“Omae wa mou shindeiru…” is the popular line in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise and Kenshiro fight his way through the post-apocalyptic world in his search for his lost love, Yuria. I thought this was a silly game with outrageous deadly Kung Fu moves and action, but I was dead wrong. Very wrong. Here’s my review of this manly game.
Post-apocalyptic visuals with a nice touch of 2.5 3D animation
Welcome to the post-apocalyptic world of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise where too many specific details will only dampen the awesomeness of the visuals. I know it isn’t super detailed like Final Fantasy XV or any other triple-A game, but the blandness of its colors, the watered down 3D visuals, and the lack or absence of life in its environment makes it what post-apocalyptic. It just feels right.
If the lack of spectacular-looking environments lowers your liking of this game, then be ready for its special effects when it comes to fighting scenes and cinematics. All of the martial arts moves look spectacular with all of that battle aura colors and special effects just mixing into one awesome combination. When 3D models move, they don’t look awkward compared to that of other games where they look so… weird. Here, they feel so natural to the point where it’s like you’re watching an anime show. Even when Kenshiro assassinates his enemies with his Hokuto Shinken secret techniques, the contortions look really amazing, especially when they blow up in a bloody pulp. There are some graphical issues here and there, but those are just small instances and nothing game breaking. You gotta admire how the Kung Fu poses are done and the smooth animation in each motion. Perfection.
For visuals, the game has my high score of 9. The blandness and watered down environments just goes well with the post-apocalyptic theme which focuses mainly on characters and special effects.
Smooth fighting scenes paired with awesome special effects
Visuals and gameplay here go hand in hand in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. Each of Kenshiro’s special attacks has these quick time events where you’ll need to press specific buttons at the right moment to gain bonuses. These are optional, mind you, but there are certain ones that you need to properly complete or else it will end up with you receiving damage should you fail. Yep, it’s a quick time event fest in this game, but hey, the results are awesome. The kills are way over the top as well, which is the biggest asset in this game. Destroy your enemies in a really bloody and flashy way and walk away from them like a badass. Yep, that’s Fist of the North Star alright. Movement, light, heavy attacks, and evasion are smooth as well, you just have to time them right or else you get hit by a lot of opponents trying to kill you. The one-on-one duels are awesome as well as both you and your opponent show off your awesome poses and battle auras before beating each other up into a pulp. Just like in those Chinese Kung Fu movies.
There are no weapons to pick up here unfortunately since Kenshiro is all about fists, kicks, and pressure points. However, if you kill an opponent in a certain way, the death cries solidify and you can actually pick those up to pound your enemies to the ground. For Kenshiro, weapons are just beneath him because his fists and kicks are enough. Wataaaa!
The upgrades for attacks, techniques, stats, and other bonuses are very straightforward. You just gain some colored orbs from fights, sidequests, or wandering in the desert and use those to unlock those upgrades. With more slots unlocked, you get higher offensive power, sturdier defenses, more techniques to use, and a whole lot more. Keep gathering orbs in order to become the strongest man of the Hokuten Shinken technique.
The Destiny Talismans are very important in this game because they can save you in case your health items are gone or if you need a slight power up. Take it from me since I’ve blazed through the game slightly under leveled, that these items really helped me when facing and defeating tough bosses. These also give bonuses when traveling through the barren wasteland outside Eden such as giving durability to the buggy, speeding up, and more.
The game has tons of mini-games to try out. There’s a casino, race, rhythm game, bartending, bar manager, coliseum fights, and more. It isn’t that many compared to the Yakuza series, but it’s enough to keep you entertained if you get bored with fighting hooligans out on the streets or in the wastelands. The are lots of sidequests as well, about nearly as much as a 100 I think. The rewards are also great. The best part of these sidequests is that you are not forced to do them to progress through the main story. They are all purely optional and can be done even after finishing the game.
For gameplay, it’s a perfect 10. Awesome and smooth fights, helpful features, tons of mini-games, and straightforward upgrades.
Oozing with manliness, death, and a surprising plot twist
Never have I thought that Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise would turn out this way. Bear in mind, I have not thoroughly seen the anime or read the manga, so I’m honestly surprised with how things turned out.
At first, I thought the story was going to be super straightforward: wander through the wasteland, fight some bad guys, look for Yuria, do some work for the ones who saved her, and beat the living s**t out of the bad guys. I thought that was it and nothing more. Turns out, this game had an interesting plot twist near the end. That is a big plus for the game’s score since I’m all about great narrative and plot twists. I didn’t predict the plot twist at all and that’s something.
The rest of the game’s story, however, was straight as an arrow, no complicated situations or whatever complexities that might arise. Just find the bad guys, kill them, and save the day. No questions asked, just like Kenshiro. He’s a man that always moves forward and never backs down from a fight. I like that.
The story is a 9 for me. The plot twist at the end was surprising and that gave it a big plus. Also, Kenshiro’s straightforwardness is such an awesome sight to behold.
Music to my nostalgic rock and roll ears
Fist of the North: Lost Star has some of the most awesome music tracks I have ever heard in a game, and I mean the rock and roll type. The thematic song is in Japanese, but I don’t care, it’s damn awesome and makes you feel that you really are in a post-apocalyptic world: Mad Max style. Oh yeah, I’ve heard that the franchise was actually the inspiration for creating Mad Max. Anyway, I don’t have all of the music tracks of this game unlocked, but the default ones are already awesome.
The Japanese dubs are also well done in this game and just, as usual, they convey more emotion compared to an English dub. The English dubs are.. well.. not that good in my opinion. Serviceable, sure, but compared to the Japanese version, I’ll take the latter.
For the music and voice dubs, I’ll score this game a 9. The soundtrack is great for my rock and roll soul and post-apocalyptic feels, and the Japanese dubs are just awesome, as always. It’s just that the English dubs aren’t to my liking.
Too many things to do before and after the ending
If you thought Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise’s fun ends once you’re done with the story, you are sorely mistaken. There are too many things to do, to unlock, to upgrade, to explore, and more in this game before and after you finish the story. Even though I blazed through the whole narrative in such a short time, I still have too many sidequests and minigames to finish. So yes, don’t worry if you think you finished the game and that there’s nothing left. You still can enjoy it and unlock more sidequests and other stuff to do.
There is the also the Endless Eden mode of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise where players can continue their gameplay after finishing the main story. Then there is the New Game+ mode where players can carry over everything except for the sidequests, story, and other skills and abilities that are tied to the main story. So yes, a lot to do and become more overpowering after finishing it one time.
Of course, I’m going to score this game a perfect 10 in terms of replayability. Tons of things to do, awesome after story bonuses, and a new game plus. Can’t top that off.
Overall, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is a gem in your digital library and your physical gaming shelf. If you want to feel manly and do deadly Kung Fu, just pop this in the PlayStation 4 and you are set for a long and awesome adventure.
Disclosure: This review is based on a review code provided by SEGA. Read our review policy to know how we go with our game reviews.