10th November 2020
In celebration of Yakuza: Like a Dragon launching in the West on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One with Smart Delivery and PlayStation 4, Five Star Games has partnered with famed Sydney ramen purveyors Gumshara to create the world’s most expensive bowl of ramen. Valued at AU$400 per bowl, the broth of high-end lobster, pork and noodles will be up for grabs via the Xbox ANZ Twitter channel from midday today until the game’s launch day – 10 November.Wouldn't be a bad night out with all of that in your belly. Also, stay tuned for our upcoming in-depth review of the game, which is set to be one of the leading early visual benchmarks for the next-gen systems and high-end TVs.
With a regular bowl of ramen going for anywhere between $8 and $30, this “Rags to Riches” ramen flies in the face of the traditionally cheap dish to reflect Ichiban Kasuga’s story in Yakuza: Like a Dragon as he rises from rock bottom after being betrayed by the man he trusted most. Each bowl of the Rags to Riches ramen is made from over 15kg of lobster and pork bones, was created by Mori Higashida at Gumshara to reflect the sheer madness and over-the-top nature of the Yakuza series.
Mori Higashida, owner and head chef at Gumshara, says of the expensive ramen: “Being given a chance to imagine such an over-the-top ramen dish has been fantastic, and I’m proud of what we’ve created. My wife is actually a fan of the Yakuza series of videogames, so I’m familiar with the craziness of the game and hope to have captured its essence in our own way!”
Managing Director at Five Star Games and Yakuza and ramen enthusiast Darren MacBeth, says of the partnership: “The Yakuza series has always led the industry for detailed storytelling and zany gameplay in videogames, and being able to partner with an authentic tastemaker in Gumshara has been a pleasure. Fans of the series will truly enjoy Ichi’s exciting new story arc and the RPG insanity, while culinary fans will enjoy a new paradigm of rich taste in the Rags to Riches ramen.”
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the latest instalment in the Yakuza franchise and the eighth in the series to date. New protagonist Ichiban Kasuga brings with him a new style of dynamic RPG combat, whilst retaining the Yakuza series’ trademark style of spirit and wackiness as Ichi finds himself exploring Yokohama, Japan to uncover the truth behind his betrayal by his former yakuza clan.
The full list of ingredients in the Rags to Riches ramen are:
Partnering with Xbox ANZ to offer the dish as part of the major prize, the Rags to Riches ramen will go to one lucky resident of New South Wales along with a custom-made Yakuza: Like a Dragon noren (Japanese restaurant banner) and a copy of the game on the Xbox platform, while ten runners-up from around the nation will receive a noren and a copy of the game.
- 5kg high-end lobster heads
- 10kg quality pork bone
- 1x full lobster: Tempura lobster tail and golden head fashioned as a dragon head for garnish
- Traditional ramen garnishes of soft-boiled seasoned egg, bamboo shoots, spring onions,
- Golden nori
Even though the turn-based nature of encounters are simple, to the point of repetition ala getting sucked into a fight every few steps as found in many a JRPG from the ‘90s - it serves as the glue to hold together.
Like a Dragon is a Yakuza experience and game that feels more cohesive and less disparate than ever before. Which is a weird thing to say, but the whole RPG angle makes every mini-game, each strange encounter, each “dungeon” of hallways and fights, feel like a piece of a larger videogame whole. Having a cool Jazz bar as a hub to unwind and get to know your party - whilst also partaking in a little karaoke - is a brilliant touch. And one that keeps with the series’ tradition of leaning into story at almost every turn. This is perhaps the game’s secret weapon, Yakuza: Like A Dragon isn’t over the top for the sake of being over the top - it’s all grounded by characters you can empathise with and stories that are, well, sweet. Even the tale about an S&M customer yearning for pain ends up being touching.