The Like A Dragon / Yakuza / Ryu Ga Gotoku series became a hit in Japan and the broader Western market thanks to its many quirky mini-games. While they initially seemed to be a distraction from the narrative campaign around Kazuma Kiryu, as the games went on they became more of a major focus of the franchise, as the fans became drawn to Sega’s quirky open world design around them.
Today, Sega has revealed they are taking this one step further with Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Introducing Dondoko Island.
As revealed in an Xbox Wire interview with RGG Studio Chief Producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto, Dondoko Island is unlocked in a side story that becomes available in Chapter 6, and is completely independent from the rest of the game.
As revealed in the trailer, Ichiban Kasuga travels to the island paradise, where ‘a cozy DIY lifestyle awaits’. Sega seemingly invites the comparison to Animal Crossing, showing Kasuga gathering resources, fishing, buying at stores, and crafting. You can build your own house, and reshape the whole island. You can also make friends with locals, and run the island’s tourism industry.
That includes having to fight off the occasional wild animal stampede, or those ‘shady customers.’ Yes, this is the fighting part, and it certainly gives this mode its own personality. In fact, Sakamoto says that Dondoko Island will have also have a dating app where you find Kasuga a girl he is compatible with.
Kasuga is every bit the semi-serious gag manga character come to life in video game form, and in Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Sega has seen fit to build him a literal island to call his own, where he can have the wackiest adventures that you can dream up, without even going back to his supposed real life adventures in the real world.
One final note if you were curious: the two mascots you saw in the trailer are Gachapin and Mukku. While Japan has a fun little addiction to mascots, Gachapin is particularly famous, having starred in his own TV show, and crossing over into the mainstream. This also is not the first video game the two have appeared in, but they seem fated to be especially memorable here.
Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth is releasing on January 26, 2024 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows via Steam. You can watch the Dondoko Island trailer below.