Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise
From the Creators of the beloved Yakuza franchise, comes the explosive Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. Known as Hokuto Ga Gotoku in Japan, SEGA has brought over what is arguably one of the greatest Action Psuedo-Open-World JRPG on the Playstation 4 at the moment. From the beginning, you are thrown into the world of Fist of the North Star and follow the story on Kenshiro, who is off in search for his wife Yuria. Lost in the city of Eden, Kenshiro's story grows as the player meets familiar characters, protect the city from terrorizing enemies, and fight waves of hundreds of men with Kenshiro's Fists.
The world of Lost Paradise will be familiar to those who have played any of the Yakuza games. Somewhat small, but full of life with a bazaar, a mechanics shop to repair you vehicle, a casino to gamble, an arcade to play retro arcades games, and an assortment of mini-games that are comedic to varying degrees. There are items to buy, armor to equip, and many upgrades to obtain along the way. Many of the moves are upgrades for the player to fight in different ranges, either ranged combat or close combat.
The combat is where the game shines, not in terms of mechanics, but fun. Combat is simple as it most relies on spacing, dodging, and mashing the Square Button. There is a form of strategy when it comes to the different enemy types, and dodging appropriately will create stronger results when fighting against hordes of enemies. Every punch feels strong, and when an explosion of blood occurs, punching through waves of enemies feels joyful. The Boss Battles can be somewhat complex, as they have similar mechanics to that of Kenshiro in terms of blocking, dodging, and spacing. Boss Battles become real Arm-to-Arm combat matches that never disappoint, and are the real highlights of the game.
While the plot is nothing too extraneous, it is the dialogue, voice acting, and characters that hold everything together. Lost Paradise features Dual Audio, which allows the player to enjoy both English and Japanese Voice Acting. Fans will also be happy to know that many of the Voice Actors from the Japanese Dub are from the Japanese Voice Acting Team from Yakuza. The Japanese Voice Actor of Kazuma Kiryu lends his voice to Kenshiro in Fist of the North Star. The music is originally composed, and features an old-school heavy-rock soundtrack that would fit in the world of Fist of the North Story. The only real complaint in the sound department is that, in the Japanese Premium Edition of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, player were given access to two songs, Ai Wo Torimodose and Living in 80s by Tom*Cat. Both iconic songs are sadly not in Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, most likely due to licensing; Which gives a strong reason to import the Japanese Edition. The Kazuma Kiryu costume did come to the West though in the form of Downloadable Content.
Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is a game that has a lot to offer with very few problems along the way. The game will halt for a minute or two for the player to play a mini-game that may not be extremely fun, and the physics of the vehicle section could be tweaked a bit. However, considering how well the combat, battles, art style, storytelling, and especially the music is, this is a title not worth missing out!