Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyo Toitsusen

Genre: Fighting Developer: Treasure Publisher: Sega of Japan Players: 1-4 Released: 1994

Okay, so by now we ALL know of Treasure, one of the finest game developers of all time. Do we know all of their games though? No is the answer, and that question begs to be corrected. Treasure has their many famous hits: Dynamite Headdy, Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Guardian Heroes, etc. But what about those extremely rare titles such as Yu Yu Hakusho Makyo Toitsusen? People must have knowledge of their greatness as well.

Yu Yu Hakusho Makyo Toitsusen was released in 1994 as the 5th game Treasure had produced for the Mega Drive console. YYH, as I like to refer to it, was Treasure’s first first shot at a fighting game-and they hit a bulls-eye. It is based directly from the popular anime with same name, which I have never seen, thus my opinion will never appear biased. Here’s a brief description of YYH: a mix between Fatal Fury and a 32 bit Capcom fighter. I believe YYH was the pioneer for all of the Capcom fighters that spawned after its release, thus I find it to be incredibly original in its brilliance. If you’re one of the many Street Fighter, Dark Stalkers, X-Men, Marvel Super Heroes, Power Stone, or SNK fans out there, you better get ready to convert to what I find to be the finest 2D (if not any) fighting game in existence.

Graphically, the game is brilliant. While they may not be the best 2D graphics you’ve ever seen, they certainly present as some of the finest 16-bit graphics out there. I have yet to come across an ugly Treasure game so this comes at no surprise. What really does surprise me though is the great deception of 3D. Each level has a sort of scrolling background that sets the stage fantastically. They are beautifully detailed, presenting a singular theme fluently. For example, one stage fades into different colors as time passes to present the time of day-a truly artistic view on the length of battle, and I believe the first to be done in a 16-bit game. Another level has players duking it out in obliterated space, with floating parts of planes and other machinery, again with superb atmosphere. A killer in the design/graphics department.

Music-wise, Yu Yu Hakusho may not have the finest addicting Sonic tunes, but they are some fine tunes-especially for a fighting game. Rivaling those of Street Fighter fame, the game has many adrenaline rushing themes, each with considerable length to be presented at each stage. Even the continue countdown theme is enjoyable, so much that you may want to wait for a game over-but probably not šŸ™‚ Fine fighting tunes will definitely please in YYH.

10? Nah this game deserves a 12! YYH is one of the most addicting enjoyable games I have ever had the great fortune to play. I have three words for you: FOUR PLAYER MODE!! It will blow you away. You can do a one on one, two on one, or a total brawl with four players on screen at once!! You’ll forget all about Halo 2 when you’re flying across the screen while your buddy Chris is laying the smack down on Jimmy, the tyrant that hit you! It is total madness and there is NO SLOWDOWN that ever occurs, which is absolutely phenomenal. There’s also a tournament and a tag mode, where you and a friend or CPU can take on two others-and your friends punches won’t do damage to you (#&@ I hated that part of Streets Of Rage, y’know, when your team mate can hurt you? That’s not good). The tag/battle modes are remarkable.

YYH features eight original stages, and eleven original anime-style characters, each with their own wide array of abilities, all of which I have yet to discover. While the one player (one on one) mode is al right, there’s no story line or ”super final boss battle” which is little to be desired. Still, I enjoy the challenge of beating it on a harder difficulty and the ending theme is fantastic. For most though, you’ll much rather take on two or three computer opponents, or team up with a CPU friend. YHH presents a fine single against CPU(s) that will not disappoint. The multi-player mode however, will have you questioning the greatness of famed multi-player games such as Mario Party, Perfect Dark, Goldeneye 007, and Bomberman, and you won’t even consider Street Fighter. YYH is most likely the finest multi-player game in existence.

It seems all the masterpieces are inevitably rare…In this case, extremely rare. There are only a very few ways to find YYH: eBay, Classic Gaming, and GameTZ, to name a few. I got mine through TecToy‘s site. It’s definitely a worthy purchase. With the constant multi-player action in the tag and battle modes, YYH is way up there in replay. Combine music, stage design, diverse characters, and the replay is fantastic for the single player mode as well.

That’s about it. Unless you get it through Tec Toy, it’s likely to cost over $100 (!). It’s still worth it though, as YYH is such a diverse and exceptional game-one of the very best the Mega Drive has to offer. I suggest you search long and hard for this Treasure masterpiece because it’s well worth the effort. Another success for one of the finest developers out there.

SCORE: 10 out of 10

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  1. Sebastian Sponsel says:

    little correction to this review: in 4-way-battles, the game does suffer some slight slowdown when there’s a lot going on at the same time (like when one player knocks a character into opponents two and three while the fourth one is simultaneously charging up a special attack); but albeit noticeable, it hardly detracts from the overall fun factor and can easily be ingored.

  2. Sebastian Sponsel says:

    A fantastic brawler that undeseverdly went unnoticed! It’s a shame that this game was never released outside of Japan and Brazil!

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