Like A Dragon: Ishin’s Wild Dancer combat style is a dream come true

In the latest trailer for Ryū Ga Gotoku Studio’s feudal Yakuza spin-off Like A Dragon: Ishin, you get to see Kiryu slash, punch, and gun his way through much of historical Japan. Our boy dishes out the heat in the gnarliest of ways, but it all culminates with the “Wild Dancer” fighting style which turns Kiryu into a spinning top of death. Sign me up. Get me a copy right now.

God, Like A Dragon: Ishin looks rad as heck. The trailer starts with Ryu Sakamoto (Kiryu’s feudal codename) facing off against none other than his sworn frenemy Akira Nishikiyama (Okada Izo). Izo says, “I am going to fell you like a tree”, then they cinematically clash swords to mark what’s most likely an emotionally charged boss fight where both end up hugging it out. What Izo isn’t prepared for, though, is Kiryu’s deep love for bashing thug skulls.

As the trailer continues, we flash through Kiryu’s ability to switch between three different combat styles. One’s reminiscent of classic Yakuza, where he’s reliant on the power of his fists. There’s another where he’s able to channel John Wick and rattle off revolver shots with a few spins chucked in for good measure.

But the Wild Dancer combat style is everything. A beautiful marriage of sword, fist, and gun which lets Kiryu whirl around in a tornado of pain. At one point, he performs a finishing move where he plunges a samurai sword into a thug’s belly, then uses it as a springboard from which to somersault in the air and shoot the dude on the way down. Damn.

Like A Dragon: Ishin’s combat looks wild and I can’t wait to give it a whirl come 21st February 2023. Now I just need a trailer which highlights the game’s minigames and substories. I’m really hoping there’s some feudal real estate mini-game where you flip ancient shrines or belt out some Baka Mitai to the twangs of a koto. If it does well, RGG Studio said they’d consider another samurai-period remake too, which is fantastic news.

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