Bushido Blade

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a game by Sony Imagesoft
Genre: Fighting Games
Platform: Playstation
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews, 3 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.5/10 - 4 votes
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Bushido Blade
Bushido Blade
Bushido Blade

Let’s face it: unless we’re playing a boxing or MMA game, realism isn’t usually the first thing we think of when we play a fighting game. In a genre dominated by Hadoukens and Kamehamehas, Bushido Blade offers players a brutally realistic experience that’s hard to find elsewhere.

If you’re unsatisfied with life gauges, arenas, or time limits, then Bushido Blade might be the game you were waiting for. That said, are the complex mechanics a suitable replacement for the more traditional fighting game mechanics? Let’s find out.

One shot, one kill

Unlike other weapon fighting games, like Namco’s popular Soul Calibur, Bushido Blade is a game where timing and strategy are of utmost importance. Whereas in games like Soul Calibur, players have the usual life gauges, there’s no such thing in Bushido Blade; here, players realistically die after a single, well-placed blow.

That’s not to say that every hit is lethal: just as in real life, some blows simply hurt your character’s limbs, making you slow your pace or wield your weapon with less efficiency. This realistic approach to combat means that players can’t simply mash buttons to defeat their adversaries, having instead to focus and carefully plan when to strike and when to defend.

Tools of the trade

There’s a good variety of weapons to choose from in Bushido Blade. Don’t let the game’s name fool you, there are some western weapons to choose from as well. Along with the katana, nodachi, and the naginata, players can also pick long swords, sabers, broadswords, rapiers, and sledgehammers. Each character has a preferred weapon type, so choose your weapon according to your character’s strengths. Some weapons are heavier but pack bigger punches, but keep in mind that being slow in Bushido Blade could mean becoming an easy target for more nimble fighters.

Speaking of characters, this might be one of the only disappointing aspects of the game. With a small roster of only six characters, there’s little incentive to replay the game to learn new characters, especially when you become accustomed to using one of them. Players will also have to adhere to the Bushido Code. This is the set of rules that dictates how a warrior should behave. Underhanded tactics like throwing sand in your opponent’s eyes or attacking while your adversary bows could end the fight prematurely.

Exploring the arena

Fights in Bushido Blade mostly take place around an abandoned castle. Unlike other fighting games, this castle is mostly free for the players to explore during fights. Since there’s no time limit, players can jump from one section of the castle to another, as they find an arena where they think they’ll have the high ground.

Don’t let the concept of a single castle being the main arena fool you: there’s still an adequate level variety in Bushido Blade. From rivers to beaches, and beautiful bamboo forests, there’s much to see in this original fighter. That said, the visuals aren’t up to par with games like Soul Blade, but considering the nature of the gameplay, it’s understandable that the developers went for a simplified polygonal look.


In a sea of unimaginative fighting games, Bushido Blade is a game that dared to be different. With its tight controls, finely-tuned physics, and great gameplay, this is a fighting game that will change the way you see fighting games for good. It might not be as attractive for players looking for a more traditional experience, but if you’re looking for something different to try, definitely consider giving Bushido Blade a chance.


  • Solid and responsive controls
  • Great implementation of physics in combat
  • Rich environments invite players to explore


  • Some problems with smaller hitboxes
  • Only six characters to choose from
  • Weak single-player plot

Download Bushido Blade


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Bushido Blade-the second fighter from Square-decapitates most of the time-worn conventions of the fighting-game genre. It does away with life gauges, time limits and 10-hit combos. It gives players the freedom to not only roam its sprawling arenas, but to interact with them, as well. And. most refreshing of all. it's the first fighting game in which combat can begin and end in two hits--you hitting your opponent and his mortally wounded body hitting I the ground.

Realistic combat is what this weapons-based brawler is all about, thanks to Bushido's unique body-damage system. Damage is recorded on your fighter's arms and legs, torso and head, instead of on the traditional life meter. Slash an enemy's leg. for instance, and he'll crumble to his knees, unable to stand for the rest of the fight. Stab an arm and it'll hang limply to the opponent's side, degrading his performance big time. And if your weapon should pierce a vital organ, such as the heart or brain, then your opponent tumbles lifelessly to the ground and its game over. man. Fights can therefore end seconds after they begin. Not exactly Soul Blade, is it?

But Bushido Blade's innovations don't end at its damage system. Each arena is enormous, and by holding the Li button and using the D-pad, players can run about in complete. 3-D freedom. (There's even an option to link two PlayStations so that players can pursue each other in a first-person perspective, sorta like a Duke Nukem 3D with swords.) Each of the arenas, all set in and around a castle in feudal Japan, have multiple levels. They also have obstacles, such as trees and tombstones, that players can duck behind and use as impromptu shields from enemy attacks. (Keep in mind, though, that the thin bamboo trees won't shield you from an opponent's slashing charge. Can you say. "Timber!")

Bushido Blade gives players six fighters to choose from, all with the same basic moves. It's the game's selection of eight weapons that gives these warriors their more specialized attacks (see sidebar). Each warrior has three offensive stances-high. medium and low-and each stance has its own attacks. These are usually of the press-a-direction-then-tap-a-button variety (although you have to muck about with the R buttons to jump or launch secondary weapons such as shurikens and daggers). The fighters do have combo attacks, but few do more than two or three hits.

Besides its two-player Duel Mode and a survival game that pits you against 100 ninjas of increasing skill. Bushido offers a Story Mode, which uses in-game cinemas to tell of your character's quest to leave Kage, a mysterious assassins' guild. Unlike in other modes, your damage-in the form of slower responses and blood-soaked bandages-carries over to future battles during the story.

The bloody bandages are the only signs of carnage you'll find in Bushido Blade. You can run people through and hack limbs all day. but you'll never see drop one of the red stuff. But then, this game isn't about MK-style mayhem. It's about the subtleties of weapons combat, the dance of parry-thrust, parry-thrust. Of course, you don't need fatalities when one hit can be fatal.

  • THEME - Fighting
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

Squaresoft is branching out from RPGs and into the fighting-game arena once again with Bushido Blade. While the game presents a strange and unique way to fight, the lack of heavy-hitting action ultimately kills its appeal.

You play as one of six characters who are each on a personal quest--some quests are vendettas, while other quests are minimysteries. During these challenges, the fighters (who can choose from 10 swords to do battle with) will dazzle you with a vast array of moves, including chops to the legs that can hobble an opponent or blows to the arm that can render the limb useless. There's also a death-dealing blow unique to each character.

But even with these realistic injuries, the game suffers from spiritual slowdown--there's just too little to do and not enough tough, gritty fighting action. Instead, it features a more Eastern approach to the fighting--you must learn restraint and discipline in order to win. This is a concept that will not go over well with the Tekken and Street Fighter generation who just want a butt-kickin' good time.

Visually, Bushido Blade doesn't do much. Small graphics and smooth but dull fighting effects hamper the game. Soni-cally, the cherry-blossom dojo flute music is a rip-off from Samurai Shodown.

If you're into a thoughtful, slower-paced fighting game, then Bushido Blade is for you.

But if you prefer a few combos with your fisticuffs, you'll probably find this fighting game a barrel full of blah.


  • Climb the walls to get an advantageous leap in the Cherry Blossom stage.
  • Running from an opponent is not shameful, especially if you can sneak up behind him and cut his throat.
  • Don't be footed by hobbled opponents--they can strike just as easily from a crouch. Take care of these crouched opponents with an overhead slash.
  • Avoid using the sledgehammer--it's a poor weapon that can't slice through your opponent like the Kitana sword.

Snapshots and Media

Playstation Screenshots