Bushido Blade is a fighting game for Playstation One. As well as head-to-head combat, it has a strong story mode with multiple paths and endings for each character.
Bushido Blade tells the story of a secret society of assassins, one of whose members discovers the leader of the society is corrupt and turns renegade to stop him. There are multiple play modes on offer, including story, versus and challenge, which give it high replayability. There are also secret characters and alternate endings to unlock. Although finishing a character's story mode to get a normal ending is easy, getting the secret endings requires a great deal of skill, which gives the game its high learning curve.
The values of bushido are a vital part of the story, and actually integrated into the gameplay. To obtain the hidden endings you have to live up to these standards, for example you may not hit an opponent in the back, which is difficult when they are trying to kill you.
The game design is very original. There is no screen furniture, and instead of having a hit bar, characters take damage realistically from sword blows: a hamstrung character will kneel or crawl, one with a damaged arm will have moves restricted etc. It is very easy to kill opponents with a lucky blow, even when you do not wish to, causing problems if you are trying to be an honourable fighter. Similarly, a character can surrender when they get too injured, and may be subject to a mercy-kill from the victor. The range of attacks is incredible, and characters have a variety of stances they can use each of which has its own attacks and defences.
Although the fighting controls are well done, changing stances takes a while to get used to and longer to learn which stances are necessary for which attacks. Jumping and climbing is more difficult, especially as the game has exceptionally sensitive collision detection which means you spend a lot of time falling over instead of climbing. If you hit a wall your weapon bounces off with a clang, but your weapon is never damaged or lost as a result.
Graphically the game is beautiful, even though graphics coding has progressed to the point where it cannot be said to be top-class. It takes place on a Japanese castle, the society's fortress, in winter. The snow animation is well done, and characters leave footprints which are slowly filled in. The scenery has a degree of interaction e.g. fighting in the bamboo forest cuts the bamboo as you fight. The voice acting is excellent at conveying a character's mood and personality, though it is subtitled as little of it is in English.
The game has one major drawback. Its originally stunning graphics may now appear slightly dated, but they still take a long time to load. Instead of cutting to loading screens, you can hit the edge of the loaded area when running, and the game will freeze to load the next section while the disc whirrs frantically.
Even when played on a PS2 when playing this game in story mode, the game will freeze every so often at the edge of the screen to let the next section load, or you may end up entering a grey area with no details while the game slowly fills them in around you. Also, you are effectively bound to your enemy and will hit an invisible wall if you run too far from them. This game could probably have done with smaller arenas or some additional work on simulatenous loading.
It is not yet available on the PSN for US and Europe, although Japan has got it, so I don't know whether the download version has resolved the loading time issue.
Despite the loading time, this game deserves a look for the sheer range of moves and attention to detail that has been put into it. When it came out it was one of the most graphically impressive games for the PS1, and still impresses with its moves, story and game engine.
(This is an updated version of my CIAO review)
Bushido Blade is a very fun game to play, maybe not as much by yourself but definately with your friends. Its so much fun running around the levels chasing each other ready to battle.
You can play the single player game that allows you to choose a character. Each character has different abilities. You will then face a number of fighters who you must beat to move onto the next level.
Each fighter has its own level and each level is quite large so you are not limited like other fighting games to a small arena. You can run around the level hiding, waiting, attacking etc.
In two player mode you get to choose from the levels available and both of you fight each other. You can each choose your own character and run around the level. You can chop down trees and interactive with some of your surroundings.
The actual control of the characters is fairly easy and with a bit of practice you will be unleashing some good moves.
Addictive and fun to play, its worth a shot.
