS4/PS5.
Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-11-24 13:42 JST)