Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Review – The Most Ambitious JRPG Of 2024

An infinite treasure trove of both quantity and quality.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Review
Overall
4.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth is a JRPG powerhouse, delivering one of the most endearing stories to date and an aspiring open-world design.

Pros

  • Captivating Storytelling
  • Fluid Combat Design
  • Insane Amount Of Content
  • Brilliant Characters
  • Unique And Fun Jobs

Cons

  • NG+ Locked Behind A Paywall
  • Minor Pacing Issues

Since I was first introduced to it in 2017, the Yakuza series has always been my favorite franchise, from its bizarre plot points in Yakuza 4 to the change to accepting its Turn-based gameplay in Like a Dragon 7. Despite the mixed initial feedback, LAD 7 was adored by fans overall for its gameplay shift and the introduction of the new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, to propel the series forward.

  • Author’s Note: Being a veteran fan of the series since Yakuza 0, including the later Judgment Spin-Offs, I have over 500+ hours in these titles from RGG Studios.
Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Ryu Ga Gotaku Studios
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: January 26, 2024
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
  • Game Length: 85-95 Hours
  • Time Played: 70 Hours
  • Editors Note: The game was tested on PS5 with over 60+ hours of playtime, all from a Yakuza series veteran.

And now, after four years of waiting, Ryu Ga Gotaku Studios has finally released Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth, which not only exceeded my expectations but made me realize how it is the richest JRPG ever to release and I’ve provided an in-depth review on just how it accomplishes that feat.

Story And Setting

like a dragon infinite wealth review
The Story. (Image by eXputer)

While I’ll refrain from discussing spoilers of any kind, the game takes place roughly four years after the first, with Ichiban working at Hello Work in Injincho as a consultant, trying to live an honest life alongside his friends.

However, don’t think for a second you’ll stay in Yokohama for too long because Ichiban heads off to Hawaii soon enough, pursuing an anonymous tip regarding his Mother’s whereabouts.

like a dragon infinite wealth review
Ichiban and his friends. (Image by eXputer)

Things quickly go south, much like you’d expect with twists and turns from a Yakuza entry. Ichiban is left stranded in Hawaii with little to no clue as to what’s going on and the mystery regarding his Mother, which, if you ask me, slowly turns into a cat-and-mouse chase.

While I found the intro to Hawaii slightly long for my comfort, I’m glad that it didn’t overstay its welcome as this new locale’s introduction eases you into the crazy events that unfold and its new characters introduced here.

Speaking of which, the new party members Tomizawa and Chitose both offer their respective character arcs, one of which even leaves you second-guessing their intentions partway to the finale.

A Tale Of Two Dragons

lad infinite wealth review
Ichiban arrives in Hawaii. (Image by eXputer)

Both Ichiban Kasuga and Kiryu Kazuma are the leads of this story, the latter of whom acts as this game’s deuteragonist with his chapters and dedicated tale, one that I personally found to be RGG Studio’s best implementation due to their rich history of involving multiple heroes or characters in a single game.

Ultimately, the payoff is a brilliantly crafted narrative, which I honestly think is the franchise’s most emotional one, going as far as being a tie for me with Like a Dragon Gaiden’s ending.

There’s not a single moment where I found either of these two beloved heroes to have a lesser spotlight in the narrative, even though you could switch between them whenever you wanted in the latter chapters.

Not to mention, Kiryu’s side of the story is extremely heartwarming and full of fan service that really tugged on the heartstrings, whether it was him interacting with Ichiban’s crew of misfits or reflecting on his memories.

Ultimately, the payoff is a brilliantly crafted narrative, which I honestly think is the franchise’s most emotional one, going as far as being a tie for me with Like a Dragon Gaiden’s ending.

Gameplay

like a dragon infinite wealth review
The Gameplay. (Image by eXputer)

Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth gameplay, it is, in simple terms, an improved version of Yakuza 7. Many of the complaints and issues players had with the previous title have seemingly been fixed or touched upon.

For me, it just has to be that I can now move each character around a dedicated area, launch targets into walls for knockback damage, into other party members, and check the radius of AOE spells or any attack’s range.

There’s so much richness in the side content and exploration that unraveling everything the game offers sometimes overwhelms you.

These improvements to the combat and its systematics are so ridiculously good that I think they make Yakuza 7’s combat feel inferior in comparison.

