Blades of Steel
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9  |  It's not Hockey, it's Blades of Steel (NES)
chick3_16 , 4/26/2003 11:51:22 PM
Imagine the game of hockey. Now take out all that crap about the neutral zone trap, toss out the traditional penalties, forget crease infractions and instant replay, and get rid of Don Cherry's suit collection too. Add more fights and you're pretty close to what Blades of Steel is all about.

Blades of Steel is best explained as hockey without the crap. The only rules are you try and outscore the other team, you can check players as often as you feel like or until a fight breaks out, and penalties are awarded for LOSING a fight and icing the puck. Now in real life, this kind of game could never be possible for more than five seconds. In video game terms, this is the only way to play hockey. After 15 years, I still regard this game as the greatest innovation in video game hockey, and the best hockey game ever.

The game is simple to learn and as many NES sports games go, is best played with a buddy or two, or Tie Domi if you can ever convince him to play with you. You pass, you shoot, and if you check a guy enough, Blades of Steel makes a damn fine boxing game, especially with a twosome. You lose, it's 2 minutes for sucking. Ice the puck, it's 2 minutes for wussing. Even if you avoid fighting, you can have lots of fun with this game. The only drawback to it is the goalie controls. While keeping an eye on your defence, you've got to keep your netminder in front of the moving arrow or else it's score time. It is a challenge, especially against the computer players. Against a friend, it's not so bad because they'll suck at it too.

Blades of Steel makes a great party game, and is great for those who want a no-crap hockey experience. It is mildly entertaining alone but the fun never goes away with a friend or two. The Game Boy version is a near exact mirror of this cartridge as well, but the game is best enjoyed in colour. Take the point away for the awkward goalie controls (but hey, it required skill to do it, not like today's games) and you've got history's best hockey game...except for maybe air hockey.

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