Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth Impressions: Demo Voyage

So, I had the chance to try out Ichiban’s next adventure – Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth. What’s new, and is it better than his previous title?

The demo is split into two parts – a “Story Demo”, that continues off from the Like a Dragon: Gaiden epilogue and explains how Kiryu meets with Kasuga again. There’s not much story here that hasn’t already been spoiled by trailers – and you don’t even get to walk around as Kiryu…

Just Ichiban, buying some water for an old man.

The other mode is the “Hawaii Demo” – which is basically the same as the demo that has been shown off previously at expos. You can free roam in Hawaii with Ichiban and friends, fighting random thugs or doing side content like karaoke and Crazy Delivery. There’s also a boss fight and a couple substories.

The rain doesn’t look very good.

So, the combat. I was not a big fan of the turn-based combat in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and I still prefer real-time combat, but there have been some good changes. You can finally walk around – at least now when your grenade gets blocked by a chair, it’s not the AI’s fault.

You can move!

Kiryu (or should we call him Joryu?) also has an ex-heat mode, which is basically a short “real-time combat” toggle. It seems to just be the ex-heat from Yakuza 6. There’s a cooldown, so you can’t just play the entire game with real-time combat.

Kiryu is back, and sometimes even in real-time.

Now, onto my favourite change: the photo camera! They’ve upgraded it somewhat in Infinite Wealth, with new filters, better movement options (you can move while in selfie camera), and an option to gather all your party members for a group photo. I really love the fish-eye lens filter.


Side content wise, we have two minigames available to us in the demo: karaoke with two returning songs and one new one – Honolulu City Lights. I like the new song, and I’m very curious how many more new songs we’ll get in the final game. If the demo songs are anything to go by, it’s going to be good. I’m not a big fan of the new font they use for the lyrics – I hope it’s just a placeholder. Gaiden and earlier footage of Infinite Wealth showed a different font, so I’m not sure what’s going on here.

We’ ll.

You also get to do Crazy Delivery – a food delivery minigame, where Ichiban rides a bike while doing tricks and avoiding obstacles to keep customers satisfied. It’s the typical weird/funny side content you can expect from an RGG Studio title.

He sure is delivering.

Now, the elephant in the room – the English dub. I usually play these games in Japanese, so I might be a bit biased, but Kiryu’s new English voice actor does not fit at all. Listening to the voice lines, you can’t even tell that it’s supposed to be the legendary Dragon of Dojima – he just sounds like a random thug. His voice is too young and monotone. Yong Yea did pretty good as Shirakaba in the Lost Judgment Kaito Files DLC, but I think it’s a bad casting choice here.  The rest of the actors seem fine, both the returning and the new cast. There’s also a Chinese dub – and while I don’t speak Chinese, it seemed to sound fine. I prefer Chinese Kiryu over the English one.

I don’t really have a way to take a picture of the dub, so have this essence attack instead.

Performance wise, it performs similarly to other Dragon Engine titles. I was running it on an RTX 3070 and Ryzen 5 5600x, hitting around 60-100 FPS at 1080p. If you can run Lost Judgment, you can probably run this just fine. The games precompile shaders, which is great and sadly not too common on PC these days, at least not on day one.

The graphics are weird: the game can go from looking like the best thing RGG has ever put out, to looking like a late PS3 title. RGG Studios still struggles with daytime lighting and vegetation – which Hawaii has a lot of.

This screenshot perfectly shows what I mean.

It’s also a shame that the outfit customization options from Gaiden don’t seem to be returning in Infinite Wealth. The clothing stores only sold normal gear, but I didn’t see any options to customize the outfits of the party members. There are job specific outfits, but no in-depth customization like in Gaiden.

Are you sure you should be using that name…?

The demo left me curious about the full game. It doesn’t really answer any questions raised in the trailers (which – knowing RGG Studios – probably contained end-game spoilers in them). The gameplay has improved in many ways over the previous turn-based title. Gaiden’s ending also raised more questions than it answered, so I can’t wait to see where they go from here.