Some Like a Dragon Ishin tips and tricks will help you get to grips with the 1800s, whether you're a Yakuza newcomer or not. A remake of the reversed original from 2014, Like a Dragon Ishin has hero Ryoma leading a revolution with blade, bullets and fists all ready for a scrap. There's a few nuances to keep in mind, so our tips for Like a Dragon Ishin will help you get to grips with things all the faster.
1. Get the Rank 1 upgrades for each fighting style
Each fighting style has an upgrade tree you can invest in, unlocking new moves and skills in the process. However, what's perhaps even more valuable are the simple "Rank" upgrades that provide a general enhancement across the board for that style's damage and heat generation. These should always be your priorities early on, especially when you're still learning the basics and need that extra advantage.
2. Use your fighting styles to fit the situation
We've got a full guide on how they work in our Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles page, but while most fighting styles can win in any battle, each is tailored to a specific kind of encounter. The Brawler is about speed and improvisation, the Swordsman is a defensive style that thrives in one-on-one encounters, the Gunman is about blasting enemies at a distance, and the Wild Dancer is an aggressive combo-focused mode about clearing space around you. The first thing you should do in a battle is look at who's attacking, and change weapons to accommodate - and don't be afraid to switch it up! Shooting enemies as they approach before switching to a melee focus when they reach you is a classic combat opener.
3. Share your Soul Orbs evenly, or you'll regret it
Soul Orbs are what you use to upgrade, earned through use in combat, and you can either earn Soul Orbs specific to a fighting style, or generalised ones that can be applied to any of the trees. While it's totally fair to have a favoured fighting style, the game will push you into using certain ones - either by limiting your weapons, providing enemies who are immune to certain attacks, or just presenting situations where on style is clearly the best option. Make sure you're investing accordingly, and get some practice with your lesser-used styles on random encounter goons so you're ready for the more important fights.
4. Virtue Cultivation is a must
Virtue is a secondary form of experience that can be earned through favours and spent at Shrines - and what's the thing we all know about experience? You spend it on experience multipliers as soon as possible. In this case, go to the Shrine when you have 1500 Virtue and spend it on Virtue Cultivation, which'll boost your experience income permanently. The earlier you do, the more of a return you'll get on that investment.
5. Keep an eye out for Dojos to unlock new skills
Dojos offer the chance for Ryomo to learn new techniques that open new options on his skill tree. Each Dojo tends to specialise in a particular style, such as Fushimi's dojo offering new Brawler and unarmed skills, and you'll still need to pay for those skills with Soul Orbs, but you should always keep an eye out and leap on them ASAP - as some of those skills can be incredibly powerful.
6. Money can be earned through combat - but woodchopping is more reliable
Every random encounter will earn you some money, but if you're prone to taking a beating, you'll also have to spend money healing yourself. It means that if you're short of cash, your ability to evade attacks is what determines how much money you'll actually make and how often you have to buy meals to heal yourself.
If you're not very good at the defensive side, try finding a woodchopping station. Slightly tedious as the minigame can be, there's no risk of injury and you'll simply earn more money the longer you spend doing it. Not only that, but you'll make more Virtue when you hit certain milestones, a nice little bonus.
7. Keep an eye out for tickets and pots
Early on it's established that clay pots will have random goodies in them when you search, so it's important to keep an eye out. More noteworthy however is that if you see something glinting on the ground, moving over to examine it will likely reveal it's a Prize Ticket - which you can then use to get a free spin at a Prize Wheel.
8. Make sure you use your Heat mechanics and specials for maximum impact
It's easy to forget, but Heat is effectively your special bar, charging as you land blows on enemies and unleashed with Y/Triangle when the prompt comes up, doing huge damage on the unfortunate enemy. The actual events that trigger a Heat Action vary from Style to Style, but you'll be able to unlock new upgrades to prompt these fatal finishers, and new Heat Actions to put upon your opponents. Without these skills in mind you'll struggle, especially against the tougher opponents, so make sure you're using your Heat when possible.
9. Special bullets are lethal - and limited
Y/Triangle when in the Gunman stance has Ryomo fire a special bullet at a target, usually one that does massive damage or sets them on fire, depending on what you have equipped in your Equipment menu (special bullets are different to the actual gun you have). Problem is, while standard ammo is unlimited, special ammo is anything but, especially early on in the game. Use it selectively and sparingly to get yourself out of tight scrapes, and make sure to refill your supplies when options to do so become available later.