Fist of the North Star Impressions

Power UP!

Anime fans acquainted with the 1980s know that the decade spawned some wonderfully gory, testosterone-driven experiences. Chief among the field of Anime for Dudes stands Fist of the North Star, the story of a man who can unleash a barrage of punches after he utters the mystical incantation A-TA- TA- TA- TA- TA- TA- TA- TA- TA- TA- TA (sometimes he makes bad people explode, too.) Tecmo Koei, sick of mining the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms for their hack’n’slash fantasies, intends to release a game version of the Fist later this year.

And honestly, it’s not a terrible idea. The main premise behind the anime is that the main character, Ken, is a hulking badass with a heart of gold that won’t hesitate to beat the absolute sh*t out of the mutated evildoers that haunt his post-apocalyptic wasteland. [I think there’s something in there about an ongoing quest to save his ladyfriend… but that’s not really manly so we’ll forget about it for now.] I don’t think there’s ever been a better justification for a game adaptation. It’s even one of the few times I can stomach using the tired Dynasty Warriors formula of gameplay, which consists of “beat guys up, run around, beat guys up, open gate, beat REALLY BIG guy up. Repeat level for cool wares.”

The game certainly adapts the source material’s wonderfully, as Ken casually whoops ass from town to town. Ridiculously powerful moves are accompanied by equally ridiculous title cards as a mysterious narrator calmly states the name of the arcane technique just used to flatten a legion of cannon fodder. You get the requisite super-power bar that fills up as you kill more folks, but I couldn't see much (if any) type of levelling system or power unlocks. Hopefully there's something like that that wasn't shown in the demo. There’s even some nice end-boss superpunch action under the guise of a quicktime event. I felt that Ken’s a bit lead-footed, and tends to lumber about as he’s stomping people to and fro, but a mercifully included quick evade button takes most of the sting out of his slow movement.

I can’t really say if it’s a viable purchase option yet, but it’s definitely a good stress reliever after a long day at the office. Just don’t expect Shakespeare.

Comments

If anyone is expecting Shakespeare from the source materials, they're doing it wrong!

That looks like fun. I love the animated series, and the manga.

Prithee, check about thee --
for thou art already slain

Sounds like you said rental.

I've only seen the movie.

Can I play Ray?

I remember the movie being uncomfortably gory.

Depends on your comfort level. It was ridiculously gory.

I agree with Mr. Stone. Who *wouldn't* like to watch a movie where the villain cuts someone's arms off then casually tosses them back?

garion333 wrote:

Sounds like you said rental.

I think the Musou/Dynasty style games should always be tried before a $60 commitment is laid down. Not because I don't trust them, but because most people won't really like the repetitive grind that is sooooooooo built into the system.

Adding in leveling/skill unlocks will do quite a bit towards replayability, but I'm not sure if that's the model that will appeal to most gamers. This is especially true because the missions tend to be pretty flat.

And it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile to show some clips from THE MANLIEST MOVIE EVER MADE.

Spaz wrote:

I agree with Mr. Stone. Who *wouldn't* like to watch a movie where the villain cuts someone's arms off then casually tosses them back?

Wait, that guy was a villain?

Awesome link, Spaz!

Also, context might help here. This was 1986. At that time importing anime wasn't big and there was no real localization machine like we have now. Your options were stuff like this, Robotech (the horrific shambling wreck they turned Macross into), and Captain Harlock.

Ah, Harmony Gold, was there nothing you couldn't make insipid?

I forgot how much i loved this movie.

<---Pumped for the game.

Spaz wrote:

I agree with Mr. Stone. Who *wouldn't* like to watch a movie where the villain cuts someone's arms off then casually tosses them back?

No, actually that was one of the good guys who did that. The bad guys were even worse though.

Man, I would love to play this game!

The beginning of the movie when he hits the skyscraper and it starts falling, he walks THROUGH the bldg while it is falling on him in slow motion! What a great violent anime movie.

Spaz wrote:

And it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile to show some clips from THE MANLIEST MOVIE EVER MADE.

That may have the best Youtube comments I've ever seen.

Fist irreparably damaged my relationship with anime, and all the Jin-Rohs and Ghost in the Shells in the world won't ever quite put it right. I mean, you really have you pick of fatal flaws with that movie. It's ugly as sin, the voice acting perfectly matches the visuals, and the action, such as it is, is ugly, angry men flying through the air at each other... until one of them falls apart into butcher cuts of human in the next frame.

Rob Zacny wrote:

Fist irreparably damaged my relationship with anime, and all the Jin-Rohs and Ghost in the Shells in the world won't ever quite put it right. I mean, you really have you pick of fatal flaws with that movie. It's ugly as sin, the voice acting perfectly matches the visuals, and the action, such as it is, is ugly, angry men flying through the air at each other... until one of them falls apart into butcher cuts of human in the next frame.

That is exactly the main draw.

This was one of the first (if not the first) anime that I watched as a kid and it did no irreparable damage to me when it comes to watching anime to this day.

God Hand.

grobstein wrote:

Prithee, check about thee --
for thou art already slain

Give me some wine, and let me speak a little . . .
The miserable change now at my end
Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I lived, the greatest prince o' the world,
The noblest; and do now not basely die,
Not cowardly put off my helmet to
My countryman,--a Roman by a Roman
Valiantly vanquish'd. Now my spirit is going;
I can no more.

Nov 2 release in North America for those interested.

http://www.destructoid.com/fist-of-t...

H to the ickle wrote:

God Hand.

If this game is half the game God Hand was, day one purchase.

Paying attention on the forums to get a release date - free
Preorder at local game store - $5
Stupefied look on the face of the unwashed mancub behind the counter when a gray-haired old lady made the preorder and said how she was really looking forward to playing it - priceless

Me: "Oh snap! FotNS is out today! ATAATATTATATATTATATTATA"
Girlfriend: "Oh. Really? Hey, is it supposed to be on Kinect, too?"

(Look of pure awesome rises on my face).

Someone needs to get on that immediately. They could make it like the arcade version with the soft punch cushions.

I just brought my copy home and plugged it in. I can't stop laughing. I don't know what I'm going to say about this yet. I have to go punch some guy until he turns brick red, inflates like a weird balloon, and explodes a few more times.

And if they put this on Kinect and we had to pull off the Hundred Crack Fist, I think my shoulders would explode, too.