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I have Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth's $110 Ultimate Edition, and it's making the game less fun

 Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Sujimon.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Sujimon.

You know that thing in games where you finally get acquainted with the controls, make it through the opening level, and then get a billion popups at once about the DLC you've unlocked? Those pop ups are how I discovered I was playing Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth's $110 Ultimate Edition. I didn't intend to get it (it came with a code provided by Sega), but I'm glad I did, if only so I can warn you that it manages to make the game worse. It's bad enough that Infinite Wealth's new game plus mode is locked behind the $15 extra Deluxe Edition, but the Ultimate Edition is annoying in an entirely different way.

The Ultimate Edition's problem is one of gluttony. The bundle of bundles comes with a few harmless cosmetics that feel pretty standard for a big game release—more swimsuits, throwback outfits, extra karaoke songs, that sort of thing. But then, in an attempt to justify the $40 markup, Sega also packed in piles of boosters, upgrade materials, and literal level-up canisters that seriously screw with Infinite Wealth's natural progression.

Here's the full list of what you get in the Ultimate Edition:

  • Master Vacation Bundle: Bonus dungeon, special Sujimon, resort guests, outfits, new game plus (Also included in the Deluxe Edition)

  • Assorted Outfit Bundle: Outfits and swimwear

  • Sujimon & Resort Bundle: Legendary Sujimon, Resort Guests, Special Boosters

  • Yakuza CD Collection Set: Classic karaoke tracks

like a dragon
like a dragon

Those "special boosters" have been a real thorn in my side. Hundreds of these items were automatically added to my inventory sometime in Chapter 1. At first I was confused because I didn't know what most of them were even for. Before I was aware Like a Dragon had a weapon upgrade system, I had already accrued enough materials to level up Ichiban's bat dozens of times. I'm over 40 hours into the game now and still discovering currencies I didn't know I had.

Infinite Wealth will occasionally tell you what level you should be at to tackle a quest, but there's no such levelgating for weapon upgrades that I'm aware of. As such, nothing is stopping me from using free upgrade materials to be a level 10 Ichiban with a level 40 bat. Infinite Wealth isn't a super challenging RPG even if you're not flush with Ultimate Edition bonuses, so I've had to be careful about accidentally making myself overpowered. It's actually led to an opposite problem where I wait too long to upgrade my stuff and get destroyed.

The worst casualties of the Ultimate Edition are the Sujimon and Dondoku Island minigames. These are genuinely great riffs on Pokémon and Animal Crossing with Yakuza humor, but they lose a lot of their impact if you have the "Sujimon & Resort Bundle."

Like a dragon
Like a dragon

Standard edition players ease into Sujimon collecting by picking a starter. With the Ultimate Edition, however, I started with a full stock of Legendary Sujimon starring characters from past Yakuza games that are immediately better than anything I can catch on the streets of Honolulu. It's even worse on Dondoku Island, where I was taught to chop down trees and break rocks to craft resort amenities before realizing my account came pre-stocked with hundreds of every crafting material on the island. This one really ticked me off, because it's one of the only boosters that's applied automatically rather than being activated manually.

That's not to say I've completely resisted my embarrassment of riches. I've used a good chunk of those free upgrade materials at this point (and lots of ones I earned myself, too) and cashed in a few health items in tough battles. I just wish there was a way to get rid of the stuff I don't want, like the XP boosters and personality buffs, so I don't feel like I'm playing a version of the game with cheats pre-installed. It's weird how much of the "bonus" DLC is just shortcuts to play the game less.

As for the cosmetics—they're fine. I don't care to dress Ichiban up in Kiryu's Yakuza 0 outfit or make Chitose wear a golden bikini, so I've kept everyone in their default outfits that already look great. There is so much going on in the standard Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth experience that I'm confident you're not missing out by skipping on Deluxe and Ultimate. In fact, I'm jealous that everyone else got a more intentional, less confusing progression path than I did.