Review by KasketDarkfyre
Big on the visuals in terms of the 'time' that the game is supposed to be set in, it does a fairly good job of recreating the old-style characters that the game is all about...Samurais.
Giving you a selection of weapons, and old-world style characters, Bushido Blade is more about strategy than it is about what you see on the screen. Don't get me wrong, for a game of this type, it's right on the money, but it could have used some improvements in alot of area's. The backgrounds, or battlegrounds rather, that you fight on, are well detailed, giving you rain, fog, darkness...realism of what you would see if you were in the shoes of the character that you select.
However, when you break it down to the basics, the game has problems, such as image-breakup and missing frames of animation on screen. If you pass beside something that would block out your view, then the section that is blocking you, magically disappears, and you have something of pop-up at various points. This happens quite often, and it does interfer if you're trying to concentrate.
Samurai Shodown rip off. You have violin strings, and moody music that is supposed to get you in the mood to duel with your opponent, well..that doesn't happen here. It's much easier to concentrate to the sound of White Zombie that to try and fight to this.
There is nothing in terms of sound effects either...footsteps in puddles, and the swish of the blade, a scream or to, and maybe a dying grunt. Well, this doesn't cut it for a fighting game, and you'll have the sound off anyway if you can't get into the music, so it really doesn't matter either way.
Interesting way of making the control, you have a vertical and horizontal slash, a guard, and a jump. Using this is next to impossible until you have a better understanding of how the control is supposed to work. Even when you do get it down, you may have a hard time pulling off some of the combinations to hit your opponent with.
There are no special moves...just sword striking combo's, and deflecting away an enemies attack. This is supposed to be in the true form of swordplay, so mastering the control will take some time, and some effort. But once you have it, you should have no problem in making it through the battles that you encounter.
It's a game about swordplay and realism. There are no powerbars, there are no time limits. It's a one on one battle against other swordsmen in a fight to the finish. This means that if you're hit the right way, or you hit an opponent the right way, the match is over.
One good strike can put you down. While this may seem cheap, the programmers of Bushido Blade wished to make it worth the money, in giving you the sense of actually being in a swordfight with someone else. Think of the days of being smaller, and picking up a stick in the backyard, and fighting with a friend that way...and this is what you get.
The actual movements of the characters follow that of a real swordsmen, in terms of running, holding the blade, using it to strike, and using it to deflect the attacks of the aggressor. It also gives way to the realism that if you are hit in a specific body area, it takes damage...an example of this is if you are struck in the arm, your arm will go limp, and you won't be able to use it again for the remainder of the fight.
The gameplay aside, Bushido Blade doesn't have much to offer in terms of visual, sound and control. While it is a unique type of fighting game, and it does have some secrets to unlock, you'll have a hard time passing up Tekken 3 or Soul Caliber for the Dreamcast to play this title.
It does give you the sense of relism, and the feeling of the days where you stick fought with a friend..but other than that, it won't give you much in terms of what most fighting game players look for. The game can be slow, painfully slow, and you need a good deal of strategy to pull off a victory.
Sword fanatics will find much joy in this, and those of you that like the gameplay of strategy and cunning, this game is for you, weither it be a weekend rental, or a purchase from the gaming store. However, for those of you that are more into the techincal combination side and special moves, this game wouldn't be much fun. Either way, it's worth a weekend end rental and review.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 04/03/00, Updated 04/03/00
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