Fist of the North Star will be even gorier in English

When Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise hits PlayStation 4 this October, Western players will have the option to turn their game into a full-blown splatterfest.

Fans of the original manga by Buronson know that while Fist of the North Star features plenty of death, usually of the exploding head variety, bodies are usually blacked out in shadow — turning them into stylized, silhouetted blood geysers. While Sega welcomes players to keep these original settings, those who crave a little more detail can switch off this effect and instead witness their enemies bursting like angry overripe fruit in the full light of day.

Developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio — the same team behind the Yakuza series — and bearing many of the hallmarks of those games, Fist of the North Star plays very similarly to Yakuza, with combat divided into light attacks, heavy attacks, blocking, and specials. Like its sibling series, special attacks are context-sensitive and come with a number of semirandom Quick Time Events to unlock increasingly powerful moves, the names for which appear at the bottom of the screen wreathed in flame after each finisher. Protagonist Kenshiro also has a special charge meter comparable to Yakuza 6’s Extreme Heat meter; once activated, the player is able to deal out extra damage even from ordinary attacks.

Oh, and you can grab non-diagetic words over your opponents’ heads and bash their faces in with them, it’s pretty rad.

But it wouldn’t be a Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio game if the developers were content to just adapt their Yakuza combat system and call it a day. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise also comes stuffed with minigames and side missions, the justifications for which are appropriately tongue in cheek. The most well-known of these — the bartending minigame — makes use of the motion sensors in the PlayStation 4 controller, so that players must physically move their controller up and down sideways as if they were shaking a cocktail mixer. It’s more entertaining than Yakuza 6’s often unwieldy “entertain your grandson” minigame, which uses the same sensors, but it never really seems to rise above a gimmick.

The game will feature dual language audio, both the original Japanese cast and a Buronson-approved English cast. Yakuza fans may wish to stick to the Japanese audio, as Kenshiro is voiced by Takaya Kuroda, who also voices Kazuma Kiryu. The Japanese edition of the game even offered a preorder bonus to reskin Kenshiro as Kiryu, iconic gray suit and all, so that players could traverse the post-apocalyptic wastelands as the strongest grandpa of all time. For the moment, Sega is remaining tight-lipped about whether this same bonus will be made available to North American players. (I can’t speak for anyone else, but personally, that information would mean the difference between a preorder and “well, maybe I’ll pick it up on sale” for me. Sorry about it, Sega, but I’m a Yakuza-holic at heart.)

Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise launches this October 2nd as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook for even more hot E3 coverage throughout the week!