Retro Profile: Blades of Steel (NES)

Blades of SteelTo this day, when I think of the perfect blend of sports and videogames, Blades of Steel brings a small grin to my face. Blades of Steel was more than just another hockey game; it was an artistic rendition that bottled the essence of a sport into a convenient, household experience. From its poetic name to the minuscule attention of details, Blades of Steel was a game that could be enjoyed by both sports fanatics and videogame lovers alike. Released by Konami way back in 1988, Blades of Steel is retro sports video-gaming at its best.

Blades of Steel fightBlades of Steel took fictional hockey teams, threw in great play control, and shaped up a milestone for the sports genre. With advertisements on the scoreboard and the ability to start fights, players might find it easy to forget that it’s just a game. Fast paced gameplay made Blades of Steel an entertaining solo venture, but the competitive two-player mode sticks out equally as much. In fact, a quick round of Blades of Steel with pauses for a few in-game brawls is the perfect way to settle an argument even today.

While sports titles today fade as soon as next year’s edition hits the shelf, Blades of Steel has a lasting power that is rare among all games. Most sports titles have good replay value, but Blades of Steel seems capable of endless replay. Besides, it’s always fun to blow off some steam by beating up on a superior opponent. No really, if you’re opponent is too good, in Blades of Steel, just start a fight. Sure, you may not win the game, but you will be vindicated by your strong left hook.

Play or Stay? Call over a couple of pals, order some pizza and drinks, mess up your house and… Play. That’s what this game is all about. Sure it’s retro but in the best sense of the word.