Like a Dragon Gaiden Minigame Trailer Analysis

Earlier today, Sega released a new trailer for Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name that showed off a ton of plot details about the game, but more importantly showcased the minigames that players will be able to play around Sotenbori. Because I had previously platinumed every game in the franchise and reviewed each individual minigame, this was the part of the trailer that excited me the most. As such, I felt it apt for me to analyze the minigame footage we see in the trailer and highlight what changes we can expect from them.

The first minigame, and the one that takes up the most time in the trailer, is the newly revamped Hostess Club. The traditional Hostess Club minigame had been absent from the franchise ever since 2017’s Kiwami 2, but now it’s back in full force. While it has been confirmed that there will be five hostesses played by Ayu, Ai Kaname, Kson, Ai Sayama, and Kokoro Nakayama; we only see three selectable hostesses in the club during the trailer. Suggesting that there will be two hostess clubs in the game, similar to how previous Kamurocho-set games handled the clubs.

Out of all the minigame changes in this trailer, Hostess Clubs easily had the most noticeable changes. Instead of the hostesses being composed of 3D models made to resemble their actresses, they’re now full FMVs similar to the Gravure Photo Shoot minigame in Kiwami 2 and the Live Chat minigame from Yakuza 6. Just like those minigames, this version of the Hostess Club will be filled with borderline NSFW moments as the girls dress themselves in bunny suits and go swimming with you, the player, as you look through Kiryu’s eyes.

The entry fee to the club seems to be a small 10,000 Yen as the trailer shows Kiryu entering the club with 250,000 but when ordering drinks he has only 240,000. Speaking of said drinks, there is only a small number of them available compared to previous entries. This is likely to accommodate for the FMVs of the girls as said drinks do appear on screen during them. The dialogue decisions you make during the minigame appear to work exactly as they did in previous entries, albeit with a new UI.

Because of the FMVs, it is unlikely that you will be able to take the hostesses out to play minigames like in previous entries. The trailer does show Kiryu being able to take his allies such as Akame out though, so players won’t have to game alone.

The next minigame we see in the trailer is the ever-beloved Karaoke that the franchise has become known for. While a new song is showcased, the minigame itself appears to be entirely unchanged from how it has been in every Dragon Engine game. With notes scrolling in slowly from the right half of the screen and the music sheet UI turning orange as you get a high combo.

Because it hasn’t been seen since the franchise’s PlayStation 3 era, the UI for Pocket Circuit has been completely revamped. The hard gray edges of the previous menus have been replaced with curved purple ones. In addition a new speedometer has been added to the bottom right corner of the screen, likely to give players an extra emphasis on how fast their boost gauge makes their toy car move.

Sadly the trailer doesn’t give us even a glimpse at car customization for Pocket Circuit, but considering how the Judgment games felt comfortable making the player run around the city searching for junk to upgrade their drone, we can safely assume this mechanic will return.

The next minigame we see a glimpse of is darts. While our look at this minigame is very brief, we can see that it has an entirely new UI. Most players would be forgiven for not noticing this as darts is kept to a small corner of the trailer and the UI at a glance seems similar to how it was in previous Dragon Engine games. However it is filled to the brim with small changes such as showing the faces of Kiryu and his opponent in the corners of the screen, switching the positions of the round number and score numbers on screen, and showing an additional score meter on the bottom of the screen.

Similar to darts, we get a brief look at a new UI for the pool minigame in the corner of the screen at one point. This UI change is much less drastic as it’s just a slight readjustment of the graphic which shows which ball you should hit next on the table.

The next minigame showcased is golf. The golf UI in Like a Dragon Gaiden is nearly identical to how it was in previous Dragon Engine games, with one small exception. There is now a part of the UI that shows your current rank directly below your score. In previous games you were completely clueless about how good you were doing until the minigame was completely over, so this is a welcome change.

The most notable part of this trailer to me was all of the classic Sega games that the player will be able to play in Gaiden. Sonic the Fighters has been confirmed as a returning arcade game, but bigger than that Kiryu will be able to play many Sega Mark III games that have never been featured in a Like a Dragon game before. The list of games we see on the trailer are:

  • Flicky
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II (Originally released in Japan as Ashura)
  • Quartet
  • Global Defense
  • Maze Hunter 3-D
  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World
  • Galaxy Force
  • Alien Syndrome
  • Enduro Racer

I am excited to play all of these games and inevitably rip my hair out when RGG gives Galaxy Force some sort of absurd completion list requirement for the platinum.

That is every minigame detail I noticed in the minigame trailer for Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. This is easily one of my most anticipated titles of the year. I cannot wait to get my hands on it and grind out that platinum trophy. Did you notice anything about the minigames that I missed? Feel free to comment either here or on Reddit/Tumblr/wherever you found this article. I will gladly read them because I love seeing how this franchise’s minigames have evolved entry by entry

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