LAURENT KERMEL - Video Game Den : Super Famicom : BISHIN DENSETSU ZOKU )
BISHIN DENSETSU ZOKU
The Legend Of Bishin
game Cover
game cartridge
美神伝説 Zoku
©Magifact 1993
Release: 1993-12-25 (¥9800)
Cartridge SHVC-ZK
Racing / Beat'm up game

Bishin Densetsu Zoku is an unusual mix of beat'em up and racing game by Magifact. In the near future, Tokyo is devastated by blood thirsty gangs. The worst of them has kidnaped the hero's beloved friend and there is only one way to get her back. Before the game starts, the player must pick a character and either go with Koji or his colleague Risa. The first part of Bishin Densetsu Zoku features a traditional racing game heavily relying on the Super Famicom's System 7. However, it is not exactly a race, and the goal of each mission is to actually drive to the villain's hideout. A map shows in real time the position of the car and it is the player's task to find the best way to get to his final destination. The road is also far from linear and features countless T junctions and dead-ends. Speed boosters and other special items can also be used to get there faster - Speed is at the heart of the gameplay and a time lime prevents the players wondering around the map forever. The game switches to a side scrolling beat'em up mode when the destination is finally reached, or, in later stages, when our hero happens to be kicked-out of his car. There, he must fight the boss bodyguards and then teach him a lesson. Traditional beat'em up moves are available such as punches, kicks and grabs. Interestingly, Magifact included a one-on-one fighting game available from the game's menu.
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Katsuya Terada's illustration Katsuya Terada illustrated the box art of Bishin Densetsu Zoku. This very talented Japanese artists is also famous for the work he did, as a designer, for the anime Blood The Last Vampire. He also did the design and art work for other video games, including the arcades games Battle K-Road (Psikyo, 1994) and Sol Divide - Sword of Darkness (Psikyo, 1997).


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Bishin Densetsu Zoku is the sort of game that easily surprises the hell out of anyone at first. The racing part is probably the only let down. It is not bad in itself, really, but the view in front of your car doesn't get very far and curves, especially at full speed, end up being hard to negotiate. Then it is often difficult to figure out what direction your car is facing, a sign pointing north would have been very handy. Yet, the game is fast-paced and clean. The beat'em up part is fun but I wished areas were a bit larger. In the first few stages, only a handful of baddies can be found between you and the various bosses which is a shame... All in all, Bishin Densetsu Zoku is a fun and unusual title. I personally recommend it.




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