Last Bronx is one of those fighters that had the unfortunate fate of falling through the cracks. It is probably one of the better arcade ports within the fighter genre. It only has a few shortcomings, but they are easily overlooked once you are dragged into the great gameplay.
As with all fighters, you have a story that usually doesn’t offer much for anyone looking for an awe-inspiring tale. Last Bronx‘s tale is similar to Jet Grind Radio‘s, with feuding gangs in Neo Tokyo at each other’s necks. The only difference is that a gang called Redrum is calling out all of the key members within the gangs of Neo Tokyo. You have to play as those members trying to hold their own.
Last Bronx offers very good arcade-style gameplay. The moves are done on a simple P, K, and G (Punch, Kick, and Guard) button system. All you have to do is put together basic moves and combos using those designated buttons on the controller. The moves are responsive and easy to pull off, allowing for plenty of intense fights between you and a friend. The AI offers a moderate challenge and obviously can increase in difficulty accordingly, but you never really feel too bogged down in its difficulty due to the simple control scheme, which makes it every accessible to most beginners, but it won’t make the most seasoned gamer shy away.
This title offers most of your run-of-the-mill gaming modes such as arcade mode, VS, Saturn mode (story mode), survival, and time attack mode. Saturn mode has a cool little extra at the end that caught my surprise. Instead of getting some basic movie or some text to tie up the story, you receive a short little anime based upon the character you used. Each one is done notably well.
As for graphics, Last Bronx will surprise most with the model design, textures, and frame speed (60 frames per second). For its time period, these graphics easily beat out most games of the early 32-bit era. Along with the astounding graphics, the animation and movement of the models themselves are along the same lines of the newer games out, being very fluid in presentation without any slowdown in the graphics.
The music is the only thing that makes me opt for a Kenny G album *shudder*. Then again, most fighters in general come with lame soundtracks that go along with them. It isn’t the worst, but it sure as hell isn’t the best. Other than the lacking music, the sound effects are well done with the average grunts, screams, and tiny phrases—always a winner in most cases.
Overall, Last Bronx is a perfect port of its arcade predecessor with some extras. As with most arcade games, they are only meant to grab your attention for short spans at a time. But as with those same games, when they are well done, they can easily grab your attention again and again.