Review by SnakeEyes1215

Reviewed: 08/13/03

This is, actually, my favorite Hockey game.... ever.

Blades of Steel is a classic NES that I still play regularly. Some of you may be wondering ''Why? It's an old out-dated game.'' However old and out-dated it may be, it has the elements of a TRULY great game.

As you pop this into your NES, the title screen loads up an you have the option of playing 1 player or 2 player. 2 player is excellent if your brother or sister wants to play against you, or if you have a friend over who is a fellow old-school gamer. In one player, you decide whether you want to play an Exhibition match or play in a Tournament. Exhibition is just a regular Player vs. CPU match, where as the Tournament is compiled of all the teams going for the trophy. You will play a total of 3 games against randomly selected teams, the other games where it's CPU vs. CPU cannot be watched. Once you win all 3 games, you... uh... win! Well after you select Tournament or Exhibition, you decide the difficulty of the CPU. Junior, College, or Pro (the equivalent to easy, medium, and hard). Once you select the difficulty, you pick your team. There are 8 in all to choose from.

Listening to the backgrounds and sound-effects, you'll notice some great tunes and precise effects. The little song it makes when you make a goal is excellent, and the sound-effects... When you pass the puck, the announcer exclaims ''Makes the pass!'' (though his voice is not as clear as it should've been). When you push someone to the ground, the yelp ''AAWWW!'' in pain. When two players run into each other, their bodies make a distinctive collision sound. All in all, the sound is great.

Often, what people will say about old games is that, ''The graphics suck!'' Then I reply, ''Would you rather play Elmo's Adventure with great graphics, or Super Mario Bros?'' Seriously, graphics don't make a game, but still, the graphics are pretty good in this game. The people are nicely textured, the colors are vibrant, and when you score a goal, your players do an awesome victory dance!

Controls. A shoots, B passes, the D-pad moves. Simple and convenient. When the opponent is near the your goal, you can move the goaly manually or if you want, you can try and steal the puck with you other players. Using the goaly when ever possible is a better idea, though.

The gameplay is great. You'll never get bored of the Tournament mode, and 2 player is ALWAYS entertaining. At the beginning of each 20 min period (but the timer goes fast, so each period is about 5 min) the Referee comes down and drops the puck between the two teams for a face-off. Pressing 'A' at the precise moment will win you the face-off. Quite arguably the best part about the game is the fighting. When two opposing players continuously run into each other, a fight initiates. In this fight, pressing B or Down+B does a high or low punch, and pressing A or Down+A does a high or low block. First on to lose all of their health sits in the penalty box for about 45 sec of actual time. During half-time, you get to either watch a detailed animation, or play a mini-game as a space ship vs. a mothership. Winning does nothing, and losing doesn't affect anything, so it's just kind of there. It's fun though, and challenging.

After writing this review, I think I'm going to go play Blades of Steel again. It's a great game. All those hockey games now are so complex, and this is so much simple-er (yeah I said simple-er, so what?). Simple, in this case, is good. Trust me. You can buy this game for 10 dollars at most. You wont regret it. The replay value is endless.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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