Fist of the North Star on the Game Boy is a bad game. It is a one-on-one fighting game similar to Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. Except, it is more like one of the bad clones of those two franchises.
Its graphics look like a Tiger Handheld game, the hit detection is awful, and the sprites are too small. I don’t have many good things to say about this game.
I think the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game is better than this one. The NES game is a better game than this one. A fighting game based on Fist of the North Star could be fantastic, but this one is terrible.
TLDR: It looks and plays like a Tiger Electronics game you found at a flea market.
Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of Universe is the game’s full name. It was developed for the Game Boy and released in 1989 in Japan and 1990 in North America. Europe was mercifully spared this game.
It was developed by Shouei System (I’ve also seen it spelled Shoei) and published by Toei. Electro Brain published the game in North America. So now I know who to blame for this!
Unlike other Fist of the North Star games, this one wasn’t edited when it was brought over to North America. This would suggest that there were no fatalities. So I didn’t miss anything.
You know what to do here if you have played other fighting games. The biggest problem is the Game Boy itself. You only have two buttons to work with. One is punch, the other is kick, and the up button is your jump.
Do you want to know how to do the special moves? Well, you need to hold down and then release the A button. I don’t know why I was expecting something better. When I think of Fist of the North Star, I think of crazy special attacks and heads exploding! This game doesn’t do that.
I never knew when I was hitting my opponent. It was like the hitboxes worked whenever they felt like it. Playing this game made me wonder if my Game Boy was broken, if I was this terrible at fighting games, or if the game was simply bad.
It could have been a combination of all three, but I will blame myself more.
There were no rounds in this game, no continues, and a password save system. There is also a two-player mode just in case you have someone you no longer want to be friends with. You can spread the pain of playing this to another person.
You can take control of Kenshiro or ten of his adversaries. I do like that you can play as one of the villains.
There is also a Team mode. I didn’t try this out. I had no interest in playing any more of this game.
There are a lot of characters from Fist of the North Star lore to choose from. Granted, they mostly look the same. This feels like it was a Tiger Electronics game.
There might be special attacks in the game. I know my opponents were spamming the hell out of them! I wasn’t able to pull off anything cool.
Most of the characters look the same. You are at the mercy of the Game Boy’s color pallet, but the characters don’t look too different. Heart is the one that stands out because he is considerably larger than other characters.
The animation is pretty awful. When you get hit, which happens often, your character jerks backward.
The characters are tiny. This is a huge problem! I often lost track of my health because I focused on the fights. Even with how small the Game Boy’s screen is, it is hard to keep an eye on everything.
The backgrounds look okay. They could have done something to distinguish the character models better.
Don’t. There are better fighting games on the Game Boy.
4/10. It doesn’t look good, plays badly, and doesn’t have many redeeming qualities.
This game was very disappointing. I was expecting something closer to the NES game, but I ended up with a crappy fighting game. I would have preferred to play Mortal Kombat on the Game Boy.
It is a shame that this is the game that was on the Game Boy. It was developed for the system, and I think it is a poor entry for Fist of the North Star.
I feel like the NES and Genesis/Mega Drive games did a better job of introducing the franchise to western markets. The Anime and Manga weren’t available to be in the late 80s and early 90s, so games like this would have been how I learned about things like Fist of the North Star.