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Seeing the new Yakuza in action makes me wish Sega had let Kiryu retire

Please, my father is very old and has earned his rest

Secret agent antics in a Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name screenshot.
Image credit: Sega

Kazuma Kiryu is one of my favourite dads. From his humble beginnings as a young man hitting punks with bicycles in Yakuza 0, through his brief time leading a crime family after hitting punks with bicycles, all the way through to hitting a punk with a bicycle for the apparent final time in Yakuza 6, I've loved watching him take half of Tokyo under his wing, and loved watching him hit punks with bicycles. Seeing him back in action in a new trailer for the upcoming Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, aw, I wish Sega had let Kiryu retire. My poor dad earned it.

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Yakuza Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is a side-story showing what Kiryu was up to between Yakuza 6 (which gave a perfectly good point for his adventures to end) and Yakuza 8 (where he'll be back with a baffling new hairstyle alongside Yakuza: Like A Dragon hero Ichiban Kasuga). The answer is... becoming some sort of John Wick-ish James Bond-y punchagent with wacky gadgets?

Secret agent antics in a Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name screenshot.
Image credit: Sega

Look, I'm maybe a little too into tragic heroic sacrifices, but I was a little disappointed that they couldn't let Kiryu go. It felt a little cheap in Yakuza 6, and it especially feels cheap now he's properly back. Even if I do quite like the idea of him as a secret agent man (I do hope RC Succession's Japanese version is on karaoke machines).

Kiryu could never actually retire, of course. He couldn't help but get involved to protect the innocent and parent the helpless. If he saw a tired salaryman bump into a young girl in the supermarket, he'd go to raise his fist in anger before realising no, this salaryman needs a father figure to help him learn about responsibility by playing Scalextric. As long as he draws breath, Kiryu will be a hero. He cannot be anything else. But I was at least ready to let him be that hero off-screen, to live a life of his own away from our prying eyes. Knowing that Kiryu is out there somewhere (and he is a real person, and all of these games are real, and it all really did happen, especially the bicycles) is enough for me.

Yakuza Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name will launch on Steam on the 8th of November, priced at £45/€50/$50. It'll also be on Xbone, Xbox Xeriex XS, and the PlayStations 4 and 5.

Sega will tell you that the series now officially follows its Japanese name, Like A Dragon, not Yakuza, but don't listen to them, it's not true.

NotE3 and Summer Game Fest 2023 is over for another year. You can find out all the latest news by visiting our E3 2023 hub, or you can catch up with our round-up posts of everything that was announced at Summer Game Fest, the Xbox Games Showcase, the PC Gaming Show, Day Of The Devs, and our top highlights from the Wholesome Direct.

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