Yakuza: Like a Dragon (or Yakuza 7) had a bit of a grinding problem, but thankfully, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth manages to solve this with some key tweaks.
As Yakuza 7 players will likely remember, the first game starring Ichiban Kasuga featured major difficulty spikes in Chapters 12 and 14. While some players had no issues with this (especially if they played through the Sotenbori Battle Arena), there’s no doubt that many players were caught off-guard by this huge difficulty spike. Thus, many had to grind battles to get enough levels. This was one of the few flaws in Yakuza 7, and it’s thankfully not an issue in Infinite Wealth.
Ahead of the game’s release, I was worried that I would have to grind at some point in Infinite Wealth. Thankfully, that did not happen as many major main story encounters have a recommended level and equipment rating that’s shown as a warning before you proceed.
The biggest issue about the difficulty spikes in Yakuza 7 is that they come out of nowhere for many players who are focusing on the main story. With Infinite Wealth’s addition of a recommended level/equipment notice, players who rush through the main story won’t need to worry about getting stuck in a tough dungeon while being underleveled. It’s a small addition, but it does a lot in taking the guesswork out of determining what level you should be in main story encounters.
Aside from this addition, the latest installment also has much better balance, especially regarding how the difficulty ramps up. Most players will likely have no issues with out-of-nowhere difficulty spikes here if they play at an average pace (i.e. playing the main story and substories).
Even if you do make a beeline for all the main story missions and need to level up a bit before proceeding, the enhanced JRPG combat makes encounters more dynamic and fun. Specifically, players can now move in combat before attacking. This seems like a small change, but this coupled with the focus on AoE abilities and enhanced skills/combos make the combat incredibly engaging.
In the previous game, battling opponents to grind can feel tedious. But in Infinite Wealth, I found myself enjoying the combat so much that I naturally seeked out combat encounters, meaning I never once found combat to feel like a grind.
Thanks to the addition of a recommended level/equipment warning, coupled with better a difficulty ramp-up and a more dynamic combat system, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth effectively fixes the grinding issue that many players found to be rather annoying in Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Thus, Infinite Wealth sees the series hit its stride with the new JRPG direction, making it an easy must-play for series fans. That’s not even mentioning the game’s engaging story, loveable cast of characters, and huge new map that sees the series feature an overseas destination for the first time.
Still not sure if you should get the game? You can check out our review here: