Review by Kerownynn

"Three cheers for Squaresoft, yet again."

Leave it up to Square, one of the greatest gaming companies in the biz, to develop a masterpiece like this. The company known for great RPGs have created something truly different here - however it is sadly not for everyone.

What I often crave in my games is a slight element of realism. I want to be able to injure enemies in different body parts, just to satiate a sadistic urge. I want to be able to wound an enemy permanently and see them hobble after me, and stranger yet, I wouldn't mind visiting an historic period portrayed with some respect to fact, instead of watching 'ninjas' plod around in Klingon battle armour. In these respects, Bushido Blade wins; or loses, depending on your point of view. You see, gamers are used to having an energy bar displaying their health status; they are not used to having their character stabbed in the head and seeing him/her die instantly. Therefore fighting game afficiandos may be as confused as somebody ten years ago who just heard that Sonic the Hedgehog was making an appearance on a Nintendo console as he recently has. It is a shame that lovers of typical fighting games may disregard this classic, as attempting to land one fatal blow on your opponent is what makes this game so fun. Of course, if you like, you can take out the person's legs first, and watch them hobble along the ground after you. Or, you could sneak up behind them and cut them down that way, although the game labels this fighting as dishonourable - a feature that resembles the teachings of Samurai at the time the game was set. You may not only select characters but also weapons: an extra challenge and slight amusement results from allocating the smallest fighter the largest weapon, and vice versa.

The graphics, while not finely tuned by today's standards, are great as they manage to create a wonderful environment to fight in. You are free to run around the entire gameworld if you like; you are not confined to one screen. Fighting on a multitude of different terrains is possible.

The sound is fine also, with effects that are rather memorable, such as the final boss's taunts to you as you fight him.

Overall, Bushido Blade is an incredibly fun game that I found myself popping in the old PSX very often, just to hack somebody's skull open. I think however it should be approached with an open mind (excuse the pun).

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/15/02, Updated 06/15/02

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