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    Best Cities in Like A Dragon

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    So we wanted to take a minute to talk about something that is possibly overlooked for any number of reasons. This is the setting where you play. Granted, you can be forgiven for thinking that there is a single location in the games however this is not the case and we have had to scratch our heads a little here at Gamecraves to be able to comprise a list in the order that we feel best describes the series, and where the stories unfold, naturally you will probably guess the top on our list but still let’s dive into the Best Cities in Like A Dragon, the criminal underworld which is the core of the Like A Dragon franchise.

    Kamurocho – Tokyo

    Best Cities in Like A Dragon - Kamurocho

    Yep, you guessed it, it’s the Tokyo District that houses the Tojo Clan headquarters. Taking center stage for most of the games and as a subplot in others, this location has formed the core of the Like A Dragon franchise and is a safe place gamers have come to know and associate long-time franchise protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. Although it has taken a background setting in the re-branded Ichiban Kasuga adventure, Lost Judgment, and even phased out for The Man Who Erased His Name, Kamurocho is probably the one place on this list we at Gamecraves want to visit and see how close the real world city is to the games.

    Based on the real-world Kabukicho Tokyo district, Kamurocho is a place that draws gamers back, whether that is its nightlife, crazy substories, or iconic landmarks.

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    Sotenbori – Osaka

    Out of every location on our list, Osaka’s Sotenbori seemed the best location to take second. Being the setting of practically 4 of the games this little location has a lot to answer for, at least in my books. Personally, I feel I know it just as well as Kamurocho as it’s a core location in 0 and Kiwami 2 as well as the only real location in The Man Who Erased His Name. Featuring incredible sights from its giant plastic Crab over the main street advertising a seafood restaurant, its fantastic river dividing the city where great memories are made or the nightclub that stands to mark the passing of time, Sotenbori has something that everyone can relate to.

    Like every location in Like A Dragon, there is a real-world location, which is Dotonbori. Unlike Kamurocho, we feel that Kansai is perfect as it is and don’t see the need to examine the real world place as closely as Kamurocho.

    Ijincho – Yokohama

    While other locations have a pretty big impact on us, we feel that Ichiban needed his time to show off and although a pretty confined story Ijincho is pretty vast. At first glance Yokohama’s Ijincho is nothing special, however, it’s the people and activities that grow on you. Characters like Sujimon Sensei, Dragon Fighter, and the Part-Time Hero. All these characters make Yokohama such a different place to experience in the evolving Like A Dragon world.

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    While still an iconic city as memories are made in its sprawling city limits, we think that Ijincho could have had more to do with it. This isn’t to say that Ijincho is big, but empty, it’s the opposite, there is so much to explore but running around it felt empty in some areas. Whether this has to do with being used to Kamurocho is unclear.

    Hawaii

    Come on, we couldn’t do this list without it being so high on the list. Departing the country where the franchise was born and heading stateside Ichiban Kasuga joins Kazuma Kiryu in an adventure unlike any other. Personally, I think Ichiban sums this up the best when arriving in Hawaii:

    Ain’t no sunrise like a sunrise in Hawaii

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    Personally, we are inclined to agree that it’s a beautiful sight even if it’s just a game it makes you feel like you want to see it personally, feeling the rays from the sun, hearing the crashing waves, and enjoying paradise.

    Unlike its Japanese cities, we think that this trip to America is as much a disappointment as it is incredible. The only reason is the fact that you find yourself looking around for familiar sights like Millennium Tower, Club Saga, or even Club Grand.

    Onomichi – Hiroshima

    The shipyards of Japan hold a dark secret in its depths. The setting of the sixth main game in the franchise and home to the man who fathered Haruto, Onomichi is a special location to me as The Song Of Life is my favorite in the franchise, if you have played it you should understand this easily. Although the city is not much and feels like a “nowhere” type town it somehow manages to make up for it by having so much packed into it, and seeing the town at dusk or night is rather magical, a different sort of magic the other cities give off.

    Although it’s only in a single installment of the franchise Onomichi is the single location that I would like to revisit again from the limited locations.

    Kyoto

    While only for a single game (for World Wide Audiences at the time of writing), Ishin is set some hundred years before the rest of the franchise’s installments, and therefore a new city location is designated. While rural and primitive compared to the Like A Dragon scenery you would normally see, Ishin is a fantastic location to explore as Sakamoto Ryoma. While differently approached from the previous game (original release), which was Yakuza 5, featuring 5 different locations, Ishin only has a single city. This is sub-divided and the like, however, we want to clarify it as a single.

    Although historically accurate, it’s a shame to see the location and not be able to see it now, like we can with the other locations scattered throughout the franchise. Yes we know Kyoto is a real place but we are referring to the look it has in the game.

    Ryukyu – Okinawa

    Introduced in Yakuza 3, Ryukyu is the place where Kiryu decides to settle down with Haruka and run an orphanage. While this is a surprising turn of events for Kiryu, being a former Chairman of the Tojo Clan, it actually fits him perfectly. However, trouble has a way of finding the legendary man and he is pulled right back into the underworld. Overall the city is nothing special, it is small, not really packed and lacking the inspiration to keep the attention of not running out in front of traffic. The part we want to highlight is the Beach outside the orphanage. This is, while small, an incredibly different scenery which is more inspiring than the city strangely enough.

    Until the conclusion of The Song Of Life, you expect that Kiryu will return to the orphanage and continue to support the children and be there for Haruto to grow up. Even through the events of The Man Who Erased His Name, you expect Kiryu to find a way to get the life he earned back, and that only cuts deep with the message at the end of the game.

    Nagasugai – Fukuoka

    The first location you head to in Yakuza 5 as Kiryu. This location, while sprawling is interesting for its river and Taxi Missions. While we have technically addressed the fishing aspect in other cities, Sotenbori, it’s always nice to see a river in a city, in Nagasugai however, it’s on the outside of the map. Therefore we were more drawn to the driving missions for Kiryu.

    While only a sub-activity for Kiryu to undertake with minimal things in the campaign to progress the story, we feel this needs its time to shine. The main reason is that it’s so different to be able to drive in a Yakuza game.

    Tsukimino – Hokkaido

    Returning to Yakuza 5 we head to 18-Count Saejima whose location is rather interesting. Here, like Okinawa, we wanted to draw attention to the mountain. While this can be annoying, the mountain was an interesting aspect and one that made me forget I was playing Yakuza, at least until I realised I was playing as Saejima. Covered in snow and packed with creatures to hunt, the mountain is an inspiring change to the series.

    While the city is an interesting sight, with it buried in snow, Hokkaido is a snowy region and the mountain fits this image better than the city.

    Kineicho – Nagoya

    Finally, we have Tatsu Shinada. While the town is not all that special, Shinada makes it have a different feel from what most other Yakuza characters have. This is to do with how he carries himself around town, at first glance he doesn’t look any different to Kiryu or anyone else, but after playing as him for a few hours you soon learn that it’s not just his attitude or fighting style which makes you feel off in the city.

    His section of the game theoretically revolves around his profession as a former baseball player, therefore his adventure takes him the the batting cages. While this is accurate it doesn’t sum up the town and that is best described as a conspiracy.

    If you’re looking for more games to add to your collection, be sure to check out some of our other gaming lists. From in-depth reviews to top 10 type lists, we’ve got plenty of content to keep you entertained and informed.

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