Despite my lack of high end skill in the fighting game arena, I do enjoy a good fighter. In the 90’s I put a lot of time into Capcom and SNK fighters. Once the PS1 hit a new game took my attention; Bushido Blade.
I absolutely loved this spin on the fighting game. Tracking your opponent across a 3D range to deliver that one devastating hit was a true rush. The series, seemingly abandoned, always stayed with me and I longed for a follow up. Now, much like the inventors of the Reese Cup, Dojo Games has combined two great tastes that taste great together! Is merging the look and feel of the 2D fighter with the exhilarating play style of Bushido Blade, given Dojo Games a home run?
At first glance this might seem like any other 2D weapon based fighter but that is certainly not the case. There are eight characters to choose from each with their own specialty weapon. You’ll use everything from swords, to claws, to hooks, and there is even a shinmagami with a scythe and a bare knuckled brawler!
Taking place on a 2D plane, the objective is to land a killing blow on your opponent. This can be done with a single hit or if you strike or graze them as they backstep they are still alive but they lose the ability to jump. The entire match becomes about planning your moves carefully and striking when your opponent’s weakness is exposed. Using your parry move is essential, as is knowing when to strike and when to back off. This level of strategy in such a tight space really breathes new life into the fighting genre and I hope to see more like this.
Controls are easy to pick up and are similar to fighting games like Samurai Shodown. Left stick or D-pad moves, square is horizontal slash, triangle is vertical slash, circle is heavy attack and X is your parry.
Using cell shaded graphics, the game channels a Frank Miller or Sin City art style in which the characters exist in mostly black and white with splashes of color against very atmospheric stages that highlight each character. The game runs great with buttery smooth animation. To see it in motion is a real treat. It’s really nice to see a game look as fluid as it plays.
The music sounds like it came from every Asian martial arts film you have ever seen which works well considering the subject matter. The music really helps set the mood for all the carnage. Sound effects are especially good with beefy hits and the clanging of the various weapons being a highlight.
- Great art style
- Brings a new dimension of strategy to 2D fighters
- A lot of variety in character selection
- No online community to speak of
Disclaimer: A digital copy of the game was provided by Arc Systemworks for review purposes.