Blades of Steel
Review by Maxx
"One of the only hockey games I actually own"
First off let me say that this game has got a cool name. If I didn't know any better I'd think it was some sort of fighting game or maybe an RPG. Instead, it's a hockey game, and one that even Isomeone who isn't a sports fancan enjoy. There's a nice chunk of amusement, for me anyway, right at the start of the game where it offers up its attempt at actual speech. That alone used to make me smile. That might not be a very good thing, but thankfully the game itself is far from horrible.
Keep in mind that this a NES sports title. So never expect too much from these. The game itself offers about three different ways to take it to the ice. 1-Player Exhibition, 2-Player Exhibition, and 1-Player Tournament. The exhibitions modes are just that, exhibitions. The tournament is a three game, 1-player...well, tournament.
Picking your team is really not important at all. They are all the same except for their uniform colors. So you're really picking your favorite color combination. There are no stats or anything to differentiate the players. Because really, true men scoff at these needless features. The music in the game (all two of the songs that I can remember) didn't make me hate sound, which is always good.
The true point of the game is, of course, to slap the puck into the opposing team's goal. Now if they have the puck, feel free to knock them over/start a fight to take it away. The fighting is probably the best part of the game, which is why much of my time playing the game was spent trying to fight all five players of the other team. When a fight breaks out, the game switches to a side view of the two battling players. They throw off their protective gear to reveal that they seem to be wearing a second set underneath because the colors remain. You can block....but really, who blocks? I just pound the punch button until the other guy falls down.
If you want to know about the actual HOCKEY part of the game, well.....it's okay, too. For one thing, the game does not allow you to choose who you pass the puck to. You can't, say, pass it to a fellow teammate down the ice near the goal. You can try, but the puck will head straight to the nearest teammate anyway. Now this actually wasn't too big a problem for me since I never pass the puck and hoard all the points for myself. One thing about the passing, though. Every time you do it the announcer shouts, "With the pass!" You can imagine how this could get on one's nerves.
Shooting the puck into the net is I guess "helped" by a small arrow that shows up in front of the goal. When playing a 2-player game it's a lot of.....fun trying to block these shots while controlling the goalie. Oh and you HAVE to control the goalie since the game will not block shots for you. Since I happen to shoot blindly at the goal, paying attention to arrows was never a problem for me either.
Another high point is the half-time show, where you see an advertisement for the next "exciting" Konami game, just as you would see advertisements at a real hockey game. It might be a small problem that the high points in the game for me usually had very little to do with actual hockey...but if I actually enjoyed the sport I'm sure my opinion would be different.
If you don't like this game you have, what, ONE other choice? And that one doesn't even have a cool name. It's just called Ice Hockey. Ice Hockey. I hear it's a better game, though. And I actually have the game somewhere, too. Maybe I'll play that for a bit to see which I like better. But as far as NES sports games go, you could play a lot worse than this one.
Replay Value: 7/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/26/06
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