Last night we finally got a glimpse of the next mainline game in the Yakuza series, like a dragon 8and the trailer immediately had people online to put together memes poking fun at the new young hairstyle from the series’ stalwart longtime protagonist, Kiryu Kazuma. Although it is good to know that the grandfather-kuza is in a new Yakuza game, I couldn’t help but ask out loud: Kiryu, baby, why are you still here? Haven’t we already said goodbye?
During the Yakuza studios RGG Summit 2022Sega has announced three new Yakuza Games: like a dragon 8; Like a Dragon: Ishin, a historical samurai spin-off of the series set in a fictional version of Kyoto in the 1860s; and Like a dragon Gaiden: the man who erased his name, which will depict the events of Kiryu’s life between Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and like a dragon 8. Even though we already knew LaD8 the game was comingthe trailer confirmed that the game will have two protagonists in Ichiban Kasuga and Kiryu.
Having two or even more playable protagonists is nothing new to gaming. Yakuza series. Yakuza 0, Yakuza 4and Yakuza 5 all have you playing from the perspective of characters not named Kiryu. Although I’m glad to see Kiryu moveset reimagined in like a dragonit is dragon quest-like turn-based combatnarratively, Kiryu’s return ignores the multiple narrative sendoffs he’s already received throughout the series and highlights just how much dog shit Yakuza 6a game advertised as his latest adventure, was.
Before we get into spoilers, this needs to be aired: Kiryu’s hair in like a dragon 8 is bad. Her hairstylist let all of Japan down by giving a 51-year-old man icy gray hair. Apart from sports his best Vergil of the devil may cry disguise, I guess there’s a very simple answer to why he’s sporting that new midlife crisis look. You see, in Yakuza 6Kiryu fights this dude named Joon-gi Hana Korean guy sporting a hairstyle similar to the one Kiryu is swinging in Yakuza 8trailer of. It turns out Joon-gi Han is an identity that’s been passed down to people throughout the series, and Kiryu shakes his hair. like a dragon 8 could mean he has now taken the nickname for himself. Hopefully, though, he’s just taking inspiration from him for fashion, maybe dressing up doing some undercover work at Stardust, host club of Kamuroucho. Since Kiryu is friends with the guys who run the cabaret, it wouldn’t be out of the question for him, a man known for his terrible disguises, to think that this incognito look is fooling anyone.
Now why is it kinda frustrating to see like a dragonThe hero of Ichiban must share the spotlight with Kiryu in his next adventure.
All along the main line Yakuza series, Kiryu received three shipments. In Yakuza 5the final sceneKiryu lies bloodied in the streets in the arms of his adopted daughter, Haruka, after a fierce battle. The camera then pans up from her limp body and greets you with a single word, “End.” If you were a Western gamer in 2012, this ending was basically like how developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio said, “Yeah, Kiryu might be dead.” Snatch bozo.
But it turned out that Kiryu’s potential death was a fake. Dude is as durable as a Nokia and 2016 phone Yakuza 6: The Song of Life saw his glorious return. However, the game was advertised as Kiryu’s final adventure, his true send-off. Unfortunately, the end of this last adventure was a bullshit.
Read more: The end of Yakuza 6 Is bullshit
The culmination of Yakuza 6Kiryu’s story abandons Haruka and her baby still “smells like a new baby”, Haruto. In Kiryu’s thick skull, he justified his departure as a way to protect his family of orphans from being hunted down as a result of his criminal antics. Seeing Kiryu abandon those he loved after spending 60 hours fighting to restore the family he had made for himself felt quite contrary to his resolve to be with them at all costs, one of his defining characteristics. throughout the series. It goes without saying, Yakuza 6‘s ending not only ruined the experience of playing his so-called “final adventure,” but also made his characterization up to that point feel criminally mishandled.
But nobody’s ever really goneand 2021 Yakuza: like a dragon saw Kiryu’s big return to the series as a super strong supporting character who helps protag Ichiban Kasuga towards the end of the game. In a chapter titled literally Pass the torch, Kiryu, you know, pass the torch to Ichiban at the end of their shirtless macho fight. The fight serves two purposes, allowing Ichiban to let off steam before doing something reckless and symbolizing Kiryu giving the JRPG-loving hero his stamp of approval as the series’ newest protagonist. Guess that was a fucking lie.
For me, Kiryu returns as a double protag in Yakuza 8 puts a lot of pressure on Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Blotted His Name to reverse effectively Yakuza 6is half-baked and explains why the following three Yakuza games are going to make the “Oops! All Kiryu” for the next two years. Hopefully Kiryu’s presence doesn’t lead to our perception of Ichiban suffering from the Worf effect go forward.