Great Old Gaming Gems – Bushido Blade


So we’ve touched on beat-em ups as a genre before. 2 players square off in an arena and beat the hell out of each other until the opponent lies bloodied and bleeding. This sort of game can find its roots in games like Evander Holyfields boxing or even Pit Fighter. The genre is pretty solid in what you can and cannot do.


One thing about the mould for beat-em ups that was broken when Bushido Blade came out was the possibility of an instant kill.


This. Game. Was. Hard.


The learning curve on a game where you could in theory win within 5 seconds of starting was immense. Two mighty samurai warriors face off to determine whose honour shall be sacrificed in the name of combat.


Like contemporary games like Soul Edge and later Soul Calibur, weaponry was a key component of the game but Soul Calibur was very much a game based on health bars and knocking the opponent to zero. Bushido Blade was much more realistic in that you could kill, you could maim you could tear into your opponent and if they weren’t good enough you were slicing through them like paper.


I think this may have lead to why the game itself was not as well received as it could have been. Because the learning curve was so steep, you couldn’t just pick it up and play it, you had to devote time into it. Anyone who has played any online fighting game on a modern console knows how much time you need to devote to playing the game in order to avoid getting thrashed by people who spend days of their lives on the game and how little fun it is when you are constantly losing against people who have practiced to such a high degree. Once you get to that level though and you can play on an even keel you can really enjoy the game. You don’t get instant kills because your opponent is skilled enough to avoid it and you can truly play for the life of your character.


Bushido Blade is very much a steep learning curve, but once you know what you’re doing, it’s a great game to play.