Blades of Steel (NES)

Blades of Steel Box Art

Blades of Steel

System: NES

Release Date: November 1988

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Konami

Genre: Sports

Alright, here is what I am expecting to be a great hockey game in Blades of Steel! This isn’t a gimmicky game like we’ve seen with the other hockey entries so far. This is a fairly straightforward ice hockey contest. You can choose one of eight teams, from New York to Vancouver. Then it’s to the ice.

Games begin with a faceoff, which you can win with proper timing of the B Button. When you have the puck, you can pass with the B Button or take a shot on goal with the A Button. Where you shoot is based on an arrow that constantly moves up and down at the goal. You control the flashing player and the goalie at the same time. I’m not always a fan of controlling the goalie at the same time as a skater, because you can’t play defense correctly at the same time, but it’s what you get here.

You initiate checks by skating into your opponent. Occasionally, two players will hook up and start punching each other. This ends in one of three ways. First, you might pop into a fight scene. You punch with the B Button plus up to target the face, or down to target the body. You can use the A Button and up or down to block incoming blows. The winning team then earns a power play. The scrum may turn into a penalty shot, which you then choose a direction on the d-pad and then press the B Button. Finally, the fight may break off and you can continue play as normal.

You can play either an exhibition game or start a tournament. There are three difficulties ranging from Junior, College, and Pro. I won a game on both the Pro and College levels. I thought about playing through a whole tournament, but decided I didn’t want to play that many games and called it a night.

Graphics: 1.5

The graphics are alright, but there is no differentiation among players.

Sound: 1.5

The sound is alright, as well. There is a call out on every pass, which gets annoying.

Gameplay: 2.5

Gameplay is simple, but works. Having to control the goalie and a defenseman at the same time is lame.

Difficulty: 2.0

Even at the highest difficulty, it isn’t that hard to figure out how to win.

Fun Factor: 2.0

This is a good hockey game. It’s not great, but it’s a good time.

Overall Grade: 1.9

Blades of Steel earns a C. Konami put out a very decent hockey game that deserves a playthrough by everyone.

Blades of Steel Video Review on YouTube