From Before I Play
- There is no autosave, so make sure to save often.
- Check your in-game Notebook for a variety of useful gameplay tips not listed here. The most important tip: hold X to dash.
- When you first get to the city, grab some healing items from the convenience store to make an early boss fight easier.
- You cannot permanently miss anything except for a handful of story trophies/achievements which you can get on New Game+. Eventually you can freeroam and switch between protagonists and time of day at will.
- Strike a balance between side activities and story progression, side stuff becomes easier and more worthwhile after you've at least unlocked each character's business and the ability to avoid street fights with Cash Confetti.
- Making the right choices in sidequests earns you better rewards, but you're not locked out of anything critical even if you goof around - Dream Machines will stock any special rewards.
- Both characters have separate CP pools, so don't bother "saving up" with one to have more on the other.
- A clown near the CP exchange shrine offers free and powerful DLC items, also separate for both characters.
- Businesses are a much better source of money than random enemies so don't bother grinding the latter.
- Mr. Shakedown is another good source of cash once you've unlocked "Mr. Shakedown's Deep Pockets" with CP - simply alternate between beating him and losing to him to gain ever-increasing amounts of yen. You'll want one or two Zap Guns first though.
- When given the choice between black and white boxes as Kiryu, the better reward is in the black one.
Combat, Abilities & Equipment
- Your combo finishers vary depending on how many normal attacks you do first. Some are more useful than others, so try out combos of different lengths.
- Heat moves become less effective if you keep spamming them over and over in the same combat. In particular, enemies will start countering and breaking holds far more often. Change things up for maximum effect.
- To use a weapon you've bought or found, first equip it from the menu and press "down" in combat to take it out.
- To learn new moves from a teacher, you need to have unlocked an ability space next to one of the locked 'M' spaces in the ability grid.
- Heat actions are very context-sensitive, and a lot more weapons than you'd think have unique animations. Your damage and defense increase with the Heat gauge though, so draining it with Heat actions might not always be worth it in tough fights.
- Make good use of weapons and equipment but be mindful of their additional effects too. For example the Charismatic Autobiography will attract more fights, while the Quick Change Clothes lets you switch combat styles on the fly.
- For both: The skill level of your advisors/girls are represented by symbols; from best to worst they go Double Circle > Circle > Triangle > Cross.
- For both: Fully befriending a person inside a store is usually the prerequisite for acquiring/partnering with that store.
- For both: The "Business" tab in your menu lists all businesses you have not yet acquired/partnered with in a given area, though it won't give their locations.
- For Kiryu: Don't bother assigning staff and collecting from areas you have no real income from, and keep decent security in places you do collect from to avoid troublemakers.
- For Majima: The best outfit combos for your Platinum Hostesses always give them 3 Double Circles and 1 Cross in their skills. Having two such sets saved for each girl makes it easy to switch around as needed.
- For Majima: Time stops when assigning a girl to a table, so take your time checking the customer's mood for each girl first.
- For Majima: There are 3 levels of Sunshine Fever, so it can be worth waiting to use it until the meter and your tables are full. Triggering it during Rival Battles also drains your opponent's ability meter some.