Release: 1994-10-14 (¥10500)
Released in America as
( SNS-AGKE-USA )
Gōketsuji Ichizoku (aka Power Instinct in the west)
is a one-on-one fighting game by Atlus and conversion of their
own arcade game originally released in 1993. For 165 years, a tournament has been held
to determine who will become the leader of the Gōgetsuji Clan
(the Japanese title translates as the 'Gōgetsuji Family').
Gōketsuji Ichizoku features eight playable characters :
Annie Hamilton, Keith Wayne, Reiji Ooyama,
Hattori Saizō, Angela Belti, White Buffalo
Thin-nen and the old grand-ma Gōketsuji Otane.
The final boss of the game is no
one else than Gōketsuji Oume, current leader of the clan and
twin sister of Gōketsuji Otane. The game offers elements and
controls that will instantly look and feel familiar to any fan of the genre
(especially to fans of Capcom's Street Fighter series).
Players have an arsenal of moves at their disposal - from weak/strong
punches and kicks to special moves activated using traditional quarter
and half circles on the D-Pad. The latter can unleash each fighter's
true potential, from traditional 'Spiral Kicks' and 'Dragon Punches'
to less traditional 'Flying Denture Attacks' and 'transformations'.
As expected, this Super Famicom
conversion features a couple of extra play modes such as Vs. Battle,
Practice Mode, Time Attack, Life Attack and even
a Karaoke mode (sadly cut from the American version).
This Super Famicom version is surprisingly close to the original arcade game.
The conversion was slightly toned down though (the blood was omitted) and fighting arenas
were simplified (the arcade game has beautiful and intricate backgrounds).
As expected, the American version of the game was also slightly modified
from its Japanese counterpart - The Karaoke mode (pictured on the right) and several demo
screens were omitted. Also, it looks like all the endings were changed
Gōketsuji Ichizoku was originally released in the arcades in 1993
and was ported to Nintendo's Super Famicom (1993) and Sega's Megadrive (1994).
The latter has a couple of extra options not found on the Super Famicom version
(namely, a Battle Royal and a Character Editor mode). A sequel, called
Gōketsuji Ichizoku 2 Chotto Dake Saikyou Densetsu (aka Power Instinct 2)
was released in the arcades in 1994. The game featured a grand total of thirteen playable
characters and introduced Clara Hananokōji, a sort of magical girl who was later featured
in her own isometric shooter Purikura Daisakusen in 1996 (Arcade and
Sega's Saturn only). Gōketsuji Ichizoku Gaiden Saikyō Densetsu
(aka Power Instinct Legends) followed in 1995 but the game was only
an 'upgraded' version of the second opus - the real sequel, called
Groove on Fight: Gōketsuji Ichizoku 3 (aka Power Instinct 3 - Groove On Fight)
was released in the arcades in 1997. This installment, also available for
Sega's Saturn, was a total refurbishment of the original game with a
new cast of characters. As a side note, Watanabe Seisakujo (aka Furansu-pan)
released in 2002 is a sort of parody of the game titled Glove on Fight, a fun
and unique boxing game only available for PC Computers - but the game shares
nothing in common with Groove On Fight, except maybe for the name and slick box art.
Fans of the series would have to wait until 2003 to see their favorite fighting saga to
be resurrected - Matrimelee: Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku
(aka Power Instinct Matrimelee) was released that year for
SNK's Neo Geo and for Sony's Playstation 2
(and titled Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Bonnō Kaihō).
The first thing that will immediately strike players as different from
any other fighting game is the quality and uniqueness of the fighter's
portraits and the overall graphic quality of the various illustrations.
Renji Murata (aka 'Range Murata') is a Japanese artist known
for his subtle, unique and immediately recognizable style. He began his
career as a video game illustrator and he is today best known for his work
on anime series such as Blue Submarine #6 or Last Exile and
series of art books such as Robot.
Teaser text from the American version:
This Family Feud Is To The Death!
Control of the third wealthiest family in the world is achieved by defeating all
Gogetsu bloodline contenders in a martial arts tournament
to the death! Every opponent has studied for
years to master their special killing techniques
and crushing moves. By entering
this tournament, you risk all you have for the
ultimate prize - the honor of ruling
the Gogetsu Clan.
Add your Pov here !
The Gōketsuji Ichizoku series sadly never managed to reach
the same level of popularity in the West than it did in the East, and I
wonder why. From all the "Street Fighter" wannabees,
Gōketsuji Ichizoku was certainly somewhere in the top of the
list and its cast of characters definitively stood out. The series
brought "weirdness" and "humor" to the genre making it a really unique
franchise with strange fighters able to use magic and to sometimes
transform... The most memorable characters are probably the old
Oume and Otane with their unusual attacks and special
powers - especially when they throw their fake teeth at you or turn
into young girls. The game has great controls, and double jumps and
dashes really add a lot to the gameplay. Other episodes of the series
are way better than this one, but don't get me wrong, this conversion
is outstanding and the Japanese box-art is truly amazing.