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.
- MANUFACTURER - SCEA
- THEME - Fighting
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
Download Bushido Blade
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.