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You've Been Playing Yakuza: Like A Dragon All Wrong

While Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the eighth game sequentially in the main Yakuza series (counting Yakuza 0), its action no longer resembles the real-time action of its predecessors. Critics have noted that Like a Dragon introduced turn-based battles, in which the player commands not one but four characters, much like in many a Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest before it.

With that single shift in focus came a number of other new additions to the Yakuza formula, like character classes that sometimes matter outside of combat. Of course, being the newest game in a long-running series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon also includes improvements on existent systems from prior entries too.

Series veterans may have an edge in understanding, for example, how to read the map or the mechanics of certain minigames, but longtime fans and newcomers alike remain on an even playing field figuring out the many new elements first introduced by Like a Dragon.

In fact, there's a good chance that newbies and experts alike may have missed out on some of Like A Dragon's new key features entirely — and could be playing the game all wrong.

Ichiban smash!

While never necessary to complete the game, switching Ichiban to the Foreman job grants one particular unique perk: an ability called "Demolish" that's used exclusively in the overworld. The Foreman job is the only such job to matter outside of battles, and only unlocks this ability when assigned to Ichiban.

Demolish allows players to enter certain boarded up buildings, as well as smash progress-impeding barriers in some dungeons, which is necessary to progress through the entirety of one optional late-game dungeon in particular. Boarded-up buildings, meanwhile, generally hide secret shops.

While switching Ichiban to the Foreman job grants Demolish, he does not need to remain a Foreman to continue to use it. This makes switching Ichiban into and possibly out of the job as soon as the job system becomes available a must. It's a bit convoluted, but it can get you into some hidden areas you might have otherwise missed during Ichiban's misadventures.

Become a big business

Players will receive the option to simulate managing a business following the completion of a mandatory side-quest in Chapter 5. This is essentially a minigame that can be played at any time by entering the upstairs room at Ichiban Confections, located in Ijincho's Bar District.

Unlike other minigames like Can Quest or Karaoke, the business management simulator includes significant story content. While it's easy to forget about (or even purposefully neglect) Ichiban Confections out of a lack of interest, progressing at least partway through its development is a must.

That's because reaching the company's first major milestone unlocks Eri, the game's only missable party member. Continuing through the business management simulator's story then becomes the only way to raise Eri and Ichiban's relationship level. As a bonus, successful shareholder meetings award Ichiban with yen that can be used in the main game.

It's possible to complete Yakuza: Like A Dragon without touching the majority of its multitude of minigames, but for even the minigame-averse, Business Management should be a priority.