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Fist of the North Star


Toei 1986



Fist of the North Star is an anime series that takes place after a nuclear war about a guy who can punch people and make their heads explode. That alone places it in the catagory of anime that doesn't suck. This game however involves walking from left to right in a straight line and punching endless streams of people who get in your way. While that it'self isn't a bad premise for a game (as slaughtering dozens of people never is) for some reason Fist of the North Star still manages to bite ass.

First off the graphics suck balls, big sweaty man-meat balls. You're a vaugley human shaped ball of color that kind of looks like you have arms and legs. When you punch or kick for some reason you just can't punch once, you have this automatic Chun-Li attack of doom. Problem is you can't move when you're attacking, so hit the A button at the wrong time and a bad guy can walk up behind you can clobber you (which involves merely walking into you. This was still during the time when just touching an enemy meant instant death.) Plus when you get hit there's no sense of "Ooomph," you just sort of pause and flash for a second. How hard would it have been to make your character fly backwards a little more?

In the cartoon Ken is such a badass that a whole building can fall on him and he just shrugs it off. Here the first level boss is a big fat guy who blows bubbles at you. Maybe they're some kind of evil-fat person bubbles or something, but still they could have gone with something a little more lethal like ninja stars or bombs or whatnot. True to the cartoon the bosses still explode from the inside out when you kill them, it's just not cool when the boss is a half inch glob of four colored sprite. There's really no excuse when a system can produce clear, solid graphics like Castlevania or SMB2 to have sprites with holes in them.

The game is abound with blind jumps, cheap hits, enemies that appear right in front of you, etc. But even then it's not too hard. Any experienced player could problably finish it in one setting.

A game for fans of the cartoon or comic book only, and even those people will hate it. Do yourself a favor and blow your own head up instead.

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