What is this hack, you ask? In a word:
That's right, Ken is completely unstoppable, and no amount of punches,
projectiles, or god-like energy blasts can defeat him. In fact, should
life bar ever hit zero, it will instantly be refilled with no
penalty to the player. Needless to say, not only does this reduce the
to a level of difficulty comparable to that of Barney's Hide and Seek,
it draws many a player away from it.
In the non-hacked version of the game, your life bar is indeed
finite, and you must build up your attack power to do any significant
harm to the bosses (your power being indicated by the stars at the
upper right, which can be increased by collecting icons that float away
from defeated enemies). Without powering up and avoiding a lot of
probably won't make it past the first couple of levels.
In either case, the uninspired gameplay makes it a pretty low-quality
game. However, were it not for one more
most who have played this game would likely pass this off as just a bad
rather than among the NES' worst.
Heart is quickly turned into dog food by the
The most common complaint about Hokuto no Ken
is not about its main character's immortality and dry gameplay.
In fact, it is a common misconception that the game simply consists of
around a single awful-looking map and destroying such foes endlessly.
is only half correct. Contrary to what most believe, there is some
to the terror that is Hokuto no Ken, though most never happened upon
to finish the game without some outside guidance (myself included).
you must do to proceed further into the game is to follow the girl
that occasionally appears into the doors. This is accomplished by
beneath them and pressing Up, A and B at the same time (an
unconventional control setup, to say the least). Despite that
that you have advanced by doing this, it's not readily apparent, as
still thoughtlessly leap straight into the range of your lethal fists
step of the way. Even worse, many of the later stages are set up
like a maze, which can cause you to run through the same areas over and
over fighting endless waves of enemies until you chance upon the right
sequence of doors to proceed.
Ken exits the awful-looking map.
No, that's not a graphical glitch, that's a post-apocalyptic look
So, what are the upsides to this example of carnage
substance? If nothing else, the controls are pretty responsive. There
little to no delay between pressing a button and seeing the result
In addition, Hokuto no Ken's mayhem can prove entertaining for a few
especially to fans of the series. After said amount of time, though, it
One-line synopsis: How they kept the Hokuto no Ken series going for six
titles is beyond me- you can see everything the series has to offer