Naruto Pc Game

Are Yu Yu Experienced?

Phil Theobald

Its name may not be as immediately recognizable as Dragon Ball Z’s, but Yu Yu Hakusho is quickly becoming one of the most popular anime series in the U.S., with a TV rating rivaling that of the megapopular DBZ.

Having had success releasing new Dragon Ball Z games in the U.S., Atari has now begun releasing Yu Yu Hakusho games as well. GameNOW has the world-exclusive review of the YYH game for Game Boy Advance (check it out on page 42), as well as some hot new info on the upcoming YYH game for PS2 (also a world exclusive, we might add).

Just in case you’re new to the whole Yu Yu thing, check out this feature. It’ll tell you not only about the games, but also about the series in general, so you can catch up on what you’ve been missing.

The Series

Yu Yu Hakusho (roughly translated, it means “Poltergeist Files”) began its life as a manga series by Yoshihiro Togashi. It ran in the Japanese manga compilation weekly Shonen Jump from 1990 to 1994 and became a national phenomenon. In 1992, Yu Yu Hakusho was made into an anime series that ran for 112 episodes.

Strangely enough, the series begins with the death of its hero, 14-year-old Yusuke Urameshi. This trouble-causing delinquent sacrifices his life to save a small child from being hit by a car, which of course surprises everyone—and we mean everyone. Even the Spirit World can’t foresee Yusuke performing such a noble deed, and as a result, there is no room for him in the afterlife.

Yusuke is given a chance to return to life if he can prove himself worthy by taking a test. After several ordeals, Yusuke is not only resurrected, but also appointed Earth’s Spirit Detective by Koenma, the prince of the Spirit World. As a Spirit Detective, it’s Yusuke’s job to hunt down demons on Earth with his newly gained spirit powers (like his Spirit Gun, which shoots from his finger).

Similar to Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho’s elaborate story line is broken up into multiple “sagas.” During his journeys through these sagas, Yusuke meets several new friends and foes, many of which appear in the new YYH videogames.

The Characters

Yusuke Urameshi

Age: 14

Yusuke, the hero of Yu Yu Hakusho, is a street punk. He skips school, doesn’t respect his teachers, and gets into fights on a daily basis. Since he’s never lost a fight, he’s also extremely arrogant. If you can get past all that, though, he’s actually a pretty nice guy. In fact, it was his softer side that triggered the events leading to him becoming a Spirit Detective.

Kayko (Keiko in the manga)

Age: 14

Kayko is the polar opposite of Yusuke. She’s friendly, respected, and she does well in school. Despite their differences, she and Yusuke have been good friends since they were little kids, and she seems to be the only person who can talk any sense into him when he’s in one of his stubborn moods (which is most of the time).

So are they boyfriend and girlfriend? Well, not officially, but you can’t deny that the two really care about each other.


Age: Unknown

As the messenger to the Spirit World, Botan is essentially the Grim Reaper. She’s cuter than your typical Grim Reaper, eh? She’s also very friendly and slightly bubbleheaded. After Yusuke’s death, Botan was the one who helped him return to life. Once Yusuke was appointed Earth’s Spirit Detective, she was assigned to be his assistant, materializing herself in a “real” body to work alongside him if need be.


Age: 700+

Koenma is the son of the ruler of the Spirit World, King Yama. He may appear to be an infant, but he is well over 700 years old. His many years have made him very wise, but he’s still deathly afraid of making his father angry. When King Yama becomes displeased, he has been known to unleash a few spankings on his son. When Koenma manifests himself in the “real world,” he takes on the form of a handsome young man (although he still sucks on

his pacifier).


Age: 300+

(appears to be 15)

Don’t be fooled by his feminine looks—Kurama is all man. He’s also not as youthful as he looks, either. Heck, he’s not even really human. Kurama’s a fox spirit who entered a human embryo 15 years ago after losing a battle with a powerful bounty hunter. Over time, he grew to love his human mother and he nearly sacrificed himself to save her life—until Yusuke got involved and saved them both. He may seem calm and collected, but Kurama’s also a powerful fighter.


Age: 14

Kuwabara is big, loud, and none too bright. He’s also Yusuke’s chief rival. Kuwabara is constantly trying to best Yusuke in a fight, but he has never been able to. Even though he seems brutish, Kuwabara is actually a very kind person who is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his friends. He’s also highly sensitive to spiritual activity, so he becomes a great ally when Yusuke becomes Earth’s Spirit Detective.


