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‘Fist of the North Star’ license coming from ‘Yakuza’ team

/ 06:38 PM September 01, 2017

“Hokuto ga Gotoku,” Sega’s 2018 “Fist of the North Star” game. Image: Sega via AFP Relaxnews

Legendary Japanese cartoon and comic book series “Fist of the North Star” has been lined up for a fresh conversion by video game icon Sega.

Featuring a martial arts warrior in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse, “Fist of the North Star” has been a fixture of the Japanese comic book and animated series landscape since its 1983 debut.

Films, novelizations, spin-offs and video game conversions have been plentiful over the many years since, and its 35th year anniversary will be accompanied by a new adaptation from the studio behind open-world crime franchise “Yakuza”.

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The Sega studio has announced three new projects, one of which will take “Fist of the North Star” as its source material and, if its title and synopsis are anything to go on, will blend it with the characteristics established by over ten years of critically acclaimed and enthusiastically received “Yakuza” games.

The franchise, often compared to the “Grand Theft Auto” series in terms of scope, detail, and critical acclaim, asks players to explore the glittering heights and grimy gutters of one or more metropolitan areas, building up business interests through investment and crime racket enforcement.

With “Yakuza” already known as “Ryu ga Gotoku” in Japanese (“Like a Dragon”) Sega underlined its intentions for this next “Fist of the North Star” or “Hokuto no Ken” game by calling it “Hokuto ga Gotoku”, meaning “Like a North Star”.

In it, wandering “Fist of the North Star” protagonist Kenshiro discovers the luxurious entertainment city of Eden, which stands a world apart from the apocalyptic wastelands surrounding it.

A debut trailer focused on the 2018 title’s combat while a cocktail-shaking scene suggested that less serious “Yakuza”-style diversions and mini-games would also be present in some form.

International audiences are likely to wait a little longer for “Like a North Star” given that its technical foundation, 2016’s successful “Yakuza 6”, does not gain worldwide distribution until March 2018.

The Yakuza studio also confirmed that “Yakuza Kiwami 2”, a PlayStation 4 remake of the franchise’s second entry, would be released in Japan on December 7, 2017.

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A free-to-play “Yakuza Online” game will arrive for PC and smartphones in 2018, taking place after “Yakuza 6” and featuring a new central character. JB

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