Hokuto ga Gotoku, the next Fist of the North Star game in development by Sega has been delayed into early March next year. Developed by the same team that made the Yakuza games, the delay was only two weeks, yet still made in order to "improve the quality of the game." The announcement comes from the official Yakuza website and does not expand on what areas might be improved with the delay. Regardless, with such a small delay, one can safely expect that none of the game systems will undergo substantial changes and that the additional development time will be used for polish. With the delay, Hokuto ga Gotoku is now set to release on March 8th, 2018.
Originally revealed back in August, Hokuto ga Gotoku adapts Fist of the North Star for a modern console generation. Building on the mechanics established in the Yazuka games, this Fist of the North Star game sees Kenshiro wander Earth's post-apocalyptic wastes in search of his fiancee, Yuria. Decidedly non-canon, Hokuto ga Gotoku adopts much of the humor and mechanics found in the Yakuza games. With a similar third-person camera that follows Kenshiro as he navigates his way through battles and Eden, Hokuto ga Gotoku looks as though it's clearly channeling the same action and campiness found in the original series.
Kenshiro can take place in many activities in and around Eden: a rally race ran in a car of your own design; playing baseball with bandits on motorcycles; working as a bouncer at a nightclub; serving drinks to customers as a bartender, and working as a doctor using, uh, "pressure point treatment." Sega has also included Hokuto no Ken for the Sega Mark III (Black Belt for the Master System outside of Japan) as a "hidden relic of the old world."
Fans of Fist of the North Star might be quick to point out that the Japanese title of the series is Hokuto no Ken, not Hokuto no Gotoku. While they may be correct, this is deliberate on Sega's part. You see, while we may know the series here as Yakuza, the games in Japan are Ryū ga Gotoku, or literally translated, "Like a Dragon." As Sega's Yakuza team is behind this Fist of the North Star game and have copied over many of the mechanics, it's no surprise Sega would try to evoke the same title. As if to hammer this point home, Kenshiro is voiced by Takaya Kuroda, who also voices Kiryu Kazuma, protagonist of the Yakuza series, and the special edition of the game includes a DLC that sees Kiryu step into Kenshiro's world.
In any case, this delay of Hokuto ga Gotoku pushes the game from a crowded January/February release window into slightly less crowded March. While no localization news has been announced, the previous two Fist of the North Star games did see releases worldwide, though not simultaneously and the Yakuza series has seen a recent surge in popularity in western regions. Either way, Japan now gets their hands on Hokuto ga Gotoku for the PS4 on March 8th, 2018.