"Toei didn't learn from their mistakes when they released HNK7, a gritty Fist of the North Star game on the SNES. The prequel was poor but had a few moments where you could sit down and play the thing for a little while and have a bit, and I stress, a bit of fun out of it. I was hoping that Toei would give the game a total overhaul and improve the gameplay a lot, maybe take out the annoying Aura power thing and also change the character roster. I was overjoyed when I first browsed through at what..."
Toei didn't learn from their mistakes when they released HNK7, a gritty Fist of the North Star game on the SNES. The prequel was poor but had a few moments where you could sit down and play the thing for a little while and have a bit, and I stress, a bit of fun out of it. I was hoping that Toei would give the game a total overhaul and improve the gameplay a lot, maybe take out the annoying Aura power thing and also change the character roster. I was overjoyed when I first browsed through at what the game had to offer, a story mode, a free play mode and battle mode which were requisites for the game anyway.
The roster here is good, but a lot to be desired, the only improvement over the prequel of the game is the good roster. Out of he four Hokuto brothers we have Kenshiro and Raoh, as per usual who are the best fighters in the game but no Toki and Jagi!. When will a fighting game featuring all of the Hokuto brothers be released? I can understand why Jagi got missed out but the fact that Toki ceases to exist here is just stupid. However, HNK7 redeems itself here with the three Nanto Seiken fighters, Shin, who easily deserves a place in a the game because he was such an important character, Rei is back, probably the only character who doesn't suck as much as he did last time around, the presence of Shuh is a little more annoying though as he could have been switched with a better character. Last but not least is Jyuza of the clouds. A character who made his first appearance here, too bad it was in such a poor game.
The worst comes at you in full force. You choose your character and you realize you cannot charge your offense but just your defense. One of the redeeming qualities of Hnk6 was the fact that you could easily pull off special moves by charging your attack button, in this game in order to pull off a move you have to press punch or kick rapidly. Also if you simply punch and kick the opponent it does next to no damage whatsoever and even if you manage to chip away some life from your opponent he will regain it almost instantly. That is something that really ruined anything redeeming about the gameplay. You canít imagine the ignominy that runs inside you as you hit and hit your opponent causing minute damage while he takes half of your health off in one punch as his health goes back to max.
Special moves are cranky to pull off to say the least, You can get very strained wrists after pressing punch rapidly to pull of the Hundred Crack Fist of the North Star move. After releasing these moves eventually, the damage will be so substandard that youíll just stare in awe as in a few strikes your health plummets to the bottom and you die. Special attacks can be charged up by blocking and backing off, unfortunately youíll be pummeled by the opposition during this and even if you fire a special attack it does next to nothing and the opponent will recover his health a second afterwards. When you are vanquished you cannot change character so you will have to go through the pointless and painful process again until you sprain your wrists or damage yourself in other ways or your SNES, if youíre blinded with rage. Certain characters have easier moves to do but when I say easier I donít mean Sesame Street easy as they still are pain in ass to pull off but compared to the wrist busting, finger ripping Hundred Crack fist theyíre a walk in the park.
The graphics arenít the most amazing Iíve seen on the SNES but they capture the characters well and show each and everyoneís personality. Each character as an opening move, Ken bursts through his clothes, Raoh rips his cloak off as does Shin. e majority of the animations usually involve a character ripping his clothes off or some other masculine taunt that works well with the character. Unfortunately the characters arenít the best drawn and are a lot smaller than the ones seen on HnK 6 and are a little blurry and arenít as detailed as Hnk6. The backgrounds are also dull and depressing, even though they capture some key areas but they are watered down and uninspiring.
HnK 7 should have been a lot better than itís prequel but itís barely playable to say the least. It takes so long to perform any special moves and even if you unleash a truckload of damage on your opponent if does next to nothing while they can hit you twice and take off half of your health bar. That really is a sum up what happens in the game and also just shows how impossibly hard fighting can be. If you find a copy of this game then stay away from it, even hardcore Fist fans will shiver in disgust while playing. No, actually if you do find a copy of the game in a second hand store, buy it and then use it to boost your bonfire on November 5th and spare us the trouble of playing the damn thing.
Community review by goldenvortex (February 21, 2005)
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