Fist of the North Star Analysis, a Yakuza-style Fist

Written by Kamran Haider

The revered manganime work of Buronson and Tetsuo Hara premieres on PS4 with a proposal created by Sega quite ambitious. We delve into Kenshiro’s odyssey in this action adventure in the purest Yakuza style. Analysis of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise.

As a great follower of the Yakuza franchise, one of the most in-form of all those that Sega has in its portfolio (and there are quite a few), I was very interested in tasting this new videogame from the Japanese company, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. And because? The reason is that Sega wanted to merge the universe of the production starring Kenshiro with the attractive and impeccable gameplay that is part of each installment of the Yakuza series. An experiment that has resulted in a quite remarkable adventure, although it does not reach what was enjoyed in the Kazuma Kiryu series.

The plot is simple and direct and transports us to the already known post-apocalyptic world that has always housed this work. A story that, as already happened in the series Yakuza (as well as in many others), is taking place over several chapters. Yuria, the beloved of Kenshiro, has disappeared. And although many give it up for dead, the protagonist’s faith leads him to look for it in the city of Eden, where much of the adventure takes place, although it is possible to explore other settings and settlements. What happened to her? That is what we will have to find out during 12-15 hours at least Ken’s trip will last us … that’s if we go “fast”, of course. Yes, because if we want to deepen the game and squeeze it 100%, that figure increases very considerably.

Exploration, fights, mini-games … and gore game plan that puts this Sega proposal on the table is, as I have already mentioned, a faithful reflection of what we have enjoyed so many times in the company of Kiryu, Majima and company. We are facing a third-person adventure that encompasses a good mix of different genres, starting with fights and action in general.

Ken is an accomplished expert in martial arts, more specifically in the Hokuto Shinken art, which is based on spraying the rivals by attacking their vital points. A characteristic that has been reflected in a brutal way during the confrontations, being possible to contemplate all kinds of gore scenes to each one more beast and savage.

In this way Ken is able to perform a good range of movements, attacks, special hits, and evasive maneuvers, being necessary to use almost all the buttons of the PS4 controller. These battles are quite frequent and during them, it is possible to contemplate how the rivals explode, are stamped against the walls, suffer the occasional cranial outburst and other niceties. And how? Well, making the final moves in the purest Mortal Kombat style that can be unleashed when the adversaries are shocked.Exploration fights

It is much more than a simple beat’em up.

When this happens, we must quickly press the circle button of the command to enter a QTE scene, which varies depending on the attack that the protagonist is going to execute. And at the end of it, you know a good gore festival. I confess that, especially at the beginning, I really enjoyed those battles and everything related to the Gore theme. But, also, certainly, as the hours go by and you enter into combat a thousand times, these combats lose some grace. And it is that to contemplate again and again the same finishers end up getting a little tired, however much they turn out to be quite … striking.

As we advance in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, we fight, we fulfill missions and we obtain experience, the protagonist can go learning new techniques and movements, as well as improving his statistics. These improvements are carried out through a very attractive interface divided into several categories (four specifically), being able to choose those improvements that interest us most.

But Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is much more than a simple beat’em up. In fact, the active component is just one of the many that this game has, given that the free exploration of the scenarios also captures a lot of weight in the development. Without being huge, it is possible to visit several locations where the few survivors of the nuclear catastrophe that hit the planet are concentrated, being able to interact with some of them … in Japanese or English with subtitles only in this last language. And why is it necessary to talk to each other? Well to gather information about Yuria and, most importantly, to carry out a series of secondary missions that are also available and that adds to the already substantial main objectives that must be materialized. A world that is so extensive that, to go from one place to another, it is highly recommended to do it on board a buggy (customizable, by the way) … at least as long as we have enough money to buy gasoline.secondary missions

Nor do I want to forget about the various minigames in which it is possible to take sides, since they are as numerous as, in some cases (such as the motorized variant of baseball), completely tricky. And to this are added the classic arcade of Sega to which we can also take the glove, including my admired OutRun. Special mention deserves the Master System game that is also possible to enjoy, Hokuto No Ken, a title that without being any wonder, is left to play.

A playable aspect quite well interpreted that, in addition, on the technical level also looks good. And not because it is a graphic portent since it is far from those enjoyed in the latest installments of the Yakuza saga (the Dragon Engine has not been used on this occasion, unfortunately), but for its great fidelity to the original work. The cell shading style used to model the appearance of the characters of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is quite convincing, while the post-apocalyptic aesthetic so characteristic of the series has also been reflected with much success.

However, this section is far exceeded by the provisions of the sound facet. The dubbing into English is very good, but the Japanese are even better. And to this is added a well-composed soundtrack that, in addition, allows us to enjoy (when we are on board the buggy) of themes taken from classics of the company such as Super Monkey Ball or Binary Domain. A detail of quality.

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Kenshiro stars in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise an action adventure in the purest Yakuza style that, without reaching the same levels of quality as those registered in the Kazuma Kiryu franchise, it is very interesting. In fact, it is very possible that it is the best title ever created of all those based on such manganime work. A title that, in addition, can last us many weeks if we want to squeeze everything it contains.

  • The idea of ​​recreating a Yakuza in the world of Kenshiro is magnificent
  • If we want to squeeze the adventure in its entirety, it is very extensive
  • The possibility of playing classics like OutRun or even Kokuto No Ken by Master System is priceless
  • The dubbing is very good, especially the Japanese
  • At the beginning, the battles are as gore as flashy …
  • … but they end up doing something repetitive
  • Many missions, especially the secondary ones, are somewhat insipid

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Kamran Haider

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