Last Bronx is a decent fighting game from SEGA that is a lot of fun, although not as much as Virtua Fighter. Edward Fielding of the Games Domain says it all in his review: |
"A gang rumble to settle the power struggle for Tokyo's mean streets. Not exactly West Side Story but so begins Last Bronx, the latest arcade fighting game from SEGA. If you've played Virtua Fighter you know the genre – 3D video angles, multiple characters with a variety of moves and exotic locales. Despite the reference to a certain borough in the Empire State, the Last Bronx resides in gang ruled Tokyo.
Gameplay is similar to other fighting games but this is not exactly hand-to-hand combat in the strictest sense. The participants here have cleverly picked up some clout from the debris around them. The combatants put numchucks, bats, clubs and other assorted martial arts weapons (one even sports a huge wooden mallet) to good use i.e. beating the crap out of each other. This isn't some lofty, reserved traditional martial arts but rather down and dirty street fighting in which anything goes. If the gameplay is a bit stale the graphics are definitely heading towards the next generation of realism. Virtua Fighter introduced those floating polygon fighters with the chiseled features. Last Bronx's fighters are much more defined with shadows, clothing details and more facial expressions. The settings are also much more detailed and depict actual Tokyo locations. Along with the typical cracks and smacks of the fight, graphic elements complement the fighting. Impacts of weapons on flesh are signaled by bright flashes while the weapons' arcs are traced by strobe-light like highlight effects as the weapons slice through the air.
There are several ways that you can play Last Bronx. There's 'Arcade Mode', which is just the same as the Saturn version of the game, or 'PC mode', which has you taking on the baddies in a specific order, corresponding to the character you choose. Complete the game in this mode, and you get an Anime style end-sequence, showing the ultimate fate of your character. Or you can opt for 'Survival Mode', where you take on all the characters, without ever getting your energy bar replenished. Then there's 'Training Mode' which lets you learn specific combo attacks. Or you can pick a team of fighters and take on the computer fighters. Finally, there's a two-player mode, where you can virtually humiliate someone in one-on-one combat. What Last Bronx doesn't have is Direct 3D or 3DFX card support, which is a bit of a mystery, because Sega's previous beat-em-up, Virtua Fighter 2, now supports Direct 3D thanks to a patch released after the game's initial release. So surely, Sega should now have the know-how and experience to release Last Bronx with D3D support. But no, 3D card owners will have to wait for a patch to be released. It just doesn't make sense.
And without Direct 3D or 3DFX support, Last Bronx requires a high-spec PC to get it running in SVGA mode. On a P133, Last Bronx runs like a dog in treacle, and even in VGA mode, it's not always smooth. If you do have a fast PC it looks good, but a 3D card patch would definitely make Last Bronx a more promising purchase. 3D card gripes aside, Last Bronx is a decent enough beat-em-up. It's not quite as good as Virtua Fighter, but there's enough action to keep you going for a week or two at least. If you have a ninja-PC, and you don't have a Saturn, then there are worse ways you could spend your money. If on the other hand, you've got a mid-spec PC, then you're better off waiting till a 3D patch is released. Okay, but not spectacular." Reviewed by: Underdogs