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New Yakuza spinoff features Japan’s infamous porn pool

‘That pool’ makes a cameo in new live-action hostess minigame

Kazuma Kiryu, Goro Majima, and other men from the Yakuza series stand shirtless in a still from Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name Image: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio/Sega
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Sega’s upcoming mouthful of a Yakuza spinoff, Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, will bring back Kazuma Kiryu for a new adventure set between the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and the upcoming Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth.

Kiryu’s new side story appears to be full of drama and some silly fan service — Like A Dragon Gaiden basically turns the ex-yakuza into a superpowered secret agent, giving him rocket-powered loafers, Spider-Man’s web-slinging, and gadgets like drones to spice up the series’ brawls.

Developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s new preview of Like A Dragon Gaiden shows off the breadth of what players will experience, much of it familiar (gambling, karaoke, and other minigames) and some new features — including live-action hostesses in the game’s cabaret areas. Yes, like the racy chat rooms of Yakuza 6, Kiryu is going to flirt with skimpily dressed real-life models, making Like A Dragon Gaiden one of the series’ most “adult” entries. (The preview even shows off one of the game’s models hanging out in Tokyo’s infamous porn pool.)

You can see that footage in Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s broadcast below. An English-language version is also available on YouTube.

Beyond the smutty stuff, there’s a big emphasis on combat, unsurprisingly. Kiryu can tap into two fighting styles — the gadget-powered Agent style and the bare-knuckle Yakuza style — in street fights and in a massive combat arena. Brawls, including team-based brawls, look to pack 16 or more combatants into a gladiatorial contest.

Players looking to kill time between street fights can take part in familiar Yakuza/Like A Dragon activities like darts, golf, billiards, slot car racing, and revisiting classic Sega games. Sonic the Fighters is included, as are ye olde Master System games like Flicky, Alien Syndrome, and Galaxy Force. (Some of Like A Dragon Gaiden’s retro games carry over from Sega’s Judgment series.)

One of the more attractive perks for Yakuza/Like A Dragon fans in Gaiden is a demo of Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, next year’s full-on sequel to Yakuza: Like A Dragon. Masayoshi Yokoyama, director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, says that demo will be a “special trial version” that will include “scenes not included in the main game.” Infinite Wealth will star ex-yakuza Kasuga Ichiban and Kazuma Kiryu on “a larger-than-life adventure” that appears to be set partially outside of Japan.

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is headed to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X on Nov. 9. It’s a digital-only release in North America.

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