Fist of the North Star punching PS3, 360

Koei prepping Dynasty Warriors-style adaptation of postapocalyptic manga for 2010 Japanese release; Western plans not yet confirmed; first teaser trailer inside.


In 2007, Koei caused a stir by combining its signature action series with an anime staple in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. Next year, the publisher will revisit that formula with a twist, as today it announced plans for Hokuto Musou, based on the Hokuto No Ken series better known in the West as Fist of the North Star. The "Musou" in the title is drawn from the Dynasty Warriors franchise, called Shin Sangoku Musou in Japan.

Being a savage outland raider simply can't pay enough to put up with what's about to happen to this guy.
Being a savage outland raider simply can't pay enough to put up with what's about to happen to this guy.

Set for release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Hokuto Musou will pit series protagonist Kenshiro against hordes of gang members and savage armies answering to his elder brother, Raoh. As in the manga and anime, Kenshiro will have at his disposal Hokuto Shinken, an absurdly powerful martial art that allows masters to explode heads and liquefy internal organs through careful strikes to hidden pressure points on the human body. The game will include two main campaigns; one "faithful to the spirit" of the original manga adventure, and a second featuring Kenshiro in an original storyline.

A Koei representative said the company hasn't yet decided whether to release the game outside of Japan. However, Koei's American arm did issue a press release heralding the game's Japanese announcement. Should the company opt to leave the game in Japan, Western gamers wouldn't be completely out of luck. Given that PS3 games have no region lockout functions, those willing to pay a premium for Hokuto Musou should be able to import it upon its Japanese debut.

If Koei does release Hokuto Musou outside Japan, it would not be the first time the world received a Fist of the North Star game. Taxan released a Fist of the North Star game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989, and Electro Brain followed that up with a Game Boy game the next year. And although it didn't bear the series' name, the tamed-down 1989 Sega Genesis title Last Battle was originally a Fist of the North Star licensed game in Japan. The Fist of the North Star has remained fertile ground for games in Japan, recently being made into a PlayStation 2 and arcade fighting game by Arc System Works in 2007.

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