Review by the_NES_kid
"Boxing on Ice--coming to a rink near you!!!!!!!"
I don't care what anybody says, this is a great hockey game; I've beat my friends to a pulp playing it, and you will too. (But more on that later)
STORY LINE: You are the captain of rag-tag junior hockey team with no talent. Everyday, your team is harassed and put down; hell, they haven't won a game in 10 years! You're the new captain in town, and nobody knows it, but you're gonna make something out of this team! The local leagues are warming up for the final tournament of the year, and no one expects you to even enter, let alone win, but you're not going to let that stop you, are you? You've started to turn the team around, and everyone is in for the surprise of their life! Besides, the coaches' cute daughter is counting on you...CAN YOU TAKE THE PRESSURE!
Okay, that's not actually the story line, but it sounds nice. Anyway, you play hockey, and beat the living bejesus out of your opponents...that's about it. (Of course, sports games can't really be expected to have great story lines.)
GRAPHICS: The graphics are pretty average considering the year it was released. The hockey teams all have different color uniforms, which are pretty nice for the most part. The hockey players look like hockey players, the ref like a ref, and there's even a sold-out arena, complete with peoples' heads and shoulders! Like I said before, the graphics are pretty decent, they don't hurt or improve the game by any great margin.
SOUND: There is music that plays during the beginning of each period, and at the beginning of the game. Music-wise, what's there is very good; the music sounds like organ music, just like a real hockey game! The sound effects during the game consist of checks, passes, shots, and blocks. The sounds for most of these are the same, but they don't really add or detract from the game itself. Unfortunately, the only commentary of this game consists of the commentator saying, ''With the pass'' and ''Fight!'' The former gets very annoying, and when he can't keep up with all my passing, sometimes my game freezes! Now, this doesn't happen very often at all, but when it does, and you're say, in the third period of the championship game, let's just say you're gonna break something!
I only wish that they would play music during the actual gameplay; it would really turn up the mood! (I just put on the Rocky Theme while I'm playing it; works just as well!)
GAMEPLAY: This is where Blades of Steel truly shines! To this day, I have not played a game which makes our (my friends and I) blood boil like this one. When we get into the zone, nothing can stop us! If my friend scores a goal, we fight...if I score a goal, we fight...if the players fight, we fight! 2 player action doesn't get as intense as this on the NES, except during late night rounds of Urban Champion. (I don't care what you think, that game rocks!) If you play this game with a friend, you are going to experience blood, sweat, and tears, but oh Lordy, it's more fun that a barrel and monkeys, AND slamming your head in a car door! This is the official game of MINOR CHARACtER(my band) and we play it with pride!
I'm sorry, I haven't reviewed the elements of the gameplay! First of all, passing and shooting are pretty smooth, fluid motions. The challenging part is learning to use the goalie. The system is set up like this: There is a red arrow that move back and forth across the crease; whenever you or your opponent shoots, this is where the puck is going to go. The tricky part, is learning to keep the goalie in front of the arrow at all times. However, this is not to say that there aren't going to be ''fluke'' goals from time to time; except, they don't actually occur as often as people claim. Once you can get that down, you can concentrate on the best part: FIGHTING!
Usually, when two players ram into each other several times, the normal screen will be replaced with screen showing the two players in front of the boards, ready to rumble! A whistle blows (I think) and both players automatically drop their gloves. What you do from there depends. Using the A button, you can deck your opponent in the face, and using the B button, you can hit 'em low, right in the old gut! The fight ends when one players' energy bar expires (You can take 5 hits). This is one of the most exciting parts of the game, and we love every moment of it! So remember kids, punch,or be punched!
Score: 12 (that's right 12 out of 10!)
REPLAY: Because there are two modes, exhibition mode and tournament mode, you will most likely want to feel the thrill of winning the league tournament on the fist difficulty level, Junior League. When you think you're tough enough, you can try and beat the tourney on College League, and if you think you are among the best, you can attempt to beat the league tournament on PROFESSIONAL. Also, I would use the 1-player exhibition mode as a way of playing a ''season.'' I would keep track of who I played, the score, my record, etc. I would set up a certain amount of games for each league and if I had a winning record, I would play the tournament on that difficulty setting. If I won, I would do it again, and if the result was the same (I won the tourney) I would move up a league. SO WHAT'S MY POINT?
My point is, that if you do something like this, you are likely to play this game many hours, which will turn into days, and those into weeks, and...well, eventually you will be the toughest kid on the block when it comes to Blades of Steel, and when you get right down to it, that's all that really matters in life!
I obviously believe that this is one of the best hockey games ever, and the best for NES! Sleep-overs are made with all-night rounds of Blades of Steel, Super Off-Road, and the first, and best, fighting game, URBAN CHAMPION! Due to the intense 2-player gameplay, and great fight scenes, this game is nothing short of genius! Among the many monotonous video games crafted for the NES, this one shines like Blades of Steel! (Lame joke intended)
BUY THIS GAME AT FUNCOLAND, EVEN IF YOU SHOULD HAVE TO SELL YOUR HOUSE!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/25/02, Updated 03/25/02
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