Like a Dragon: Ishin!

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Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin!
Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin! cover.jpg
Original cover art
Developer(s)Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Director(s)Hiroyuki Sakamoto
Producer(s)Masayoshi Yokoyama
Artist(s)Nobuaki Mitake
Writer(s)Masayoshi Yokoyama
SeriesLike A Dragon
EngineUnreal Engine 4 (remake)
  • JP: February 22, 2014
  • WW: February 21, 2023
Genre(s)Action-adventure, hack and slash, beat 'em up

Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin![a] is a spin-off game in the Like A Dragon series, formerly known in English localization as Yakuza. It was produced by Sega and released in February 2014 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, serving as a Japanese launch title for the latter platform. A remake, Like a Dragon: Ishin!,[b] is set to release in February 2023 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. It is being developed using Unreal Engine 4, and will receive a worldwide release unlike the original game.[1]

Set in the chaotic Bakumatsu (1853-1867) phase of the Late Edo Period, Sakamoto Ryōma is distressed resulting from conflicting pressures and uncertainty about one's self and role in the society. Being embroiled in the middle of a Tosa coup d'état and bent on finding the murderer who assassinated his mentor, Ryoma burrows himself with a hidden identity in the streets of Kyoto and joins the grim Shinsengumi.

Despite being the second Like a Dragon series spin-off set in the samurai era instead of modern-day Japan, this game is unrelated to Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan!, which was released in 2008 on the PlayStation 3. Kenzan! is set two centuries before Ishin!, hence the plots are not related with each other. Each game focuses on a different character, the historical figures of Miyamoto Musashi (1584–1645) and Sakamoto Ryōma (1836–1867) respectively.



In 1866, after finishing sword training in Edo, Sakamoto Ryōma returns to his hometown in Tosa. After a scuffle with the Jōshi - the highest ranked of Japan's samurai - Ryōma is imprisoned and set to be executed, but is saved at the last moment by Yoshida Tōyō; Ryōma's father figure and a government minister who seeks to end the rigid social class system in Tosa.

Tōyō requests that Ryōma see his best friend Takechi Hanpeita, who has founded the Tosa Loyalist Party and also seeks to end the rigid social class system. Ryōma allies with Takechi, and the two formulate a plan: Takechi's forces will surround Kōchi Castle, while Tōyō will be inside negotiating with the ministers. As they are discussing the plan with Tōyō, an unknown assailant surprises the three. Using a style that Ryōma does not recognise, the assailant mortally wounds Tōyō, grievously wounds Takechi and easily bests Ryōma. Takechi survives, but Ryōma is forced to flee the pursuing security forces by jumping into the river.

One year later, Ryōma is in Kyoto, going by the alias Saitō Hajime. He discovers that the assailant who killed Tōyō was using a style called Tennen Rishin, which aims to be close to genuine fighting rather than sticking to any one style. It was practiced at the Shieikan dojo in Edo before it closed down, and its practitioners are now in Kyoto. After a run-in with the Shinsengumi, Ryōma meets an informant going by the alias Niibori Matsusuke, who reveals that all the practitioners of Tennen Rishin are in the Shinsengumi. Ryōma decides to join the Shinsengumi in order to get closer to the assailant.

Development and release[edit]

Promotion at TGS 2013

A 2.4GB[2] playable demo (龍が如く 維新! 体験版) was made available for download on the Japanese PlayStation Store on February 13, 2014.[3]

On February 13, 2014, a 2.6GB "free app for PlayStation Vita" (龍が如く 維新! 無料アプリ for PlayStation®Vita) was made available for download on the Japanese PlayStation Store.[4]

On February 22, 2014, a 200KB DLC named "Digest Narration Voice" (ダイジェストナレーションボイス) and priced ¥300 was made available on the Japanese PlayStation Store.[5]

On September 14, 2022, the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio official Twitter account announced a remake titled Like a Dragon: Ishin! set to release on February 21, 2023.[6] The decision to bring over Ishin! was influenced by success of western titles like Ghost of Tsushima, which also shared the premise of a historical samurai setting.[7]


The game sold 138,158 copies on PS3 and 82,540 copies on PS4 on its first two days on sale.[8] As of March 31, 2014, the game has sold 390,000 copies.[9] The game was awarded near-perfect scores of 38/40 and 39/40 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 respectively by Famitsu.[10]


  1. ^ Japanese: 龍が如く 維新!, lit. "Like a Dragon: Restoration!"
  2. ^ Known in Japan as Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin! Kiwami (Japanese: 龍が如く 維新! 極, lit. "Like a Dragon: Restoration! Extreme")


  1. ^ Romano, Sal (September 13, 2022). "Yakuza: Ishin! remake Like a Dragon: Ishin! announced for PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, Xbox One, and PC". Gematsu. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  2. ^ 龍が如く 維新! 体験版, Japanese PlayStation Store
  3. ^ 2月22日発売予定『龍が如く 維新!』、PS3®用体験版の配信日が2月13日に決定!
  4. ^ 龍が如く 維新! 無料アプリ for PlayStation®Vita - Japanese PlayStation Store
  5. ^ ダイジェストナレーションボイス
  6. ^ "RGG studio on Twitter". Twitter. September 14, 2022. Retrieved 2022-09-14.
  7. ^ "Like A Dragon: Ishin Inspired By Success Of Ghost Of Tsushima". Gameranx. 2022-09-15. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  8. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (27 February 2014). "Knack beats Yakuza to Japanese number one". Gamer Network. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  9. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (9 May 2014). "How are Sega's video games selling?". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  10. ^ Sal Romano (12 February 2014). "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1315". Gematsu. Retrieved 14 August 2014.

External links[edit]