Last Bronx

Developer: Sega-AM3
Publisher:  Sega

As the last Sega developed fighting game for the Saturn it's pretty surprising how Last Bronx tends to fall under the radar of most people, even Saturn fans, most likely because this one wasn't created by the legendary Sega-AM2 team (Virtua Fighter 2, Fighters Megamix).

Last Bronx is an urban themed 3D weapon fighting game, similar to Soul Blade, though I'd argue, much cruder, at least for the Saturn version as I never played this on the Arcade.

You have eight characters to choose from, which is a pretty paltry number if we consider the fact that this game was launched after Fighters Megamix, Tekken 2 and in the same year as the previously mentioned Soul Blade, the number would be acceptable for 1995 or 1996 but by 1997 the competition in the genre was so fierce that the cast here seems pretty bare bones, though, what it lacks in characters it makes up in modes, with a whopping seven play modes, plus some extra options like watching unlocked movies and portraits, there's certainly quite a bit of replay value here.

Luckily, the gameplay is pretty good, it's not as fast or as exciting as Virtua Fighter 2 or Fighting Vipers but it's still pretty good, and though I can't be sure, I'm fairly certain that this run at 60 frames per second, making the gameplay feel very smooth.

It's nice that your characters use punch, kicks as well as weapons and though you can juggle your enemies in the air, it's not as easy or as prominent as it is in Fighting Vipers, though, my real problem with this game is that the weapons don't really add much to the game, in Soul Blade you ran the risk of breaking them, leaving you at a serious disadvantage, but here, they aren't all that different from what a powerful punch or kick would be in another game.

Graphically, this game is certainly top tier, the characters look a bit boxy, but then again, that's pretty normal for the Saturn, but on a technical level, the environments look great, I actually couldn't tell if they were done in 3D or were a succession of well created 2D images, regardless, they look better then Virtua Fighter 2 or Fighters Megamix, unfortunately, stylistically, all of the stages tend to look the same, you'll be fighting in parking lots, subways, warehouses, under a bridge, it's all too much gray and dark-gray concrete.

Overall, Last Bronx falls a bit short of its contemporaries, the gameplay is smooth, but also a bit slower than Virtua Fighter 2 or Fighting Vipers (though this is likely a design choice), character selection is pretty limited, but a plethora of game modes certainly adds to the replay value and the environments look amazing from a technical aspect, it's just a shame that you're limited to parking lots and subways.

Trivia: Did you know that Last Bronx was Sega's answer to Namco's Soul Blade?

- Gameplay is fast and fun
- Juggling enemies in the air is a blast
- The use of armor adds an interesting twist to the game
- Love the cheesy 90's style it aims for
- Characters look a bit boxy
- Gameplay is not as smooth when compared to Virtua Fighter 2

Final Score: B

The box art is a bit cluttered for my taste and it uses 90's CGI, though they added a blur effect that helps hide this fact, it's also a good thing that the game comes in a late Saturn sturdy box, which should make finding full copies much easier.

(I'm using yet another photocopy of the manual)

The manual is actually pretty good 30 pages long with plenty of gameplay information, it explains every game mode, tells you each of the characters backstory and is pretty detailed on their moves (including non-special moves).

Overall, this is one of the better Saturn packages I've seen

Packaging Score: B-

No comments:

Post a Comment