In days gone by designers of fighting games might just happen to give all of the playable characters a weapon or two to wield. While this was all well and good and delighted many people around the world, there was just something that didn't quite seem right. Your character of choice might make this dazzling attack resulting in a very painful looking blow to the head of the recipient character, the thing that is most disappointing is that it would only lower a life bar an average amount. Squaresoft obviously saw this and thought "Hang on! That person should be dead! What's going on there!?!" thankfully they rectified this problem beautifully by releasing the ultra-realistic Bushido Blade onto the market. Finally everyone got the chance to see what really happens when big and mean people play with swords. The results were nothing short of stunning. LIFESPAN The lifespan of Bushido Blade would be midrange, at times it just doesn't seem like there's enough modes in the game to keep you satisfied and coming back for more! Thankfully, a few of those modes listed above have a great amount of drawing power and should keep you entertained for lengthy periods of time. Evevntually, you will tire of this game, returning occasionally for the multiplayer mode, but not much more than that. Realism isn't always enough to keep someone interested in a game, there has to be a fair amount of depth, otherwise the game will work its way further and further back in your collection (I have a rather large CD case, so I can't speak from experience, but I imagine it could happen). FUN FACTOR The fun factor of this game is actually rather low, it focuses more on lifelike action rather than amusement. Of course the thought of a big man with a sword and the ability to nullify limbs and hack at heads should keep you enthralled for a while, but the novelty does wear off and the game may become irritating. Deficiencies and all sorts of pro
blems in some of the other categories harm the fun factor significantly, it could have been higher, but it turns out that it's not. It's getting a mediocre score, because it can be annoying and repetitive and STUFF! CHALLENGE The challenge is not too great at all, it shouldn't be long at all before you're fighting competitively against the better computer players and even besting them consistently. You'll probably get sick of beating up on the poor old computer players and try challenging yourself with trivial things such as the Slash or POV modes. The best you can hope for is to bump into someone equally interested in the game, and just fight against them all the time. That is probably just wishful thinking though, so you'll have to be content with what you've got (and is isn't too much at all actually). OVERALL Bushido Blade is a tough game to sum up, as it is one of the kings of all mixed bags. The realism of the thing is great, but it's lacking the proper execution in some areas whilst having excellent execution in others! The safest thing to say is that this is a different game from most of the others you'll play or have played, it might be worth trying to see if it suits your tastes and if it does by all means go out and acquire a copy. It can be worth it, but it might not always give you the value for money which people strive for. Bushido Blade is simply a game which excels in some areas and fails in others, but for better or for worse, Bushido Blade should change the way you look at beat 'em ups and their assosciated genres of games! GOOD POINTS - So lifelike, so very VERY lifelike! - The gameplay is quite good, revolutionary even! - You get to play with big swords, and even a sledgehammer! NOT SO GOOD POINTS - The longevity of the game is not as good as you might care for - The challenge is a bit silly, silly is what the challenge is a bit - Graphics
you can yawn at a mile away The gameplay of Bushido Blade is intruiging, interesting, intensive and a lot of other adjectives which just happen to have the prefix of "in". It just happens to be the most realistic fighting game on the Playstation and perhaps on any other console as well. Life-bars do not come into figuration here, your player simply has the ability to take a little damage, but even a singular decent blow can wipe out your legs completely. Take damage to an arm, and you'll lose control of it and your attacks will slow down a fair bit. Naturally an unblocked attack to the head or torso of your fighter will result in the loss of life of your character, this means a fight can be over in less than ten seconds, but a short fight is always a prefferable option if the only other option is the ditching of reality. You've only got a small amount of characters to choose from, and approximately six weapons (katana, long sword, short sword, sledgehammer, rapier and more!) will also be given to you to choose from. Each combination of character/weapon will give you a chance to try different tactics, as each combination will have different statistics in the way of power/strength. The correct choice of weapon for your character is an important step to winning a fight, some combinations don't work at all whilst others just seem unstoppable. All of the weapons have their own little lists of moves which can be pulled off, but they will usually differ depending on who was holding the sword, developing your skills can often mean sticking with one combination and just mastering it and nothing else. There's a decent amount of modes in Bushido Blade, although one or two extra could have been nicer. You've got your story mode, in which you must try to unravel the injustice which has been going on inside your very own dojo (it has something to do with a meanie of a sword, details are a little blurry as the game becomes
very Japanese during the end). In the story mode you have to fight honourably, no hitting a man when he's down or any other dirty play, doing so will send you flying straight back to the main menu and cursing at your own shrewd tactics. There's also something called the Slash mode, you are armed with a katana and have to bring down 100 opponents (doing so without ever dying will earn you rewards beyond your wildest imagination). It's a nice little change of pace if you just feel like hacking and slashing away at some stuff. Naturally, there's a two player mode, just pick a character, a sword and a friend and you're ready to go! A person who has no idea what they're doing can often pull an upset over an experienced player simply by whacking the same button and eventually fluking a head-shot, so there can be quite a bit of fierce competition! The last mode of interest is a Point Of View mode (POV), it's like a normal one-on-one fight except it's viewed from the eyes of your character, an interesting little concept, but it's extremely hard to fight well from that perspective. The controls of the game are pretty simple, three buttons are used to attack the body at three different heights (high, middle and low you silly boy!) and the fourth button is used to deflect all of the attacks. The simple scheme means anyone can pick up a controller and be a little bit competitive, of course they won't know all of the advanced commands or nuances of the game, which require more difficult combinations of all the buttons on the controller. Your character can be a versatile little thing, all you have to do is know the long list of commands and you can get yourself out of all sorts of strife! This is why those Bushido Blade masters out there can beatg the pants off everyone else, it's more of a defensive game than an attacking one! Wait until your opponent makes a foolish move to leave himself open, and strike accordingly!
