Release Date: October 2, 2018
Review code provided by SEGA.
I’m sure that everyone can recognize this phrase from the heavily meme’d screenshot of Fist of the North Star’s protagonist, Kenshiro. I’d make a good wager that a lot of people likely picked this up because it’s the meme guy, but hey, sales are sales and being a meme means publicity anyway.
In any case, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is a PS4 game that follows the adventure of Kenshiro, the successor of the Hokuto Shinken (literally Fist of the North Star, if you hadn’t guessed yet), a legendary martial artist who is capable of killing a person with a single finger. We follow Kenshiro’s quest to locate his fiancee, Yuria, after finding information that she is still alive. One of his leads directs him to the city of Eden.
Lost Paradise is a different universe from the original series, as it branches out from some of the events from Part 1 of the original material. It’s kind of a shame that it’s not a faithful adaptation of the series in updated graphics, but having its own continuity means that we can still understand the characters and the world.
Although honestly, I will admit that it doesn’t really matter overall because the relevant information is given to us immediately so we’re not missing plot points, and having its own universe means we can just follow this continuity, and most importantly, the mechanics are honestly the biggest thing in lifting this game up.
Lost Paradise heavily focuses on its action and rightly so, considering you are a martial artist and all. It’s a standard beat em up coupled with quick time events in between.
A simple formula, but as they say simple is always best. Imagine old style God of War and you’ll immediately have an idea on how the combat works.
The unique selling point of Lost Paradise is in its QTEs. During combat, if the enemy has taken a certain number of hits, you can press Circle to do a Channeling Strike to stun enemies by attacking a pressure point, after which you can proceed to unleash a Hokuto Secret Technique (inclusive of specific, unique animation per Secret Technique).
You will honestly just find yourself playing the game just to pull off the secret techniques at any opportunity because you can try on different types depending on the number and type of enemies, as well as how bad you’ve pummeled them. But there’s just this sense of satisfaction of beating the crap out of an enemy then ending it with a Hokuto Hundred Fist Rush (more familiarly known as “ATATATATATATATATATATATATA”).
Aside from the fighting, you can also freely explore Eden and do side quests to earn money to improve your equipment. The game also features a level and skill tree system, where you can earn skill orbs to increase your repertoire of moves so you can get creative on punching/kicking/pummeling hordes of enemies. All of your investments just lead you to deal more damage.
Familiar or not of the series, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise presents a decent entryway to Kenshiro’s story, and the mechanics are well designed that you will get hooked on the fighting and not mind the story at all.
It may be a bit gory for some people, so watch out for that.