Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

Despite what you might initially think, pairing a fitness game with the much-loved manga and anime series Fist of the North Star isn’t the completely left-wing crossroads it seems to be. In fact, it’s not even the first IP-based game to allow the player to make real hits.

Many years ago, this writer regularly frequented London’s Trocadero (RIP) to interpret the brilliant Fighting Mania: Polestar Fist, an arcade game from Konami in which the player had to put on boxing gloves and hit six pads that came out in different patterns. It’s no exaggeration to say that playing him was a highlight of this writer’s life at the time, even though he didn’t have much interest in Fist of the North Star.

What we have here, however, is a spinoff of Imagineer’s Fitness Boxing series, which has already had two other direct entries released on Switch. El giro, naturally, is that in lugar de tener entrenadores inoffensively pleasant que te enseñen cómo golpear, enganchar y hacer ganchos para mejorar tu salud física, esta vez eres guiado a través de tus ejercicios por un gran tipo de anime con brazos como jamones de cartoons.

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

At first, your trainer is Kenshiro, the series’ main protagonist and a man who either has a comically small head or an obscenely large chest (probably the latter). If his words of wisdom (such as “always focus on your abs”) don’t hit the mark, with regular play you can tick off achievements that earn you fitness points, which can then be used to unlock more fitness points. other characters in the game. I play as instructors including Mamiya, Rei, Thouzer and Raoh.

Daily Workout is the main mode in Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star and lets you set a few settings designed to give you the type of workout you’re looking for. You can choose how active the exercises are, which body parts you want to focus on, the length of each daily route, and whether you want to include stretches or turn them off (so you can do that weird thing where you’re bored your family and friends the next day saying “oooh, my arms and legs hurt from all the exercise I did yesterday”).

If you’re the rebellious type and don’t like the idea of ​​being forced into a daily routine, even if that routine is taught by a man who looks like he can turn your ribs into soup just by blinking eyes. there’s also a free training mode, where you can choose to perform one of the game’s 30 routines (some of which are initially locked), with three levels of intensity.

Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star Review - Screenshot 3 of 5Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

So far Fitness Boxing, but there is a mode that is exclusive to this release, simply titled Battle. This allows you to take on a number of enemies by landing the right type of punch in rhythm, before unlocking the ability to take on a more advanced enemy one-on-one. To be fair, it’s pretty much the same as normal exercise routines, just laid out in a funnier way to make it look like you’re actually punching people instead of Kenshiro just yelling “one, two, three .”, four ” in you

Since it’s still about Fitness Boxing at its core, the issues we encountered with this game and its sequel still apply here, no matter how appealing its makeover. There’s still a disappointing selection of music to work out: six actual Fist of the North Star songs and 14 “original” tracks that sound suitably appropriate but are nonetheless underwhelming for a series known for having its own sound.

It also suffers from occasional cases where the game doesn’t detect your hits, which can be a bit annoying when trying to get all the “perfect” notes in a grind. It’s the typical Just Dance syndrome where the Joy-Con isn’t able to read an uppercut or a hook perfectly, so the game doesn’t always register your performance.

Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star Review - Screenshot 4 of 5Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

Of course, the counter-argument is that, like in Just Dance, you have to understand from the start that the movements you’re supposed to perform can’t be followed precisely, and that the whole point of the game is the simple participating (and, in this case, getting fit by pretending to punch anime guys in the chops). However, as rhythm game fans who can’t relax if we can’t accurately register every hit, we say “pfffft” to that.

Ultimately, your mileage with Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star will vary based on parameters very similar to Imagineer’s main entries. If you’re willing to forgive a game that doesn’t always track every shot perfectly, and accept that the point of the game is to work on your fitness and have a little fun while doing it, then it might be worth it. a glance.

Likewise, you should also be prepared to have the kind of repetition tolerance required by most exercise programs. With 30 routines and 20 music tracks to choose from, there’s some variety here, but as this is designed for daily use, you’re looking at a month or two before things start to repeat themselves a bit.

Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star Review - Screenshot 5 of 5Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

Considering the relatively basic nature of the game, it’s arguable that you could save $50 just by watching boxing workouts on YouTube. However, if you fancy adding gamification to exercise, you’re more likely to commit to it, it’s a good place to start (although Ring Fit Adventure, while more expensive, gives you more ‘exercise).


Like standard Fitness Boxing titles, Fitness Boxing Fist of the North Star is a fairly straightforward fitness game that will get you through your workouts if you commit to it. Despite its fun connection, however, the very basic gameplay combined with the limited number of routines and limited music selection means you’ll need a high tolerance for repetition.

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