Unbeknownst to me, Yakuza: Like a Dragon somehow left Japan bereft of one key feature: in-battle weakness indicators. But today, almost three weeks after its Western launch, a patch has added this game-changing mechanic to the wacky gangster RPG.
As in any good role-playing game, the characters of Yakuza: Like a Dragon bring their own strengths and weaknesses to every encounter. While it’s easy to whack the game’s random degenerates with hammers and umbrellas and call it a day, dealing big damage relies on being cognisant of the attack types to which every enemy is susceptible. That’s what makes these “new” weakness indicators so great. At any moment, you can hover over an enemy before confirming an attack to make sure they’re going to take that sweet, galaxy-brain damage.
This isn’t new information — Yakuza: Like a Dragon includes an encyclopaedia of the game’s various baddies that details how best to wrangle with them and the game tells you as an attack lands if it hit a weak point — but being able to deduce at a glance how to approach every battle is a godsend. While it’s generally smart to use physical attacks against scrawny dudes and magic attacks against buff dudes, that isn’t always the case, and this feature cuts down on the amount of time you have to spend puzzling out weaknesses.
Fortunately, Yakuza: Like a Dragon isn’t like Shin Megami Tensei or Persona, where exploiting enemy vulnerabilities often makes the difference between winning or losing a battle. I’ve played the game for about 20 hours so far and haven’t run into any instances where not immediately knowing an enemy’s weakness meant losing an important battle. But to go for so long without such a handy feature is wild. I’m glad Sega finally got around to helping us out.