In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, your gameplay experience is filtered through the overactive imagination of one Ichiban Kasuga. Struggling to adjust to life after nearly 20 years in prison, Ichiban’s new goal in life is to become a Hero.
And while on that quest, Ichiban decides to look at the world through the lens of Dragon Quest. Not every Dragon Quest game has a job system, but Like a Dragon sure does.
Like a Dragon doesn’t have the most complicated job system in the world, but it does have some nuance, and requirements you have to navigate through.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon Job System Guide
Exclusive Jobs vs Gender Jobs
Every character in Yakuza: Like a Dragon has a job exclusive to that character. Ichiban, however, can gain access to a second exclusive job (this happens through normal story progression).
While these jobs are character-exclusive, they don’t function any differently from other jobs. It’s just a more story-oriented job with its own set of skills like any other.
Meanwhile, jobs are also restricted by gender. Frankly this is an issue, a result of Yakuza as a series having some issues to sort out. We talked more on that in our review, if you want to know more.
Anyway, there are jobs that only male characters can access, and jobs only female characters can access. Some of the jobs more or less serve similar functions, making the choice more cosmetic.
But it’s still kind of off-putting, especially since the womens’ job choices are much more based on gender stereotypes. This is no Final Fantasy V, is what I’ll leave this at.
Character Skills and Job Skills
In every game with a job system, the most important stuff anyone wants to know about is what carries over between jobs. If they’re just hard choices with no permanent rewards, there’s no real reason to switch, after all.
It doesn’t get as complicated in Like a Dragon as it can in games like Bravely Default or even later Dragon Quests. But there are a few motivators for grinding if you’re into that.
Permanent Stat Boosts
Each job, of course, comes with its own list of skills. If you look in the Party menu you can see every skill, including ones you haven’t unlocked yet. Most skills are marked with green circles, indicating they are “job skills.”
That means you’ll lose access to those skills if you change. But if the circle is red that’s a “character skill,” meaning once you level the job high enough to earn those, you get to keep them.
There are way more job skills than character skills, but learning those skills can really make up for deficiencies in your job of choice. Every few levels, instead of a skill your character will get a stat bonus.
These bonuses are permanent, meaning there is a super tangible reason to take time ranking up multiple jobs for each character. You’ll just straight up be stronger that way.
Once you hit rank 30 in a job you’re officially done learning skills, but you’ll continue earning stat bumps every five ranks until you hit rank 99. Each job has two stats associated with it, for example Ichiban’s starting Freelancer job provides additional attack and agility.
Unlocking and Changing Jobs
In Dragon Quest games with job systems, you can only swap vocations at Alltrades Abbey. In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, a federal temp agency called Hello Work is the crew’s Alltrades Abbey.
You have to be there to switch jobs, but there are a few taxi stops just a few blocks away. Once you’re there, changing jobs is as easy as chatting up the receptionist. Unlocking jobs is a different matter. For Ichiban, his path to new professions is unique.
You’ll have to level up his personality in various directions to gain access to those jobs in addition to a minimum level requirement. For the other characters, you’ll have to raise your bond with them before more than a few jobs are available.
This includes the two DLC jobs if you buy them, although the requirements for those are pretty light. In order to increase your bond levels, you need to occasionally make your way to the Survive bar up in the Isezaki Ijincho Bar District.
It’s the one marked with a minigame controller icon on the map instead of the restaurant icon, and there’s a taxi stop right in front of it. Once you’re in there, you can chat with your homies if you have enough bonding points from having conversations on the streets and fighting together.
That’s how the job system works in Yakuza: Like a Dragon. It’s not the most elaborate or complex job system in the world, but it fits the game’s fiction and has a bunch of gags.
It’s kinda sexist, but so is a big chunk of the rest of the game. You know if that’s a dealbreaker or not for you. But while more diverse job options would be nice, this is what’s available.
Do you have a favorite job or party setup in Yakuza: Like a Dragon? Do you like the system as it is, or do you feel like key components are missing? Let us know what you think over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels.