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2024’s Best Minigame Is Already Here

The secret is out: the Yakuza / Like a Dragon series has great minigames. Whether you enjoy playing retro arcade brawlers like Virtua Fighter, dumping dozens of hours into becoming a real-estate tycoon, or chatting up bodacious babes at the hostess club, Sega’s goofy action series has plenty of pleasant timesinks to wile away the hours. Though it’s still several weeks away, it’s already clear that the upcoming Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is no exception to that rule.

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While Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s Hawaiian-style RPG won’t be out until late January, there’s already a two-part demo available to folks who’ve bought—and rolled credits on—the recent sidequel, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. In one of these demos, you’ll be allowed to explore a limited version of the game’s Waikiki map, popping into stores, getting into fights, and chatting with folks on the beach. It’s easy to breeze past the trolley stop, as it’s right by where the demo begins and you’ll probably be tempted to explore the area on foot first. But, trust me, you don’t want to ignore the trolley.

Pre-order Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Once onboard, you’ll soon realize this isn’t a form of fast travel. Playing as Ichiban, the returning bushy-haired protagonist of 2020’s Like a Dragon, you’ll meet a man with a camera named George Kuroki, a self-described “photographer of the obscene.” He subsequently gives you a rundown of his life’s mission: taking photos of the many local sickos who are gyrating around Waikiki beach in oh-so clingy speedos, singlets, and butterfly masks. But there are simply too many sickos for just one man to document. That’s where you come in.

As the trolley makes its loop of the beachfront promenade and souvenir shops, you’ll need to be quick on the trigger to snag pics of these dancing dudes. They’ll boogie by on the backs of trucks, on high-rise balconies in the distance, and even pop out of bushes for an ambush thrust or two. Just like the beloved Nintendo 64 game Pokémon Snap, timing is key, and the better you manage to frame the image, the more points you’ll get. Here’s a look at Infinite Wealth’s gyrating sickos in all their glory, courtesy of YouTuber Rizal Kurniawan:

Rizal Kurniawan

You can’t just spray and pray: you’ll have a limited number of shots to use on each run. And while there’s only one trolley route available as part of the Gaiden demo, George tells you after that first run that there are multiple trolley lines, each with its own difficulty. Just imagine the possibilities! So many jumpscares!

If there’s one thing the devs behind Like a Dragon love more than a silly minigame, it’s semi-nude dudes. It’s truly inspiring to see these two enduring passions come together in such a spectacular manner. As someone who spent about a hundred hours of my one precious life on Earth playing Yakuza 0’s impeccably compelling hostess club minigame, I am sincerely afraid of how much time I will spend photographing these wiggly bros.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth launches on January 26 for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

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