Legend of Success Joe is basically the retarted manga version of Rocky. Actually, the manga that it is based on did really well and is apparently some cultural phenomenon there, so maybe that’s good, I dunno. I can’t read Japanese. I can tell you that the game based on it is the height of incompetence and almost completely without worth.
The game chronicles the life of this schmoe Joe as he begins brawling his way through reform school and ends up a legendary boxing champ. The game’s levels tend to alternate between Joe in street clothes fighting groups of attackers, and Joe in the ring taking on a formal boxing opponent, but the gameplay is fundamentally the same for both modes (when the groups attack, one guy comes to the head and faces off against you while the rest stand behind him politely. Japan, such an erudite society.)
The game’s cheesy technique for generating difficulty is that opposing fighters have longer range than you, and can rush in quickly from beyond your range to strike while you can’t do the same to them. So the whole thing is a defensive guessing game on your part, basically.
Add to that the fact that the graphics are awful and the animation is so limited it looks like a Sega Genesis game, and you have possibly the worst overall game in the Neo-Geo lineup. Clunky, ugly and tedious.