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Why Like a Dragon: Ishin! Is the Best Samurai Game Ever

The world of video games has always been a platform for gamers of all kinds to explore and immerse themselves in different worlds. And among these worlds, the theme of samurai has always been a popular one. One game that stands out from the crowd is Like a Dragon: Ishin!. Originally released in 2014, this action-adventure game was recently remade and has become a fan favorite once again. It’s no surprise that Kotaku staff writer Sisi Jiang has called it the “best samurai game ever”.

The Aesthetics of Like a Dragon: Ishin!

While the game might not boast the latest and greatest graphics, what it lacks in that department, it makes up for in its story and aesthetics. The game is set in 19th-century Japan, and without giving too much of the plot away, it’s safe to say that it’s based largely on historical fiction. The details that have been put into the game truly bring the period to life. The clothes, props, and scenic landscapes all look so realistic that it’s hard not to feel as though you’ve been transported to another era.

One of the areas where the game’s aesthetics shine the most is the details in the clothing. The attention to detail is impeccable, and the garments are so beautiful that they almost look as though they could be worn in real life. From the elaborate kimonos to the intricate armor that the samurais wear, the detail in each item is breathtaking. The same applies to the weapons as well, with each one looking like it has been crafted with the utmost care and precision.

The Gameplay of Like a Dragon: Ishin!

The story and aesthetics of Like a Dragon: Ishin! are only part of the reason why it’s such a great game. The gameplay is equally captivating. It manages to fuse together the best elements of different genres into a cohesive experience. The game is classified as an action-adventure game, but it also has elements of fighting games, side-scrolling games, and role-playing games.

One of the standout features of the gameplay is the combat system. It’s a mix of turn-based and real-time combat, which makes for an exciting gameplay experience. You can use different weapons and fighting styles, each with its unique strengths and weaknesses, to defeat your opponents. The combat also incorporates a “Heat” system, which allows you to build up your heat gauge by fighting and executing combos. Once your heat gauge is full, you can unleash some devastating attacks that can deal a lot of damage to your enemies.

Another element of the game is the side-quests. There are tons of them, and they all flesh out the game’s world and story. Completing these side-quests can also lead to new techniques, items, and clothing. There are also mini-games that you can play, like Shogi and Kabuki theater, that will help you relax and provide a change of pace from the main story.

The Story of Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Of course, what sets Like a Dragon: Ishin! apart from other games is its story. As previously mentioned, the game is based on historical fiction. It’s set in the final years of the Edo period in Japan, a time of great change and upheaval. You play as Sakamoto Ryoma, a samurai who is trying to navigate the tumultuous period and fight for what he believes in.

The story is engrossing, with twists and turns, and a cast of memorable characters. The game also does an excellent job of bringing real-life historical figures to life. Characters like Katsu Kaishu, Takechi Hanpeita, and Ito Kashitaro all make appearances in the game, and their portrayal is incredibly accurate. It’s clear that the game’s creators did their research and wanted to bring these figures to life in the most authentic way possible.


Like a Dragon: Ishin! is a game that is not to be missed. The attention to detail, engaging gameplay, and immersive story all make it a game that is hard to put down. Despite the lackluster graphics in some areas, the game still manages to be visually stunning thanks to the small artistic details that make the game world come alive. If you’re a fan of samurai games or just looking for a great gaming experience, then Like a Dragon: Ishin! is definitely worth checking out.

What do you think of Like a Dragon: Ishin!? Have you played the original or the remake? Let us know in the comments below.

John Park
John Park

John Park is a talented American sports journalist with a passion for covering tennis, golf, swimming, and hiking. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley's journalism program, John has made a name for himself as one of the most insightful and engaging sports writers in the industry.

John's love for sports started when he was a child and picked up tennis as a hobby. From then on, he was drawn to the mental and physical challenges of individual sports. His favorite sports include tennis, golf, swimming, and hiking. He has a keen eye for detail and is known for providing insightful analysis of the latest news and events in each sport.

When he's not busy writing about sports, John enjoys spending time with his children Eric and Sophia, going on hikes with them and exploring nature. He also loves cooking up his favorite dish of bibimbap and trying new recipes from around the world.

With his depth of knowledge and engaging writing style, John Park is a standout in the world of sports journalism.


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