Ishin’s requirement to unlock Hard Difficulty sparks debate among fans


There are discussions in the fandom.

The long-awaited release of Like A Dragon: Ishin in the West is a dream come true for die-hard fans of the series, but online discourse suggests that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio made a few missteps along the way.

Like A Dragon: Ishin is an epic samurai that reimagines the series as historical warriors from Japan’s Bakumatsu era during a time of great political upheaval for the country. Until now, the entry was something of an obscure entity only playable in Japan. The remastered version, currently available worldwide, has proven to be a godsend for longtime fans who have dreamed of getting their hands on the title and experiencing the over-the-top brawls in a feudal Japanese setting for themselves. The series has become known for its brutal beat ’em up gameplay, but fans hungry for a challenge have been left frustrated and disappointed.

The game features five difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard, Legend, and the hardest difficulty, Ishin. Players hoping to dive headfirst into the greatest challenge the game can offer them were faced with a paywall prompting them to unlock the difficulty level early. After trying it out ourselves, this seems to be an issue plaguing users who have purchased the standard edition of the game.

Anyone who purchases the Deluxe Edition of the game, which includes six DLC packs, can access Ishin difficulty immediately. Players who own the Standard Edition must beat the game to unlock Ishin difficulty without paying. While Like A Dragon: Ishin has received an overwhelmingly positive reception on Steam, this is an issue that is causing contention among players.

It’s not the first time that Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has integrated paid DLCs into its titles. Yakuza: Like A Dragon featured classes for Ichiban locked behind DLC, and Lost Judgment featured a fourth boxed-style move set that players had to pay for if they wanted to unlock early.

DLC becomes a touchy subject for the game. Consumable DLC packs released alongside the Definitive Edition can only be used once per save file. This includes material kits to upgrade Ryoma’s sword and weapons, which can only be used in a save file before counting as redeemed. This means that if a player wanted to start another run, they would have to purchase the consumable DLC again to access it.

Players are even bound to their purchase as they are forced to create a hard save, with the paid DLC being recorded as redeemed in that save file. Fans of the series have been amazed by RGGS’s focus on paid DLC over the last few years, when previous titles had access to free DLC on a weekly basis. While none of the DLC can be considered blackmail, it’s an uncharacteristic move from a studio widely considered player-friendly. Ishin’s requirement to unlock Hard Difficulty sparks debate among fans

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