LAST BATTLE / Sega / Sega Genesis


Fist of the North Star (Hokuto no Ken) is a long-running Japanese anime and manga series that is reasonably lulzy. It takes place in some post-apocalyptic wasteland and the whole thing is basically just these steroid freak martial arts masters running around punching each others "pressure points" in rapid succession to cause each other to explode in a gory shower of blood, brains and guts.

Anyway, they've made a few ventures into the video game market with this franchise, and all that I've seen so far have been absolute crap. This one is certainly no exception.

It's basically a clone of the gameplay of arcade games like Kung Fu Master and Gladiator, but done in as sloppy and halfassed a manner as possible. The game gets off to an epically great start with some insanely long text scroll that also whips by way too fast to read, then you're tossed into the action as Beef Gutsmongler whose special power is making his shirt explode. Otherwise he just confronts the suicidal enemies by doing laughably stiff kicks, punches and jumps.

You navigate a Bionic Commando-style map between levels but there seems to be no strategic purpose to it, no hidden items or point to backtracking or anything. You also only get one life to navigate the whole game with, with no continues that I know of - you get a pretty generous health bar but I also didn't see any way to refill it, so once it's gone, it's back to the title screen for you.

This is technically not actually a North Star game because apparently the license for it didn't extend to territories outside of Japan. So they changed the name, and all the character names for the English releases of it. They also removed what was apparently a fair amount of violence in the Japanese version - this version is short on explosive deaths. Bosses look like they are breaking out with a very accelerated case of bubonic plague when you beat them, but suddenly they just kind of disappear into an energy burst like a Mega Man boss or something.

I guess you can track down the Japanese version for explosive pressure point fun, but it's still gonna be a shit game either way.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video