Overall, the gameplay is very intensive and you have to use a lot of concentration and all of those other things that todays youth seem to be lacking. There's a fair amount of depth here, and a small chance that you might just get hooked on the game! Sometimes you can get slaughtered coun tless times and be perturbed with the game, but the key to Bushido Blade is PERSISTENCE! Keep at the game, try to ignore some of the small problems with the gameplay, and just generally have a good time while you're at it! It appears that there wasn't an overly large focus on the graphics of Bushido Blade when the game was being made, but despite this the visuals still manage to look pretty good. There's a lot of different scenarios you'll get to play in and around during the game, but most of them are rather lifeless and boring. There's an awful lot of snow covered ground out there, and you'll get well acquainted to some of the best snow covered ground out there! There are other arenas out there, such as a quaint little beach and some nice wooden cabins, but why bother with them when you can fight on some snow covered ground! Some scenes are even more interesting by the little method of interaction with the obstacles in the backgrounds. One level with this trick is the "Bamboo forest", if your sword should hit a stick of this alleged bamboo, it will come crashing to the ground! The backgrounds suffer from a fair bit of the yawn syndrome, but they're not bad. The characters are a bit of an improvement, adding a dash of colour to the recipe. They're reasonably well detailed, you can make out things such as faces, digits (that means fingers!) and all sorts od odd extremeties that the human body seems to have in adundance. They're a bit of an odd bunch, appearing in all shapes and sizes, with some of the most intriguing attire I've seen for a long time. The characters are of a good size, are well propor
tioned, and if they weren't so ugly I certainly wouldn't be ashamed to bring them home to meet my parents! The movements that they do can look a little stilted at times but are usually realistic and smooth enough, the fighters look reasonably graceful weilding their swords, the overall quality of the animations being about average. The characters are a bit of a mixed lot in terms of quality, but they're not so incredibly bad they'll make you want to cry in despair. Once you finish a certain mode in the game, you might just be lucky enough to view an FMV! These videos don't improve too much in quality over the in-game graphics, and of course this is a little bit disappointing. Often you'll just be too busy trying to work out what the heck is going on in them to notice the quality, so it might not affect you so much! On the techincal side of things, there's not much to be impressed about. There's a little clipping, and everything else is just average, it's not too disgraceful but it's not the most pleasing result either. Overall, it might sound like I'm being a little harsh on the graphics, that of course is a matter which can be taken up with your local member of parliament! The graphics aren't really as bad as the above words might lead you to believe, but they still could have used quite a few improvements all over the place. It's not a game that will ever be really offensive to your eyes, but that's probably only because it's such a boring visual look, not bad but we've all seen better. The sound always seems to be there, hanging around far away in the background, not interrupting anyone too much and never appearing offensive (much like Posh Spice). It is used masterfully to create tension, which is something that a game of this kind sorely needs, the audio seems to have taken a liking to the motto "quality over quantity" and filling the game (but only filling it a
little bit) with excellent clips. The sound is one of the tools which can easily make you forget the lacklustre graphics and concentrate a lot more on the actual playing of the game! There is very little background music in the game, what they dop have just seems to fade in and out whenever it feels, adding tension and excitement to the listeners emotional scheme. It's very serious music, it could almost be described as dark and gloomy, and it can add a new dimension to the fight (if you believe it to be possible). If you're deeply absorbed by a fight you might just not even notice the music even appeared, but even if this occurs it may still have an impact of some sort on you. The music is nice, but it would be nicer if we could hear a little bit more of it, it would have only had to be a really little bit more! Sound effects are a little bit more common in Bushido Blade, jumping in whenever something even semi-interesting happens in the game. They've got all sorts of realistic sound effects for whenever your sword hits a structure of any size and any material, those CLANKS, THUDS and SWISHS (that's the sound it makes if you're a silly little boy and miss completely) are all put to great effect in the game, and there's a large collection of each of them! No sound ever seems to appear out of place or out of context, they're spot on in most imaginable ways, in fact there's not even any real complaints one can make about them. A nice job indeed has been done here! Overall, the sound is an instrumental tool in creating tension and suspense, it also happens to sound pretty good. Perhaps a little bit more of those ambient background tunes could have been implanted into the game, but what they DO have there is a very professional and sophisticated job. It raises the standards of the design elements of Bushido Blade nicely, complmenting the graphics with true aplomb.
