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Is Like a Dragon: Ishin! turn-based? Answered

Does Ryoma fight in the same way as Ichiban Kosuga?

Like a Dragon: Ishin! has finally hit store shelves, and it takes the series back to the past, but does its gameplay style also reside in the old days, or is it akin to the turn-based combat of the most recent entry in the series? This question has arisen because the Like a Dragon series (previously known as Yakuza outside of Japan) started as a beat ’em up franchise, before transitioning to a turn-based RPG series in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Let’s take a look at whether or not Ishin is a turn-based game or not.

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Is Like a Dragon: Ishin! turn-based like Yakuza: Like a Dragon?

Like a Dragon: Ishin! is an action game with combat that is closer to the older entries in the series, with the protagonist defeating foes with his katana, pistol, and fists. Those who want to experience another turn-based RPG entry in the series will have to wait until Like a Dragon 8 launches in 2024, as that will be using the same gameplay style as Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

The reason why Like a Dragon: Ishin! is an action game is due to its history. It’s original release actually predates Yakuza: Like a Dragon by several years. Ishin was originally a Japan-exclusive title that launched on the PS3 in 2014, when the series wasn’t as established in the west. The relatively unknown status of the Like a Dragon franchise at the time, coupled with its ancient Japanese setting, meant there wasn’t an incentive for Sega to localize the game into English.

Luckily, the Like a Dragon franchise has slowly outgrown its cult status, while the success of games like Ghost of Tsushima and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice convinced the developers that Like a Dragon: Ishin! could be popular with international audiences. This led to Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio remaking it from the ground up and retaining its action gameplay style, rather than porting the original game to modern systems.

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Scott Baird
Scott has been writing for Gamepur since 2023, having been a former contributor to websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, Screen Rant, The Gamer, and TopTenz. A graduate of Edge Hill University in the UK, Scott started as a film student before moving into journalism. Scott covers Dungeons & Dragons, Final Fantasy, Pokémon, and MTG. He can be contacted on LinkedIn.