Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth set 2024’s bar absurdly high | Kaser Focus Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth set 2024’s bar absurdly high | Kaser Focus
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As of today, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is one of the best-selling games of January, according to Circana’s report. This once-niche Japanese crime series has completed its evolution into a wacky action-RPG, and I want to take this space to stress that this is the game for every other 2024 title to beat. I’m a mite overdue for a proper review, but I put that down to the fact that Infinite Wealth is lousy with sidequests and I’m an easily distractable person.

In Infinite Wealth, Ichiban Kasuga is living his best life when it’s ripped from him in as bizarre a manner as possible. Now, left with little else to occupy himself, he decides to follow up on one of the unresolved plot threads from the previous game: Namely, what happened to his birth mother. Upon being tipped that she’s in Hawaii, Ichi hops a plane to the island, where he unexpectedly meets up with none other than his predecessor, Kazuma Kiryu. Our once-stalwart street-brawling king is battling lung cancer, and this time he’s not winning. Fading and regretful (not that you’d know it from the way he can still throw down) Kiryu’s trying to wrap up his complicated life with the time he has left.

I’ve had quite some time to sink my teeth into the game, and, in a word — I love it. While there is a lot to do in this game, it never drags or slows down, maintaining a cheerful energy throughout. Even when the game dips back into serious or emotional territory — and there are times Kiryu’s story hits very close to home — it never dampens the overall sense of brightness. I think 2024’s games are going to have to work just that much harder to impress me, because I’ve already had a really fantastic experience to which I can compare them.

What else happened this week?

Other than Infinite Wealth, it feels like most of my week has revolved around this whole Xbox-exclusives-going-multiplatform thing. It’s incredible how little fanfare this move has generated overall — while Grounded got first showing at the Nintendo Partner Showcase, Pentiment (in my opinion, the more recognizable game) was stuffed in the middle of a montage. And PlayStation has not really acknowledged the announcement of Hi-Fi Rush or Sea of Thieves coming to its platforms. It begs the question: If we had not been tipped ahead of time that this was going to happen, would all three companies have tried to keep the announcements under the radar, relatively speaking?

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In personal news, I’ll be trying out Inkulinati finally. I first saw a preview for this game back in 2021, when I wrote for The Escapist. Like Pentiment, it appeals to my love of historical illustration and ephemera, and the gameplay looks both silly and like it has the potential for deep strategy. I’m also going to be catching up on other games I’ve tried, such as Home Safety Hotline and Skull & Bones.

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • Inkulinati
  • Penny’s Big Breakaway
  • Pacific Drive
  • Balatro
  • Last Epoch
  • Solium Infernum
  • Sons of the Forest
  • Myth of Empires
  • Terminator: Dark Fate — Defiance
  • Garden Life: A Cozy Simulator
  • Le Mans Ultimate

New on subscription services:

  • Return to Grace (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Tales of Arise (Xbox Game Pass;)
  • Bluey: The Videogame (Xbox Game Pass; PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium; GeForce Now)
  • Need for Speed Unbound (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • LEGO Worlds (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • LEGO Jurassic World (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Roguebook (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Rogue Lords (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Tales of Zestiria (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Resistance: Retribution (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Jet Moto 2 (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Tales of Symphonia (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Tales of Vesperia (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Blade Assault (Prime Gaming)
  • Nightingale (GeForce Now)
  • Katamari Damacy REROLL (GeForce Now)
  • Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series (GeForce Now)
  • PAC-MAN MUSEUM+ (GeForce Now)
  • PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC (GeForce Now)
  • Killer Instinct (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • Battletoads in Battlemaniacs (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • R.C. Pro-Am (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll (Nintendo Switch Online)
  • Blast Corps (Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack)

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