Review by YSF

"Slice, Dice, and Die really Quick!!!"

Bushido Blade- a Japanese tradition fighting, or samurai and the second fighting game from Square changes the way that fighting game should be played. It does away with life gauges, time limits and even 10-hit combos. It allows players the freedom to not only roam its sprawling arenas, but to interact with them as well. And, uniquely, it's the first fighting game in which combat can begin and end in just a few hits.

Realistic combat is what this weapons-based fighter is all about, owing to Bushido's unique body-damage system. Damage is recorded on your fighter's body such as torso, head, arms, legs etc instead of on the traditional life meter. Confused, huh?

Stab an arm and he will hang limply to the opponent's side, thus degrading his performance. Slash an enemy's leg, for example and he will crumble to his knees, and will then unable to stand up for the rest of the fight. And, should your weapon pierce a vital organ, such as the brain or heart, then your opponent will tumble lifelessly to the ground and it's game over. Fights can therefore end within seconds. Innovative, right?

But Bushido Blade's innovations doesn't end here. Each battle arena is enormously huge, and by holding the L1 button and using the D-pad, players can run about in complete 3-D freedom. There are also obstacles like bamboo trees, tombstones etc which players can use them as shields from enemy attacks by ducking behind them. [But, do keep in mind that, can bamboo trees shield you from an opponent who comes charging at you and slashing everything that obstruct his path?]

There are six fighters to choose in the beginning and although all seem to have similar fundamental moves, it's the game's selection of eight different weapons that makes a great difference and gives these warriors their specialised attacks.

Each warrior has three offensive stances, naming low, medium and high and each stance has its own attacks. The correct combination will create a well lethal mix of strength and speed. There are also secondary weapons like shurikens and daggers. Fighters do have combo attacks but few do more than two or three hits.

Besides its usual two-player duel mode, there are also a survival mode that puts you fighting against 100 ninjas of increasing difficulty and a story mode which uses in-game cinemas to tell of your character's quest to leave Kage and unlike other story mode found in most fighting games, existing damages in the form of slower responses and blood-soaked bandages are carried over to the next battles during the story.

If these aren't enough for you, there's even an option which allows you to link two PlayStations together so that players can fight with each other in a first person perspective, sort of like Duke Nukem 3-D type. And, should you think that you can't stand anymore, you can tap the select button to surrender, thus ending the fight.

Bushido Blade is an innovative game that goes beyond the confining boundaries of a normal fighting game; its one-hit kill is truly amazing, though it may seem a little too sophisticated for many gamers. Gamers who craved on traditional arcade fighters may find it hard to accept it.

Bushido Blade is asolutely an in-depth game, boost with countless strategies. The only downside is that there are only 6 fighters and this may seem way too little for all diehard fighting veterans. In a way, i do admire Bushido Blade's innovation but i have to admit that i prefer the traditional combos system even much more.

Story : 7.0/10.0
Graphics : 9.5/10.0
Concept : 9.5/10.0
Control : 9.0/10.0
Musics : 8.5/10.0
Sound : 7.5/10.0
Gameplay : 8.5/10.0
Replay : 7.5/10.0
Challenge : 7.0/10.0
Overall : 8.0/10.0

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/07/00, Updated 12/16/02

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