Like a Dragon: Ishin’s combat, explained

Like a Dragon Ishin combat

Getting back to the action

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The latest entry in the Like a Dragon series heads back in time. And as Ishin goes back, it also returns to a combat style familiar to those who have been playing the Like a Dragon series for a while now.

Traditionally, the Like a Dragon (or Yakuza, as it was formerly called) series relied on real-time action. However, with the release of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio introduced a new turn-based RPG way to brawl in the streets. So, which one does Ishin fall back on?

Is Like a Dragon: Ishin a turn-based game?

The answer is noIshin is not a turn-based RPG in the vein of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Rather, Like a Dragon: Ishin uses a real-time, action-focused brawler combat system that will feel pretty familiar to anyone who’s played an older Yakuza game.

Given that this is a remake of the original Like a Dragon: Ishin, which was only released in Japan for its first run, this makes sense. The combat is a traditional mix of light and heavy attacks, with a series of stances to flow through depending on what you need. There are a few additions that will make even Yakuza veterans have to learn some new moves, though.

Screenshot by Destructoid

First off, Sakamoto Ryoma wields a fair few more weapons than Kazuma Kiryu. While Kiryu mostly stuck to his fists, Ryoma’s stances are built with a sword and gun in mind as staples. Additionally, Trooper Cards allow Ryoma to deploy extra help on the field, whether that’s a quick bit of healing or actual chain lightning. It’s historical fiction, okay?

If you want to get a taste of the combat, you can play the Combat Demo for Like a Dragon: Ishin yourself and get a sense of how it handles. In my experience playing it, the classic brawling of the Yakuza series felt right at home in Like a Dragon: Ishin.

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Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.
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