The new jobs before release had me excited to try them out, and safe to say, they delivered on all fronts as each class is exceedingly more fun and unique to use than the other, with my favorite one being the Desperado, which makes both Kiryu and Ichiban look straight out of an old-school western flick.

like a dragon infinite wealth review
Desperado is one of the newest jobs in the game. (Image by eXputer)

Both the dynamic flow and feel of how each encounter plays out have you second-guessing this time to use a strategical approach instead of mashing skills, which is further incentivized by more nifty features added, such as back attacks and environmental weapon grabs.

But if you’d asked me now, what made me fall in love with the series in the first place was not only the rollercoaster storytelling but also the near limitless side content that the games provided, right from Yakuza 0’s Hostess Cabaret Management mode to Yakuza 5’s endless side activities exclusive for each character.

An Infinite World Of Activities

like a dragon infinite wealth review
Dodonko Island is extremely addictive. (Image by eXputer)

Needless to say, Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth, in my opinion, is easily the biggest game in the series in terms of side content as well as exploration. It is almost unbelievable how much care is poured into it, almost taking me aback by the number of things I discovered or participated in outside of the main story.

My favorite has to be Dondoko Island, which could’ve been a separate farming-sim spin-off, and nobody would’ve said anything. It’s incredibly engaging, so I had to force myself back to continuing the main story before I got too lost in it.

lad infinite wealth review
Sujimon battles. (Image by Me)

Sujimon is exactly how you’d imagine Pokemon mixing with Yakuza: a slugfest between the most bizarre beings on the streets. I’m glad they made an entire 3v3 mini-game for it only after just introducing them in the previous game.

It is almost unbelievable how much care is poured into this aspect, almost taking me aback by the number of things I discovered or participated in outside of the main story.

Besides these two major side activities, the Crazy-Taxi-fueled Crazy Eats Delivery mini-game was also a highlight for me, which, thankfully, I had already experienced via the demo from Gaiden.

I got so immersed in doing other pieces of content, such as Ichiban’s bond links with his party members to marking down Kiryu’s Bucket List memorabilia, that by the time I got to the finale of the game, I had well over a hundred hours, just by being so engrossed into completing everything else.

lad infinite wealth review
Crazy Eats Delivery. (Image by eXputer)

Overall, Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth not only succeeds as being the most content-heavy JRPG for me but also is a massive upgrade over the previous entry in terms of exploration, combat, and improved dungeon designs. There’s so much richness in the side content and exploration that unraveling everything the game offers sometimes overwhelms you.

Visuals And Performance

like a dragon infinite wealth review
The Visuals. (Image by eXputer)

Compared to Like a Dragon 7, I’m glad RGG Studios incorporated a cleaner visual palette to Infinite Wealth rather than inserting a background filter to mess up the color grading.

It makes it closer in realism to the Judgment spin-offs and adds a subtle glow-up to the characters that I didn’t expect would become my favorite little details about the game.

The Tropical City of Honolulu is an absolute treat, from the Anaconda Shopping Mall to the crowded beaches during the daytime.

A part of me rarely even used fast travel this time since riding the Street Surfer and admiring the gorgeous sunset skies of the city became a comfort moment for me. 

In terms of performance, due to the rich optimization of the Dragon Engine, whose history many fans may already know, I hardly experienced any frame drops or bugs. The PS5 version of the game runs smoothly at a locked 60FPS framerate.

Verdict

lad iw review
The Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth is a JRPG powerhouse, delivering one of the most endearing stories to date and an aspiring open-world design.

Despite the slight disdain I have for its controversial NG+ DLC, I absolutely cannot let that undermine the immense passion that RGG Studios has put forth into crafting the game, especially with an insane amount of content to enjoy at your leisure, along with creating the most adoring cast of characters in the franchise.

As a longtime fan of the franchise who took his sweet time with the game, while I still have a couple of more heavy-hitter JRPGs to look forward to after this in 2024, Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth has set the bar high for them due to how it manages to nail everything down from the story to the gameplay.

This has been my review of Like a Dragon Infinite Wealth. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles:

This is box title
Get This Game
If you’re a fan of the Like a Dragon 7 and want to see an emotional journey starring both Ichiban and Kiryu.
Dont Get This Game
If you dislike Turn-based combat or the RPG-focused progression.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, if you enjoyed every previous title in the franchise, and want another content-rich JRPG, you’ll absolutely need to get this game.
Alternative Games
  • Dragon Quest 11
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  • Octopath Traveler 2
  • Final Fantasy VI
Was this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. ✍

Get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.


Usama Mehmood is a Games Specialist, and writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. Usama has been gaming for 15+ years during which he has accumulated 4000+ hours on Destiny 1 & 2. His constant adoration for video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Get familiar with Usama's extensive gaming library on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Reviews And Guides

Related Articles