GAMEPLAY: Bushido Blade is the most innovative fighter to come out in a long time. There is no game on the market that can compare to the brilliant innovation found in this game. But, its numerous flaws severally limit Bushido Blade’s gameplay. There are five features that make the gameplay so excellent. The 3D environment is interactive; meaning you have the ability to chop down trees, climb ledges, and other interesting things. You can run anywhere you want with virtually no restrictions. There are no time limits or life meters. Instead, Bushido Blade has one hit kills. Depending on where you hit your opponent, you may harm him/her, or kill him/her. For example, if a fighter hits their opponent in a limb, the opponent will become injured. S/he will lose use of his/her legs, making it very difficult to move around. In addition, it gives the opponent a great advantage. A feature that adds variety is the eight different weapons. Combined with three different stances, these two items make for a great deal of different moves. The last feature, the most innovative of all, is the addition of a strategic feel to the game. Bushido Blade is not a button masher, which sets it apart from virtually every other fighter on the market. After a swing of your sword, it takes your fighter a second or two to recover. This addition to Bushido Blade sets it apart from every other fighting game. You must plan out your strategy, keeping in mind that every swing counts. You have to think about taking advantage of your opponent’s instability after each swing. Although this game has innovative gameplay, it is hindered by many failings. The control is choppy and imprecise. Sometimes, you will attempt to attack your adversary, and will miss due to the controls. Often times, they simply do not respond in a logical way. The computer AI is terrible. The computer always seems to react to you in the same way, making it easy to analyze
its actions and win most of your fights. Something that I found to be extraordinarily annoying is that if you want to change characters after a fight, you have to manually reset and sit through the initial loading time again. When you are first playing the game and you want to experiment with each fighter, this unnecessary loading time adds up quickly, and can be enough to sour you on the entire game. CHALLENGE: Bushido Blade does not deliver much challenge. It only takes a few days to master the game, which can be done within a rent. There is a huge number of different ways to defeat your opponent, which does add variety, but also takes away from the difficulty. FUN AND REPLAY VALUE: Bushido Blade is fun for a little while. The slash mode, where you face off against 100 ninjas to earn an extra character, is entertaining. The story mode, and other fights are fun for the first and second times through, but after that, I doubt that they will be able to hold your interest. Two-player mode is the only portion of Bushido Blade that is fun and has replay value. Bushido Blade also has little to offer in the way of replay value. This game is exciting and interesting at first, but gets boring quickly. There are only six characters and one hidden one, further detracting from Bushido Blade’s replay value. The main hindrance of replay value is the fact that there is little to do once you beat the game, which, as I mentioned earlier, is not very difficult. The two-player mode effectively adds replay value, although it does not make up for Bushido Blade’s lack of replay value in every other aspect. The computer AI can get boring in a flash, but in two-player mode, the idiot AI is not a factor. Fights are much more interesting because a human foe will not always act in the same way, unlike the computer. WORTH BUYING: MAYBE I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone who doesn’
t like fighters. For those who do, I’m not sure. If you are finding most of the genre to be monotonous, and you are looking for something new and exciting, this is your game. Use caution, however, because it does not have high replay value. If you like typical fighters, you may want to give this one a try, but you are probably better off staying away from it. To anyone who does like fighters, this is such a unique game that you must play it. I would suggest renting it, and then, if it holds your interest, buy it. OVERALL: Bushido Blade is nothing more than an average game. It has some really innovative ideas in it, but they were not implemented well. Despite its innovation, Bushido Blade has so many imperfections that it will quickly be forgotten when a newer and trendier game is released.
