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Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is the Animal Crossing successor I didn’t know I needed

Infinite Wealth? More like infinite minigames, amirite?

Like A Dragon Infinite Wealth box art
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Platform
PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, PC
Release date
26 January 2023
Price
From $89
Georgia Dixon
Feb 02, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read

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pro
Pros
pro Just as batshit insane as ever
pro Minigames so good they’ll derail your main mission
pro Great new characters with some returning favourites thrown in
pro New Hawaiian location is a breath of fresh air
pro Less grindy than its predecessor
con
Cons
con Almost too many collectables
con Occasionally long cutscenes
con Deluxe and Ultimate Editions aren’t worth it

Ultimate Edition reviewed on a PlayStation 5.

A Pokemon Snap-style game in which you photograph masked, half-naked “sickos” around Waikiki. An Animal Crossing-inspired island management simulation with trash-loving pirates. A gamified dating app in which you’re rewarded for good banter with risque photos of ankles. A Crazy Taxi reboot for the food delivery era.

No, I’m not rattling off my unhinged game dev ideas. These are all real, fully fleshed-out minigames you can play in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, all while doing the usual fighting-bad-guys stuff we expect from a Yakuza game.

Most role-playing games have side quests. Infinite Wealth has a side main mission. At least, that’s how it feels when the minigames are so fun and so plentiful that you forget the whole reason you, Ichiban Kasuga, are in Hawaii in the first place.

Image: Sega

We kick things off a few years after the events of 2020’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon, where Kasuga and co. have all built stable lives with solid jobs. However, when a call-out video falsely accusing Kasuga of developing his own crime ring goes viral, our hero—and his friends—are consequently fired from their respective gigs.

The gang are thrown back into the world of the Yakuza upon hearing rumours that the Seiryu Clan is rebuilding. But when they infiltrate the clan’s HQ, they are reunited with Jo Sawashiro, who informs Kasuga that his long-lost birth mother, Akane, is not dead, as the world had been led to believe. In fact, she’s alive and well in Hawaii and wants to meet her son, but when Kasuga finally arrives at her home, he learns that Akane is missing.

Without the help of his Yokohama pals Nanba and Adachi, Kasuga quickly gathers a new “party” of quirky characters, including one familiar face—Kazuma Kiryu, the “Dragon of Dojima” and protagonist of just about every previous Yakuza title. Now faced with his imminent death due to cancer, Kiryu is determined to do some good with the time he has left and help Kasuga unravel the mystery of his mother’s disappearance.

Kazuma Kiryu and Ichiban Kasuga in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

Image: Sega

As this is a review in progress, I’m currently only halfway through the main story. But I’m not someone who plays the Yakuza games for the story. The story is great, don’t get me wrong, but ultimately, I’m here for the silliness. Fortunately, Infinite Wealth has it in droves.

In addition to the aforementioned bonkers minigames, there’s a sequel to my favourite Like a Dragon side quest in which you battle a giant robotic vacuum cleaner after its AI goes awry. The diaper-wearing Yakuza from Like a Dragon also reprise their appearance, along with Kasuga’s pet crawfish, Cindy, who joins him on the trip to Hawaii. TSA laws have gotten seriously lax.

There’s even a fully-realised Pokemon clone called Sujimon, which you may be familiar with if you played Like a Dragon. Last time, you had a Sujidex to complete by battling every type of enemy (a.k.a. Sujimon) in the game. This time, not only can you collect ‘em all, but you can recruit them to fight other Sujimon trainers you find on the streets, join raids to get rare, powerful Sujimon, and even battle your way through the Elite—no, sorry, the Discreet Four at their respective Sujimon Gyms.

Image: Sega

"Infinite Wealth is a deeply unserious game and it knows it."

Oh, and if you’re a fan of unpaid labour, you can also put your Sujimon to work on the farm at Dondoko Island, yet another fully realised clone of a popular game (Animal Crossing: New Horizons) that sees you rebuild a formerly popular but now decrepit island resort, all the while fighting enviro-baddies who’ve used the island as a giant dump for years. This minigame in particular consumed me. Of the first 40 hours I sunk into the game, roughly 20 of those were spent on Dondoko Island. Who’d’ve thunk a Yakuza game could fill the AC:NH void in my heart?

Infinite Wealth is a deeply unserious game and it knows it, which is a large part of its charm. And yet there is so much heart, too. The dialogue and characters are well-written, and the story tackles challenging social issues like homelessness, criminal rehabilitation, and the ease of spreading misinformation via social media, with empathy and even grace.

As for the turn-based combat, it’s much the same as before but feels more dynamic thanks to a few new quality-of-life improvements, including proximity-based attacks. The new setting, too, is a refreshing change. Having just returned from a trip to Hawaii myself, I can attest to the uncanny accuracy of the Honolulu we see in Infinite Wealth. There are ABC Stores, shave ice stands, an Ala Moana-inspired mall called “Anaconda”, a replica of the statue of Duke Kahanamoku… I even found an almost picture-perfect copy of the hotel I stayed in.

Standard vs Deluxe vs Ultimate Edition
Price Tag

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth comes in three editions: Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate. I reviewed a copy of the Ultimate Edition, and I have to say, aside from the addition of New Game+ (which really shouldn’t be locked behind a paywall anyway), you’re not really missing out on much.

Along with New Game+, both Deluxe and Ultimate get you some additional ‘fits, an extra dungeon, and special Sujimon and Dondoko Island guests. But the legendary Sujimon and huge Dondoko Island resource pack you get with the Ultimate Edition give you such a massive head start with their respective minigames that it kinda sucks the fun out of them.

I adored 2020's Like a Dragon. It was my first real exposure to the Yakuza series and I was quickly enamoured with its colourful portrayal of Yokohama and its dark underbelly, the outlandish side stories, and the charismatic characters. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was incredibly entertaining, ridiculous, and charming, which made it pretty damn close for me.

And yet Infinite Wealth is better in every way. The writing is better, the characters have more depth, the combat is more fun and dynamic, the side quests are even wackier, and the minigames (once again) are so good that they almost overshadow the main game itself. And hey, couldn't we all use a holiday?

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth trailer

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What can I play Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth on?

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is available on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC.

Georgia Dixon
Written by
Georgia Dixon
Georgia Dixon has over seven years' experience writing about all things tech, entertainment and lifestyle, with bylines in TechLife magazine, 7NEWS and Stuff.co.nz. In her spare time, you'll find her playing games and daydreaming about good food, wine, and dogs.

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