The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny
    
                                                      

 
   
STORY:  The Last Blade is set in 1863 during the Bakumatsu, the final years of the Tokugawa shogunate where a clash of ideologies were fighting to decide Japan's new society. Long before humanity existed, in a far off time of myth, death was an unknown, equally distant concept, but when death first came to the world, the "Messenger from Afar" was born. With time, the Sealing Rite was held in order to seal Death behind Hell's Gate. At that time, two worlds, one near and one far, were born. Thus the history of life and death began.


Half a year has passed since Suzaku's madness, and the underworld is still linked by a great portal. Kagami's great sin is still heard as if ringing from the heavens. Our world has been called upon. Legends of long ago told of the sealing of the boundary between the two worlds. The Sealing Rite would be necessary to hold back the spirits of that far away world.
However, the Sealing Rite brings together the power of the Four Gods and Sealing Maiden, for the first time properly completing the ritual. To find the Sealing Maiden, Genbu began searching in the center of the world, from which all things begin. At the same time in the underworld, in the depths of darkness, many spirits conspired, plotting to hinder the Sealing Rite. They had but one wish, to be reborn into our world.


 

Great  artwork!

   
REVIEW
The first and only handheld version of SNK's The Last Blade series is found on the Neo Geo Pocket Color (and later available on Nintendo Switch). The graphics and overall art style of this Neo Geo Pocket Color fighting game are similar to those seen in Samurai Shodown! 2: Pocket - with characters proudly represented in a cutesy, super-deformed chibi style. The smaller 2D character sprites animate nicely, but of course, have far fewer frames of animation than their insanely-smooth NEOGEO counterparts in the original Last Blade and Last Blade 2. Several backgrounds from Last Blade 2 also translate nicely into the cute-yet-charming graphics style.
 

Yes... we must. 

 

Compared to the original, ultra-polished 2D fighters that appear on the NeoGeo, The Last Blade is a much different game on the NGPC, and definitely feels watered down in some ways. Smaller movesets, less animations, and slower gameplay. Quite a few characters from the main installments are unfortunately missing as well. Those who did make the cut, however, are represented quite well in their new chibi style and retain many of their recognizable moves & mannerisms.


For a Neo Geo Pocket Color game, the game's presentation is actually very well done. The Last Blade: Beyond The Destiny seems to push the NGPC to its graphical limitations (which isn't much, but fans of 2D sprites will appreciate the visuals and art style). The cool stage intros have returned, and there's some humorous dialogue between characters before fights as well.

 

     

If cuteness could kill...

 

The gameplay of Last Blade: Beyond The Destiny is definitely simpler and more streamlined than the deeper engine found in the original NeoGeo titles, but this "pocket" version of Last Blade is a respectable fighting game offering casual fun and entertainment. Last Blade Pocket also has an impressive variety of modes for a portable fighting game, including: Story, Survival, Time Attack, Training, and even a few secret modes including a "Home Run" mode featuring Juzoh and Mukuro in The Great Escape from Hells Gate shoot-em-up style game.
 

Page Updated: October 29th, 2020
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Platform(s): Neo Geo Pocket, Nintendo Switch
Release Date(s): Mar. 31st, 2000        (NEOGEO Pocket Color)
Oct. 28th, 2020
         (Nintendo Switch)
Characters Kaede, Moriya, Yuki, Akari, Amano, Shigen, Zantetsu, Washizuka, Rekka, Genbu, Kojoroh, Hibiki, Kouryu

     

Featured Video:

Related Games: The Last Blade, The Last Blade 2, Samurai Shodown!: Pocket, Samurai Shodown! 2: Pocket, The King of Fighters R-1, The King of Fighters R-2, Fatal Fury: 1st Contact, SNK Gals Fighters, SNK VS Capcom: Match of the Millennium , Card Fighters Clash, Card Fighters Clash 2, SFA3: Upper
  

Gameplay Engine  7.5 / 10
Story / Theme  7.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.5 / 10
Animation  7.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.0 / 10
Innovation  6.5 / 10
Art Direction  7.5 / 10
Customization  5.0 / 10
Options / Extras  5.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  5.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.0 / 10
Characters  8.0 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

 7.0 / 10

 

 

Final Words:

The Last Blade: Beyond The Destiny wasn't the most popular or most exciting game on the NeoGeo Pocket Color... but was pound-for-pound one of the best fighting games the system has to offer.

The game is a tribute to the Last Blade series for fans of the original series and even has some pretty solid gameplay for a "cutesy" fighting game. As a standalone handheld fighting game, however, it does seem somewhat lacking in content (especially when compared to the epic SNK Vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium). Nonetheless, the characters retain most of their iconic attacks and general play-styles.

I remember pulling off some pretty cool combos in this game... and I had fun with it for a short while. However, I definitely played much more SNK Vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium and Card Fighters Clash in my NeoGeo Pocket days (because those games were a lot more fun, in my opinion). Sadly, The Last Blade: Beyond The Destiny was one of the very last games to ever be released on the Neo Geo Pocket Color.
~TFG Webmaster  
 
 

 

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