Last Bronx: A forgotten classic from Sega that ended up on Page 3
Weapons-based capers in a crime-ridden Tokyo.
Having experimented with the likes of faith healers and whatnot over the past 2 weeks, the Kim Justice channel has come back to gaming with a bang this week with today's video on Last Bronx -- a fighting game from Sega that's not particularly well remembered these days...at least not here in the West. As ever, you can have a look-see at the video here:
Why cover this game, then? Aside from it being a very solid weapons-based fighter, Last Bronx is a good illustration of Sega's reversal of fortune that happened in the 32-bit generation -- while they struggled over here, they found success in their home country to a level that they'd never really had before. Sega's games were bigger than ever in the game centres, and the Saturn was a respectable second behind the PlayStation-- finally, they were ahead of their eternal rivals Nintendo. Because of this, Last Bronx is one of their most well-known games in Japan -- a much loved fighter that produced all sorts of merchandise, from art books and mangas to even a direct-to-video film.
Here in the west...it just didn't catch on. The story and characters are very grounded, and inspired by events happening in Japan at the time -- the economic stagnation known as "The Lost Decade" taken to a conclusion. We didn't really get the game as it didn't resonate with us in the same way it would for a Japanese audience, and we much preferred the more fantastical likes of Soul Edge. Sega tried to advertise the game as much as it could, including -- oddly enough -- a campaign that would feature several of the characters from the game being played by glamour models and advertised on Page 3 of UK tabloid The Daily Star, in some rather raunchy pictures...but this didn't help matters either, for reasons that will become clear in the video.
While the game's fate was destined to be a largely forgotten title in the West -- not even reaching the level of a Fighting Vipers or Virtual On -- Last Bronx doesn't really deserve that, as it's a very well constructed fighting game indeed, just one of many excellent efforts that Sega were putting out at the time. It's worth playing either in its original Arcade form or on a superb Saturn version, both of which are covered fully in this video -- a quick, brutal fighter that deserves far more recognition. As ever, hopefully you dig this little video, and be sure to tune in for another lost gem next week!