It took me a while to get used to the controls for Bushido Blade. Just coming off playing Soul Blade I charged headlong into battle only to be cut down dead in seconds. There are no power bars and one good hit with a lethal weapon can finish a fight in a split second. There are also a few dirty tactics to be used (such as throwing dirt/snow/water into your opponents face, and attacking them while they are down), but using these will prevent progressing further into the game as they break the code of Bushido. Well bugger that in my opinion. Using dirty tactics are as fun as hell as to penalise the player for using them detracts from the gameplay and the enjoyment. This does not spoil the game entirely though, and there are a few options, story, 2 player, 2 player link in first person mode, practice, etc. There is also a slash mode where you take on 100 ninjas and geishas one after the other, with a bonus character to be won if you pull it off. I personally like Tekken 2 and Soul Blade more than this title, because of their more arcadey feel. This does not prevent Bushido Blade from being a ground breaking game bringing a new style of fighting to gamers. Some will enjoy it more than the usual beat em up fare, but others will not like the new way of weapon fighting. I would have liked it if the programmers had made it so you could wander about the castle and meet enemies along the way, rather than just setting up each fight on the spot one by one as each is defeated. However, I still recommend this title highly as it is the only one of it's kind and Squaresoft have put a great deal of work into it to make it as entertaining as possible, while adding a certain amount of gritty realism into the formula.
In the days when you were waiting for Tekken 3 to come out, this was your filler in game. Bushido Blade allows you to wield your samurai sword in lots of different ways, (High, Level, Low) and you can pull off combos, although they are not listed in the manual all that clearly. The game itself is a bit flawed by its short lifespan, but the graphics and special effects used for some of the kills, combined with the different modes you can play this game in, make up for that. A very original game, it hasn't really been tried again since, and so is worth adding to your collection just for those moments when you might fancy something a little different.
This game I traded on after a few weeks I found it very slow, sure it had the blood, the weapons and it was a good all round game. Some very nice Graphics and sound but I just couldn’t get into it for some reason. Maybe it’s because of the slow framerate that is very annoying. If the developers had spent a little more time on this game then maybe who knows a classic in the making. If you want to buy it I recommend the 2nd hand market you may pick it up pretty cheaply.
Making a new beat em up on the PlayStation is a very brave thing to do. The Tekkens dominate the market - many have tried to take its crown and many have failed. Then Bushido Blade came along. How would it measure up against Tekken? Well this indeed a very well rounded game it has blades it has blood it has everything going for it. Except that is the framerate - it is slow. Not just slow that don't notice either - you will notice. But if you are willing to put up with it then you will be rewarded. This game could do with a mode not to similiar to (dare I say it) Tekken Force. As you can't help feel that each one of your sword antics could take out at least 4 enemies. But it doesn't so this is just a four star game when it could have been a whole lot more.
Bushido Blade is quite a novel idea for a beat'em up. You'll find no health bar at the top of the screen, instead one mistake in combat can lead to instant death. The game strives to simulate Japanese sword combat so one cut to the right area can be lethal, whilst another may cripple an opponent. It's a nice idea, but unfortunately due to an awkward control system it ultimately makes the game imprenetrable. Graphically the game is atttractive with strong 3D graphics and good animations of genuine martial arts moves. Arenas in the game are large and you are free to run about them, the camera panning to keep both characters on the screen at once. There's a great deal of freedom in the game and it's often needed, climbing higher can often give you an advantage in combat for example. Combat is distinctive from other games, you use the shoulder buttons to adopt a high, middle or low stance which then affects the kind of attacks your character performs. The right stance can make or break a game, on many occasions I've adopted the wrong stance to have the enemy cut me down with his first blow. That said I've managed the same on my opponents on an equal number of occasions. To make up for a lack of life bars the game restarts again, keeping a count of each player's scores, as soon as you die. So you'll often play 30 or 40 rounds in relatively rapid succession. There's also a scenario based game whereby you must try to free your warrior from their guild of assassins. This is basically like an arcade mode with different landscapes and opponents. The final opponent using a gun against you, perhaps a little unfairly. That said if you play it fairly and with honour your victory will gain you more. There's an excellent corridor mode where you fight along a corridor killing all oncoming ninja. A lot of fun, but very hard as damage is cumulative and it's not long before you're limping along. Des
pite a great deal of originality the control system makes it very hard to master, it just isn't intuitive. A sequel has been produced which addressed this problem. The game is a novel idea, but hard to recommend as I haven't really played it that much in the end. Nice idea, one to try out of curiosity, but not much more.