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Hokuto no Ken: Seiki Matsukyu Seishi Densetsu
  opened by paleface at 03:48:43 08/23/03  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Beat_em_up; reg=JPN]
Title translates to "Fist of the North Star: Legend of the End of the Century Savior" according to GameFAQs. A 3D beat-em-up sort of reminiscent of the Gaoranger etc sentai games, except with a lot of blood. I'm not familiar with Fist's anime and stuff but I guess he's this kind of bad-ass in denim who beats guys up, then makes their heads explode. Pretty stylish, you must admit.
Or that's what happens in the game, anyway. You punch, kick and jump at a variety of post-apocalyptic thugs and after sufficient beating they go "pop" in a big, red, icky yet strangely satisfying way. You can get some nifty combos going and against certain boss types you get a chance to enter a quick button sequence which, if done correctly, launches a spectacularly fatal sequence of fisty savagery at your opponent. The story of course is all in Japanese but everyone can understand simple things like popping heads, so all is well.
The game benefits from some of the most impressive character models and skins that I have ever seen in a PS1 game, hands-down, and the backgrounds and music aren't too shabby either. They're so good that all the extensive story scenes that I've seen so far use the in-game engine rather than cut-rate anime slideshows or something, and it's very effective for immersing you in the game. And that ain't all 'cause according to the FAQs there's a Vs mode that is unlocked when you beat Story mode, a movie edit mode where you can construct movies by piecing movie and voice clips together (maybe not the most interesting thing for us Gaijin) and then some kind of body count mode where you just try to kill as many thugs as possible in a short period of time. I haven't unlocked anything yet, but I'm slavering at the head-popping opportunities in store.

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