Age: Unknown

Hiei is kinda like Dragon Ball Z’s Vegeta—he’s a short, angry guy with black, spiky hair who typically comes off as a jerk. Also like Vegeta, Hiei was originally a bad guy who ends up fighting alongside the heroes. Underneath that headband he hides his jagan, a third eye that possesses psychic powers. He can move objects with the jagan and even control some people’s minds. Hiei is very strong, but he prides himself on his incredible speed in battle. Even though he can be a bit cold, he has great honor and respect for those he feels are worthy.


Age: 70+

Genkai may be old, but she’s a master of the Reidoha fighting technique. If she wanted to, she could kick your butt from here to next Tuesday. Even though she’s a tough old gal, she knows she won’t always be around. She chooses Yusuke as the person to whom she will pass on her skills. Will he be able to endure her intense training?

Yu Yu's Gaming History

It should come as no surprise that several Yu Yu Hakusho videogames were produced in Japan during the series’ peak of popularity there (the early to mid-’90s). Since no one in America was familiar with the franchise, none of those early titles were ever released on these shores.

Since many of these games are about a decade old, hardcore Yu Yu Hakusho collectors will have some trouble finding them all. Online auctions are probably your best bet.


Yu Yu Hakusho: Bakutou Ankoku Bujutsu Kai

—Famicom (NES)

Yu Yu Hakusho

—Game Boy

Yu Yu Hakusho 2

—Game Boy

Yu Yu Hakusho: Yamishoubu!—PC Engine CD (TurboGrafx-16 CD)

Yu Yu Hakusho

—Super Famicom (SNES)


Yu Yu Hakusho 3

—Game Boy

Yu Yu Hakusho 4

—Game Boy

Yu Yu Hakusho—Game Gear

Yu Yu Hakusho 2: Battle of 7 fighters—Game Gear

Yu Yu Hakusho Gaiden

—Mega Drive (Sega Genesis)

Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyo Toitsusen

—Mega Drive (Sega Genesis)

Yu Yu Hakusho 2: Kakutou no Syo

—Super Famicom (SNES)

Yu Yu Hakusho 3: Tokubetsuhen

—Super Famicom (SNES)

Yu Yu Hakusho—3DO


Yu Yu Hakusho 4 Final

—Super Famicom (SNES)


Yu Yu Hakusho: Spirit Detective

—Game Boy Advance


Yu Yu Hakusho: Dark Tournament

—PlayStation 2



we won’t tell anybody.

There are plenty of ways to follow Yusuke’s adventures. Here’s where you can go for your Yu Yu fix.


Well, of course we’re going to mention these first—videogames are what we do. Don’t think that Atari’s gonna stop after the GBA and PS2 games. It’s pretty safe to say we’ll see more Yu Yu games in the future.


You can catch the Yu Yu Hakusho anime on Cartoon Network. You’ll have to check the TV listings, though, since Cartoon Network tends to rotate its programs every so often. You can also pick up YYH on DVD from FUNimation. There are edited versions of the shows for younger viewers (they contain only the English dub), although most of you will probably be interested in getting the unedited versions instead (these DVDs have both the English dub and the original Japanese track).


Viz’s popular Shonen Jump manga contains several popular titles, including Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Naruto. It also, of course, runs Yu Yu Hakusho. Shonen Jump comes out monthly, but every few months, you can pick up a new volume of the YYH graphic novel, which compiles the comics into one easy-to-carry-around book.


If that’s not enough Yu Yu Hakusho goodness for you, there’s always the collectible trading-card game from Score Entertainment. Or the Yu Yu Hakusho action figures from Jakks Pacific. Heck, get ‘em both and have your action figures fight against each other with the cards

Yu Yu PS Tu

Atari’s recently released Yu Yu Hakusho for Game Boy Advance follows the anime’s Spirit Detective saga (the first 25 episodes). Picking up immediately after that story line (during the Dark Tournament saga) is the aptly named PS2 game Yu Yu Hakusho: Dark Tournament.

Unlike the GBA’s action-adventure game, Dark Tournament is a 3D fighting game that takes place in the arena of death run by Spirit Realm mobsters. Players will be able to choose from more than two dozen fighters to control in tag-team or one-on-one battles within eight destructible environments.

The fighters are broken up into teams. You start off with Team Urameshi, which is composed of all the main characters, each with his own signature moves and Spirit Powers. Among these Spirit Powers are Yusuke’s Spirit Gun, Kurama’s Rose Whip, and Kuwabara’s Power of Love. As you play, your character becomes stronger and learns new Spirit Powers.

If you prefer strategy to brute force, there’s a card game that can be played as you progress in the tournament or separately from the main game.

Yu Yu Hakusho: Dark Tournament is being developed by Digital Fiction, the maker of Black & Bruised (for PS2 and GameCube). Atari was kind enough to provide us with these early screens, and you can expect the game to look even better when it’s done.

Copyright © 2003 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Game Now.

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