Pay attention to your surroundings
Yakuza: Like a Dragon pays tribute to the long-standing tradition of the weapon improvisation series, where you can use objects in the area to beat enemies to a bloody pulp. If you cross with the environmental items that you know from other yakuza games (beer crates, chairs, etc) you know you can use them here too. Just make sure the item is between you and your enemy when you attack and you’ll automatically perform a cool contextual maneuver. Environmental attacks cause a surprising amount of damage. So use it whenever you have an opportunity.
Upgrade your gear often
Yakuza: Like a dragon, does not prevent you from carrying terrible equipment into battle if you are not careful with your cargo. Make sure you always have the latest armor and weapons from shops in town, or any useful trinkets you can find in the wild. New equipment means higher stats and better survivability. So never give up on spending the money you earn from quests on new threads and weapons. Remember, if you die you will permanently lose half of all money you have on you. So you might as well spend it on good equipment instead of wasting the money on the Grim Reaper.
Buy remediesStrong armor and a shiny weapon will not always be enough to save you in Yakuza: Like a dragon. To survive this game you will need the main health and energy drinks in the series: Tauriner, Staminan and Toughness. Also, grab some sandwiches and sushi sets while you stock up on snacks on the go.
Never go into a serious fight (you will know it is serious because the protagonist will warn you) without your refrigerator being filled with the above items. If you die, you lose a lot of money and you can’t even afford recovery items. Yakuza: Like a dragon will kick you when you’re down, so don’t let the down below get you off.
Always bring a healer
Early in Yakuza: Like a kite, the only important thing is to distribute damage. Later, when the battles get longer, you will count on each last point of health to advance to the next round. Don’t forget to have a dedicated healer in your group. Certain party members have access to the Idol role, which is great for healing purposes as it provides abilities that allow essentially unlimited health refills. In short, the Idol is definitely a class that you want to have in your party during the mid and late game fights. Make sure you build your idol members so they can most effectively heal allies.
Do the business management mini-game
Many yakuza games prior to Like a Dragon had some sort of business mini-game, but in the past they were always optional. The management mini-game is still technically optional, but Like a Dragon functionally forces you to play it if you want a decent income and access to a life-saving member of a fourth party. The money you make just doing quests isn’t great, and equipment and weapons are all ridiculously expensive. Therefore, you need to spend a little time managing Ichiban Confections in order to do banking. This is one of the easiest ways to afford a dragon’s weapons and story expenses.
Additionally, you never know when you will lose a party member to story-related events, which means that the free fourth party member that you can unlock by climbing the corporate ladder of the business mini-game is an invaluable blessing. Trust me: you don’t want to jump into the later fights of this game with just three party members.
Prepare for the nonsense as you play
SPOILERS AHEAD: Towards the middle of the game, a pink-haired seductress appears who seduces you to investigate “the Geomijul”. Ichiban and Company will then indirectly ask you as a player if you are really ready for the challenge. Before you say “yes” you should stock up on healing items and equip all members of your group (except Nanba) to the absolute limit. At the end of the Geomijul mission, you will lose Nanba and all the equipment he is carrying. You have to fight the boss at the end of the Geomijul with only three party members instead of the usual four.
You won’t get Nanba back right after this fight, which means you’ll only have three party members in the next few chapters as you face increasingly difficult bosses. This is why you want the special group member from the business management mini-game to fill that empty fourth slot. The game will not adequately warn or educate you about it. Don’t suffer from the pesky mid-game bosses of Like a Dragon with the unfair difficulty of a three-man team. It’s possible to survive with just a trio, but you really don’t want to put yourself in that position.
Turn off the action prompts
Here’s a little trick I discovered. I’m not sure if the effects are real at all, or if I’m imagining them, but when they work it’s too juicy not to share. If you go into the game options you will see the option to turn off Action Announcements, which are Quicktime Events (QTEs) in the game that occur during attack and defense animations. By nailing these events in the game, you will deal increased damage and receive less penalty. If you fail these events, the opposite effects will occur.
However, if you turn off the prompts entirely, the game seems a little more generous. Instead of QTEs affecting the results, your attacks are simply assigned random numerical values. In my experience, these values seem, on average, to be better than what you get from dealing with the QTEs. In other words, if you want to take some of the “chance” element out of play, here’s what to do. The luck of the draw will always play a role in Yakuza: like a dragon, but at least you don’t have to worry about your survival, which depends on seedy QTE mechanics.
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