Is Like A Dragon: Ishin A Remaster or A Remake? Answered?
Is it worthy of “Kiwami” status?
Like A Dragon: Ishin has received a very impressive glow-up for modern consoles and PC after remaining out of the grasp of long-time fans for nearly a decade. It’s fair to say that the game needed a bit of polishing before receiving its worldwide release, but does it match the quality of similar re-releases for earlier entries in the series? Here’s everything we know about whether Like A Dragon: Ishin is a remake or a remaster.
Is Like A Dragon: Ishin A Remaster or A Remake?
Like A Dragon: Ishin is, technically, being billed as a remake. In Japan, the re-release carries the same ‘Kiwami’ branding that the built-from-the-ground-up remakes of Yakuza 1 and 2 received. It could be argued though, that the term ‘remake’ can be tossed around pretty loosely these days.
If you’re expecting a total reinvention of the game in the style of Dead Space or Resident Evil, then Like A Dragon: Ishin is not likely to meet your expectations. The closest comparison is the recently released Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion which Square Enix described as “not a remake, but more than a remaster”.
The game does feature some refinement and improvements. The city of Kyo is visually stunning with graphics that can rival most modern releases and the highly detailed character models expected from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio are also on full display in cutscenes, looking better than ever. Some characters from the original release have been replaced with newer actors that have featured in the series. Hideo Nakano who originally played Yakuza 0 villain Keiji Shibusawa returns to the series as Ryoma’s brother Takechi, along with with Yuichi Nakamura who played the assassin Joon Gi-Han in Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Yakuza 7: Like A Dragon.
Enemy bosses in the game have new special abilities that they can use against you, and the Trooper Card mechanic is now entirely optional. Players can also find some fun Easter eggs in the game; celebrity fans like Kenny Omega and Rahul Kohli have their own Trooper Cards, and fan-favourite songs like ‘Baka Mitai’ have been added to the Karaoke mini-game.
Beyond that though, the game closely resembles its original release. Ryoma still has access to the same four combat styles and while there’s a strong variety, each of them do feel a tad dated. There’s also the issue of invisible walls throughout Kyo’s map and the, frankly, janky NPC models. Those cold dead Yakuza 5 era eyes can be recognised in an NPC from a mile away. There are substantial improvements, but at times the game very clearly shows its age. While Like A Dragon: Ishin is considered a remake and is being marketed as such, this is one that is really down to your own personal interpretation.
That’s everything we know about whether Like A Dragon: Ishin is a remake or remaster. Be sure to check out our guides to the game below including the location of every substory.
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- PSA: Some Like a Dragon: Ishin! DLC Doesn’t Carry Over to New Saves
- Chaos & Combat Take Center Stage in Like a Dragon: Ishin! Launch Trailer
- Like a Dragon: Ishin! Review – Samurai Kiwami
- New Demo Lets Fans Check Out Like a Dragon: Ishin!’s Combat Early