The fighting game adaptation of Hokuto no Ken (known as Fist of the North Star in the west) has provided some of the most over-the-top competitive moments of all time. But when a Twitter acquaintance shared a screenshot of its continue screen a week ago, I still wasn’t psychologically prepared for just how hard it slaps.
Compelled, I booted up the PlayStation 2 port of the 2005 arcade game to see it in motion. The folks at Arc System Works really made sure to use all the real estate at their disposal to evoke how doomed you are if you don’t plop down another quarter or, as in my case, hit the start button to take another stab at arcade mode.
What catches your attention first? Is it the copious amounts of scrolling text? Is it the missiles firing off in the background? Or maybe it’s Hokuto no Ken antagonist Raoh’s beaming face as he creeps towards the screen, daring you to try again. I have to give it up for the rocking music that accompanies the animation, too.
“Thanx for your playing!”