“Insert already dead meme”

I know all the memes and the wonderful “ATATATAT!” videos on YouTube, but I have never actually watched an episode of Fist of the North Star. I know its basic premise – Kenshiro is a martial arts master living in a post apocalyptic world where nuclear war has devastated the entire land, he has a ability to hit pressure points on his enemies that will make them swell up and eventually explode into bloody giblets, and he’s searching for his fiancé who was kidnapped after he was left for dead. Honestly, that’s all I need to know for Lost Paradise, the game brought to us by the Yakuza developers, and you know what? It’s kind of a blast.

When I say Lost Paradise is developed by the Yakuza team, it shows. From the sub-missions all the way down to the skill upgrade tree. Players will find themselves constantly brawling it out with wasteland bandits and the like, but instead of beating guys with a bicycle or trash can like the Dragon of Dojima, Kenshiro will stun his enemies and use special techniques that deliver bloody explosive results. Each technique has a quick time button prompt which can be turned off for auto completions if players want. While it can be repetitive, the combat is always satisfying.

Platforms: PS4
MSRP: $59.99
Price I’d pay: $59.99

The story, and game for that matter, starts off a little slow in the beginning parts. It takes a good five hours before things open up, but when they do, it gets both ridiculous and much more fun. While the story takes itself more serious than I would like, when it does get crazy is when I had the best times. This usually came in the form of the sub-stories and mini games. Ones where Kenshiro plays baseball with a giant support beam and guys on motorcycles or Manager Ken at a hostess bar to name a few. I only wish there was more of that here. Yakuza has its moments of seriousness, but the goofiness was always there. Lost Paradise felt like it dabbled in the goofy territory, but never fully embraced it.

Along with all the combat and story beats, Kenshiro can be upgraded pretty much the same way Kazuma Kiryu does in his franchise. While new techniques were nice, they weren’t necessary and I never really changed up the way I fought in combat so I found the body and power upgrades the most useful. The more damage I could take and dish out, the better.

If there were some gripes I had with the game it would be that the pacing can become a bit tiresome at times. There were a decent amount of fetch quests that had me going somewhere, beating up a few guys or gathering something only to immediately have to go all the way back and turn something in. It came off as padding in some spots and at the beginning of the game, it was bringing the experience down a bit until it finally opened up. The only other issue I had was that while visually not horrible, running on the old Yakuza engine made the look of the overall experience a little bland. Sure, it’s a wasteland, but some models and textures looked plain bad. Of course, this was not game changing in anyway. I was just hoping for some Yakuza 6 visuals.

In the end, players will get a pretty fun beat ‘em up that is both serious and zany at the same time. The combat, while repetitive, is always satisfying and the wonderful moments of brilliance shine brighter than the dullest of fetch quests. Fans of Fist of the North Star will have a blast here, while fans of beat ‘em ups and the Yakuza series will enjoy the familiar feel of the entire package. Give this one a shot if you’re looking for some bloody good action with a goofy twist.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Fun combat
  • Decent upgrades
  • Goofy sub-stories and mini games
  • Some pacing issues
  • So-so visuals
  • Takes a while to get started
Written by
Drew is the Community Manager here at ZTGD and his accent simply woos the ladies. His rage is only surpassed by the great one himself and no one should stand between him and his Twizzlers.