Taxan had a promising start on NES with Star Soldier and Mappy—two dated games, but solid ones. But all of that potential goes right down the toilet with this pair of ill-advised localizations! Why would they do this to us?

Fist of the North Star probably isn’t the worst game based on the legendary manga and anime property, but lord knows it ain’t good. You can kind of understand the logic behind the U.S. release of this game, as (like Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode) it coincides with Viz Media’s furtive attempt to localize the comics into English. Except that this game covers the back half of the saga, and Viz’s translations wouldn’t actually reach that material until they rebooted the series after a five-year hiatus. Oops.

Mystery Quest is even more bewildering. It’s like the bargain store edition of Milon’s Secret Castle, a game that already felt like it was asking a little too much of players’ patience and at least had solid visuals and music. Mystery Quest offers none of these things. At least Taxan cheaped out when buying ROM chips for this release, which forced them to trim 50% of the game’s content from the original Japanese version. It may not be good, but at least there’s not much of it, I guess.

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