The Like a Dragon series has long been synonymous with Kamurocho, but over the years, the series has introduced lots of memorable locations. For the series’ latest entry – Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth – the series heads overseas for the first time with its new setting of Hawaii.
Even though moving outside Japan is uncharted territory for the series, long-time Like a Dragon fans need not worry as Infinite Wealth’s Hawaii might just be the series’ best setting yet as it perfectly complements the series’ fresh new RPG direction, as well as Ichiban’s new adventure.
Best of all, the new Hawaii map is full of activities that should delight any and every fan of the series.
Infinite Wealth’s Honolulu is Filled to the Brim with Things to do
In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the series introduced Yokohama which was its biggest map yet at the time. For the follow-up, Infinite Wealth is set mainly in Honolulu, the iconic capital of Hawaii, the tropical island American state that’s an incredibly popular place for the Japanese.
On top of being much bigger than maps in previous games, the game’s Honolulu map is incredibly dense as it features several huge indoor areas like the Anaconda Shopping Center and the Worldwide Market Village. Anywhere you go, you’ll find a shop to buy useful items and equipment, as well as side activities to spend time on.
That’s not even mentioning the various Hawaiian folks and tourists that Ichiban meets and helps in the memorable substories. Plus, Ichiban can also participate in tactical Sujimon battles, as well as help a struggling island resort get back up on its feet in the Dondoko Island mini-game.Even with how big the scale of the map feels, there’s no empty spot in Honolulu. This makes traversing through the map feel like you’re actually exploring a big city.
When it comes to traveling, Infinite Wealth’s map also features multiple ways to make going around the city easy. The taxis return, and much like Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Infinite Wealth allows you to travel with taxis from anywhere. Then there’s the trolleybus which comes with a fun Sicko Snap mini-game where you can practice your in-game photography skills.
Perhaps the most fun way of traveling is the electric scooter which lets you zip around the city much faster than when on foot, all while still enjoying the map’s sights and sounds.
Speaking of sightseeing, the Honolulu map is also a joy to explore given how vibrant and varied the city is. Even with its familiar gameplay loop, the new map makes for a fresh and fun experience for long-time series fans.
The First Like a Dragon Setting Outside Japan Makes for a Fresh Experience
Most of the Like a Dragon games take place in Japan’s biggest cities. There are some exceptions like Yakuza 3’s Naha, Okinawa map which has a more tropical vibe like its real-life counterpart.
Technically, Hawaii may not be the series’ first tropical setting, but it blows away the Naha map not only in terms of sheer scale but also because of its visuals. That’s because when it comes to its visuals and atmosphere, Infinite Wealth’s Hawaii is a series stand-out.
When Hawaii is mentioned, you’ll probably think of a sunny tropical beach. The game offers this with its beautiful and vibrant Aloha beach area that Ichiban can even swim in. This beach area is just below Waikiki which is another colorful district filled with shops, hotels, and more. Across Waikiki, there’s the Anaconda Shopping Center which, as mentioned above, is a huge indoor shopping area.
Aside from these swanky locations, the map also has spots where the city’s underworld denizens congregate such as the grimy District Five. On top of these, there’s Little Japan and Chinatown which offers a mix of glitzy and seedy.
Maps in the previous Like a Dragon games are also memorable in their own way, but Hawaii just has an impressive combination of unique spots, all while featuring an entirely different atmosphere owing to its overseas setting.
As an icing on the cake, Infinite Wealth’s Hawaii is also an excellent reflection of the game’s main character, Ichiban Kasuga, and the new journey that he goes through.
Honolulu Perfectly Captures Ichiban Kasuga and His Next Adventure
Aside from being great virtual worlds to explore, the Like a Dragon series maps also typically reflect the game’s themes and story. For instance, Yakuza 6’s Onomichi with its nostalgic and melancholic atmosphere greatly complements the finale of Kiryu and Harukexample is Yakuza 5 as that game has five noteworthy locations, including the snowy Tsukimino which reflects Taiga Saejima’s cold exterior and tough journey. This is also the case with Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. As you play through the game, you’ll discover that Hawaii has a warm and sunny atmosphere, though it also has a dark and seedy underbelly.
In many ways, this reflects Ichiban Kasuga’s life and continuing journey. Despite growing up in and continuing to get roped into the criminal underworld’s conflicts, Ichiban is a ray of sunshine as has an infectious optimism and genuine positivity toward his friends.
This trait of Ichiban is shown clearly in the game’s exciting and moving story. The fact that this theme is also reflected in the game’s Hawaii map makes it land even more strongly for players.
Thanks to how well the map captures Ichiban and his next chapter, coupled with the city’s density and visual style, the new Hawaii map offers perhaps the freshest take yet for the series.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth – Now Available on PC and Consoles
With this new Hawaii map, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is a must-play for any and every fan of the series. That’s not even mentioning the game’s revamped combat and pulse-pounding story.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC.