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Like a Dragon: Ishin Confirmed To Include a Brothel Minigame, Mature Content Detailed

Like a Dragon: Ishin is a remake of Yakuza Ishin. It is set during the Late Edo Period and will star a historical character, Sakamoto Ryōma in the lead role.

This is the second historical Samurai game from the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio after Kenzan, but it is the first one to receive an English localization and release in the West.

IMDA Singapore has shared a detailed rating of the various mature content in the game. Here’s an overview of their rating given to Like a Dragon: Ishin.

 ‘Like A Dragon: Ishin!’ is an action role-playing game set during feudal era Japan. The protagonist Sakamoto Ryoma is a samurai on the run after being framed for murder. Arriving in Kyo, he infiltrates the Shinsengumi elite police force to track down the killer.

The game is classified M18 for violence and coarse language.

The player controls Ryoma from a third-person perspective to explore towns, buildings and dungeons, interact with other characters and take on various quests. Side quests and mini-game activities (fishing, singing, cooking, gambling, etc) can also be optionally undertaken. Experience, money and items earned can be used to purchase and upgrade weapons, skills and abilities.

Combat occurs frequently during random street encounters or missions, against bandits, thugs and samurais. Ryoma is armed with swords and pistols, and can employ various fighting styles and special moves to fight enemies. Large blood splatters can be seen when enemies are slashed by blades, and bloodstains will appear on surrounding surfaces briefly. Cinematic scenes also contain similar combat violence, as well as depictions of a man being tortured with a heated iron rod, and characters being impaled by blades. Some scenes show bodies with bloodstained clothing, or laying near pools of blood. The M18 guidelines allow depictions of “realistic violence such as killing, maiming or causing serious injury to humanoid characters”.

The game’s dialogue text contains use of the expletives “motherf***er” and “f**k”, which can be accommodated under the M18 rating for “frequent use of strong coarse language”. There is also use of crude words such as “asshole”, “bastard” and “bitch”.

Some female characters appear in sexually suggestive scenes. At the brothel, Ryoma can take on a female character in a series of mini-games. Winning these games causes the female character, who is clad in a cleavage-revealing outfit, to remove outer layers of her clothing and adopt provocative poses. In a bar, live-action female actresses will appear in the background of a singing mini-game, with the camera sometimes panning over their cleavages while the player responds to on-screen button prompts. The M18 guidelines permit “Still or moving images which may be sexually titillating”. A bathhouse fight scene depicts naked male characters brawling, with clouds of steam covering their lower bodies and obscuring details of nudity.

This content is not exactly something new for the Like a Dragon (formerly Yakuza) series. In other games from the Like a Dragon series, there have been similar minigames where the players were able to flirt or talk with a hostess.

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has also announced two further games in the series. One will be focused on Kiryu’s story after the events of Yakuza 6, while the other game is Like a Dragon 8, which will star Ichiban and Kiryu in the lead roles.

Yakuza 8 will use the same RPG-style turn-based fighting system that debuted in Yakuza 7. Like a Dragon 8 is still under development, and much work has to be done, such as recording character voice lines. It is expected to be released in 2024 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC (Steam).

Like A Dragon: Ishin is confirmed to launch for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC, on February 21, 2023.

Greg Martin

Writer in his spare time and full time mechanical Engineer.

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