As with any game, there are a few elements that Yakuza: Like A Dragon doesn’t tell you.
Get A Job
Early on in the game, the option will open up at Hello Work for you to switch your party members’ roles. There are a variety of jobs on offer, which change how your party members will behave in battle. There is nothing especially wrong with any individual job, it’s more a case of balance. For example, every default job each character starts with is as a DPS fighter. A good switch you can make early on is to have Adachi as an Enforcer and Saeko as an Idol, which makes them a Tank and a Healer respectively. More jobs become available as each character’s level increases and their bond with Adachi increases, so have a play around to see which ones work best for your build.
You will get Bond points for every battle you complete, but instead of levelling up as you would with character level or job level, at the end of each level, the bond will lock. At this point, you won’t be able to increase it any further until you talk to that party member at the Survive Bar. Any points you earn while locked do not carry over, so head to the bar fairly often. You can also complete the karaoke minigame at the bar, and can talk to multiple party members in a single trip. Increasing a character’s bond means they will earn XP at a faster rate while inactive.
The game provides you with some substories along the story path, but it also leaves several scattered around the open world. Some of these are crucial in opening up your abilities and aiding you in battle, while others are just fun.
One of the best examples of the value of Substories is Poundmates. Through natural progression, you will unlock Poundmates, who are allies you can call during fights to give you back up. The first one the game gives you just does some basic damage, and quickly outgrows his usefulness as Kasuga levels up and becomes able to deal even bigger hits on his own. However, by completing additional substories, you can grow your Poundmates directory. For example, you can call on a troop of adult babies to debuff your enemies, on a chicken to lay an egg of healing, or on a gang of crawfish to deal poison damage on your behalf.
Every time you die, you lose half your cash. No ifs, ands or buts. The only exception is losing a boss battle, when you can choose how much cash you lose in return for how much health you respawn with. This can be quite frustrating, especially if you’re saving up for a piece of gear you’ve got your eye on. Thankfully, at convenience stores, you can deposit as much money as you want, and these savings will be unaffected by the cash sapping losses. How convenient. Area Attacks & Follow Ups Onto a combat tip now, with a little bit of advice on how to approach battles. Several of your MP attacks will be Area Attacks, meaning they will hit multiple enemies. When you’re grinding to level up, fighting in a tight space, or facing off against dungeon fodder, these attacks can be incredibly useful at clearing the field. Aside from that, when fighting you should always try and make sure that each of your party are going after the same enemy to wipe them out faster; this is especially important if the enemy has been knocked down, as you will then be able to do increased damage.
This sounds obvious, but it is a tip that makes sense. For one thing, Yakuza: Like A Dragon will end the battle immediately if Kasuga falls, even if the rest of the party is on full health. But there’s also the fact that many of the bigger battles are all about attrition. Bosses comes with huge health bars, but most don’t pack that big of a punch, they just take forever to fall. Therefore, having a Healer and having healing or revival items is much more important than being able to hit hard. Save Often Similar to the advice on cash; it’s frustrating to find yourself out of pocket after a loss, especially as the richer you are, the more you’ll feel the loss. Saving often means you can just reload a recent save. Do note though that saving is not available in enemy hideouts, lairs or dungeons.
The open world will block itself off, stopping Kasuga from entering areas he isn’t ready for yet. However, it doesn’t do the best job of letting you know when those barriers are down. For example, once Koreatown opens, you’ll spend a good chunk of the story there. However, this also opens Chinatown and the Park, which the game doesn’t mention until much later, even though they’re all available at the same time. The more exploration you do, the wider variety of enemies you’ll meet, the more items you’ll find, and the more substories will become available. Be sure to wander!