“Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise,” designed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios, is like a hybrid of Mad Max, Bruce Lee, and 80s action movies. The Magna-inspired video game is the sixth entry of the Yakuza game series.
While many other developers have based games off the series, “Lost Paradise” is perfect for the studio.
The story of Lost Paradise is based on the first part of the manga of the same name, and follows a man named Kenshiro in a post-apocalyptic world. Yuria, his lover, is kidnapped by one of his rivals, and most of the game is finding out where she is.
You don’t need to know anything about the series to enjoy the game. Unfortunately, the first 3 chapters starts off slow due to the story taking center stage. While the story is engaging, not much goes on gameplay wise as you are forced along linear battles with an abundance of cutscenes.
Around chapter 5, you have freedom to explore the world and perform side missions. The exploring is divided into two sections, the City of Eden and the Wasteland.
When traveling in the city you have to go on foot. In the Wasteland, travel can be done using a Jeep. Both areas provide a lot of minigames, including: bartending, being a musical doctor, running a hostess club and playing “biker baseball.”
The games combat is a perfect hybrid of the Yakuza’s series and the Manga. When battling enemies, you can use the special power of “Hokuto Shinken” to take them out.
The gameplay is similar to other Yakuza games, but not entirely. The “Fist of the North Star” series is well known for its gore and “Lost Paradise” doesn’t hold back on it. You can tone down the amount of violence to “Mild” setting if it gets too much to handle.
The game uses the same engine as “Yakuza 0” and looks serviceable for a Play Station 4 game. While character design looks perfect to the manga, not much is being used to take advantage of the hardware that isn’t just numerous enemy encounters. The game runs at 60 frames-per-second with no problems, so it still works out.
Despite the issues, “Lost Paradise” is still a ridiculously fun game and was right up the developer’s alley. It perfectly captures the serious dark tone of the series, while injecting the fun aspects that Yakuza is known for.
The combat is cathartic, the side-content is numerous, and it’s one of the sleeper hits of this year.
I highly recommend it to longtime fans of the series and newcomers alike.