Attending 2023 PAX AUS was another fun-filled year of excitement and fresh new upcoming games showcased to get our hands on to play before their release. While I certainly got around to playing a bunch of fun and great games, one in particularly that has me excited for its release is Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man who Erased His Name.
The entirety of the Like a Dragon demo takes place within an area simply referred to as ‘The Castle’, a place that takes inspiration as a type of casino hub area where we can play multiple activities. However, for the demo that I played during my time at PAX AUS, my understanding is I could enter a fighting arena only, as this was simply a demo build and not the final product. So, a lot of what I could do was restricted, understandably.
Similar to previous Yakuza/Like a Dragon games, The Man Who Erased His Name plays as a brawler-type game when it comes to its combat. Our main character Kazuma Kiryu, can attack enemies in two different fighting styles. The first is Yakuza, which is simply aggressive brawler punch attacks and motions very similar to previous entries, so you feel right at home with these moves. The second is Agent. Agent is unique, allowing Kiryu to use gadgets to attack enemies. These range from throwing bombs, sliding across the floor, barging into enemies and there’s even a gadget that can grab multiple enemies at once with string and throw them across the room, hitting others as they collide.
I really liked this fresh take on the battle system as it changes things up from simply fighting and kicking. But it also retains that extremely Yakuza cheesiness the series is known for and has embraced, with how silly it can be. Using gadgets such as these are so ridiculous that it works so well, and it was damn fun too.
In this Casino-type Castle place, I could enter a tournament, go up against 100 enemies and test out my newly learned skills with brawling and gadgets, and it was fun! The game felt fun yet fair with its mechanics and I can’t wait to fully explore this kind of system later down the line in the full game this November.
The other things I could do on this demo build at PAX AUS were not a lot. But there was clothing customisation for Kiryu. Clothes customisation is always fun and while I could not access a lot here, I’m sure there are bound to be some funny outfits for Kiryu to wear and to unlock.
While my time with this game demo was quite short, the Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased his Name demo was crazy good fun and I cannot wait to get my hands on the full title down the line. I expect Yakuza fans will be very satisfied with this anticipated spin-off set to be released on November 9.
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