Review by aicalo7

"Unique take at the fighting genre."

Bushido Blade is a game that utilizes Bushido--the code of the samurai--and individualized sword styles and techniques in order to bring a new look and feel to the traditional fighting game.

Each of the six characters begin with different speed and power attributes, similar to a role playing game. You then get a choice of weapon, including a fencing rapier, katana, and sledgehammer. During the fight itself, the attacks and combos depend on your character's movement and stance. The wide array of attack and defense options make Bushido Blade stand out from other fighting games. However, this need of strategy may turn the younger or button-smashing gamer away.

Variety not only applies to strategy, but to many other facets of the game. Some real-life consequences--a severed leg, for example--apply and cause the injured character to act differently. One injured leg puts the character at a half-kneel position, while a blow to both legs brings him/her to a crawl. One-hit deathblows to vital parts (head, torso) may also be performed.

The fighting environments available add an additional edge to gameplay. Multiple levels and obstacles can either give your character an advantage or problem while fighting. A good example is the bamboo field, where a quicker fighter can maneuver his or her way through but a slower but more powerful one would opt to stay in the open (or just chop the bamboo down.)

While fighting you must quickly find the best method of attack or defense and immediately act accordingly. Unfortunately, a slow response time and the characters' sluggish movements (especially when running) makes this difficult. The ability to climb back to higher levels is a plus, but sometimes the game does not allow your character to climb at a certain point for no apparent reason.

Subweapons--smaller, usually hidden weapons such as daggers and shurikens--can also be thrown, adding more to the character's arsenal. They can also be picked up from other characters. Sometimes, however, the lack of perception and awkward movements make this next to impossible.

Bushido Blade definitely gets its merit from the variety of modes given to the gamer, from Slash Mode, a survival mode seen in many fighting games, to POV mode, in which you play from the fighter's point of view. These offer a good choice other than the default story/arcade scheme.

Bushido Blade is an outstanding attempt to bring a new subgenre to fighting games. With its negative points worked out, it could be a great advancement in video games.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/05/02, Updated 08/05/02

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