Review by RazielHaMalach

Reviewed: 06/06/05

The Father of Modern Day Hockey Games...

This is by far one of the best games ever made. It's fun to play even nowadays when hockey games are getting better and better every year. This game still stands up to the test of time. This game paved the way for all future hockey games.

Presentation: 10/10

Nice menus. The game says "Blades Of Steel" when you start. Implementing speech even into the very menus. When you get to the menus they're good looking with a good layout. There's a Zamboni going by in the background giving it a good feel. At 2nd intermission there's a nice little break, very well made, pretty funny too nowadays. I get a good laugh out of it.

Graphics: 10/10

For the NES these are good graphics. The hockey players look like they're bodies are the correct size and nothing looks out of place. Not a lot of colours but they get the job done.

Sound: 9/10

Every time you pass the puck they say something. I don't think anyone is actually 100% on what they say but it's something like, "Takes the pass". Some people think it's annoying but I don't even notice it anymore, it just makes the game more intense. It's like when they came out with the game they wanted to add colour commentary. Another way this game layed the foundation down! There's ok sounds from the crowd and sounds from the puck hitting the boards and stuff like that.

Controls: 10/10

The characters are very responsive. They turn when you want them to, and they go where you want them to. I can't think of anything bad to say about the controls. Konami really did a good job.

Game play: 10/10

The game play is absolutely phenomenal. There's 5 players per team, the way hockey is actually played, there's penalties, power plays, short handed goals, fights, timely goaltending, highlight reel breakaway goals, this game's got it all. This game is the way NES games should be. There's 3 different difficulty settings. Unfortunately they're all pretty easy and the AI isn't exactly the smartest. But 2 player is where this game really shines. When you get a friend who is at about the same skill level as you, this game gets really intense. Everything about this game is amazing. There's no limit to how good you can become and you can never stop trying to pull off new moves. Like quick one timers or even a tip in. When you play you control one of the hockey players and the goalie at the same time, which requires a little getting used to but it's amazing because you come up with huge saves and rob the opposition of scoring chances. There's something like 10 teams to choose from, each team has their own strengths which actually makes every team different, even if you think they're all the same. The teams are all NHL cities but without the NHL team names because Konami didn't have the rights to use the names, but they've still got most of the colours so it's pretty obvious which team you're supposed to be. Some of the colours are vintage from the 1980's so they look different then the jerseys worn nowadays. There's also amazing fights in the game. The fighting system in this game is better than a lot of the fighting systems that came after it on the SNES and Genesis. It's even better than some of the fighting on the XBOX. The only fighting that rivals this games is on NHL 2004 and 2005.

Lasting Appeal: 10/10

I still play this game all the time. I actually never knew about it when I was younger, I got it on an emulator along with all the other hockey games for NES and I was absolutely blown away by how good this game was that I bought it off my friend immediately and I've been hooked since. Just like hockey games nowadays the replayability is unlimited. Exhibitions and Tournaments will keep you coming back to hone your skills. And 2 player is as good as it gets.

Overall: 10/10 (Not an average)

Overall this game is the absolute pinnacle of hockey on the NES. Konami struck gold with this one and it is by far one of their best games for the NES. Probably one of their best games of all time. This game was so unlike all the other horrible hockey games for the NES that it totally changed the way hockey games were made. All in all this game is a winner.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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