Ishin’s feudal Japan has modern characters

Like a dragon: Ishin! recasts the show’s characters in the roles of characters from feudal Japan, but he has good reason to reuse his designs.


Like a dragon: Ishin! is one of the most eclectic games in like a dragon series, thanks to it featuring feudal-era versions of various characters from the series. After its surprise announcement, the game will finally leave Japan for the first time. This samurai-flavored entry looks to bring a different kind of experience to players while using some familiar faces.


Like a dragon: Ishin! was originally released in 2014, but never received a release outside of Japan. It follows the story of real-life historical character Ryoma Sakamoto, who is depicted in the game with the appearance of Kazuma Kiryu. Adapting to the setting of feudal Japan, the game adds swordplay and other deadly fighting styles to the series’ signature punches. A Like a dragon: Ishin! The trailer confirmed the upcoming remake, which will include new features and characters that weren’t in the original, providing a new and improved version of the game for its international release.

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The first thing that will likely catch most fans’ eyes is the resemblance that many of the characters have to characters from the Yakuza series. Ryoma’s resemblance to Kiryu has already been noted, but he’s far from the only one. For example, the captain of the Shinsengumi, Soji Okita, is played by Goro Majima, the savage, knife-wielding deuteragonist from the main series. While their names may not sound like the characters playing their roles, the likenesses are impossible for fans of the show to ignore. Although Judgement inherited Yakuzaaction gameplay, Ishin! brings its own flavor to the long-running franchise formula.


Like a dragon: Ishin! Uses many faces from past games

As to why Ishin! uses the appearances of former characters from the series, there are two good reasons for this. On the one hand, the similarities with the past Yakuza characters help tie Ishin! to the series, despite its spin-off status. The remake actually goes a step further than before by incorporating character likenesses that didn’t exist at the time of the original release, like Shibusawa from Yakuza 0 and Adachi from Yakuza: like a dragon. These familiar faces can help fans get into the new story, similar to Kiryu’s return in Yakuza: like a dragon helped attract old fans to experience this game’s new style of play.

Another reason to use characters from the show to portray the cast of Ishin! is to link them implicitly to the characters they embody. This works in an effort to mirror the original as well as color the player’s perception of said character. For example, Shintaro Nakaoka is played by Detective Makoto Date, letting the player know what to expect from him. This narrative trick can be used to tell the audience about a character’s nature, but it can also be used to play against audience expectations, similar to Volo’s role in Pokemon Legends: Arceuswhich was quite different from that of its implied ancestor Cynthia.

Using the likenesses of well-known characters from the series, Ishin! is able to bridge the gap to bring fans into a whole new type of story. This can be a useful strategy when trying something new for a series, and it’s mostly a draw for existing fans. When Like a dragon: Ishin! is released in 2023, players will be able to see how well these characters compare to their counterparts.

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