Blades of Steel review - Nintendo Entertainment System
This may sound like some kind of slash 'em up Swords 'n' Sorcery type game, but beneath the slightly ambiguous title lies a Nintendo version of the classic game of mindless, rink-bound violence - Ice Hockey.
The object is simple. At each end of the rink lies a goal and the objective is to hit the puck into the opposition's goal. Not surprisingly, the opposing team want to do exactly the same thing, so expect plenty of midfield malarkey before the serious goal-scoring begins. There are three rounds of ten minutes before the final whistle is called.
Before you even hit the ice, a number of game options have to be sorted out. You can enter your team into either a complete league or just a single exhibition match. Then it's off to choose which skill level you wish to play at (junior, college, or professional) and what team you actually wish to play as.
After that, it's down to your five on-screen hockey heroes and your joypad skills to save the day!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Blades of Steel is fun, fun, fun! Control of your on-screen team is simple and effective and complicated strings of hockey moves can be handled with ease! The action is fast and incredibly furious (with a beat 'em up element thrown in for good measure!) and the graphics, although a bit flickery at times are for the most part well-detailed with decent animation. Lastability is perhaps questionable, but with the terrific two-player mode there's no excuse not to puck off - now!
Ah! The swish of skates against ice. The thwack of stick against puck. The thump of fist against head! This certainly is ice hockey! As with all sports simulations, the action is best appreciated with two-players (just make sure the violence happens on the screen and not off it), but that's not to say Blades of Steel is dull one-player game! With its multiple skill levels and different options, there's plenty of variety to keep a lonesome player happy - ice hockey doesn't sound like a really rivetting subject matter for a console game, but this is a thoroughly enjoyable sports simulation which will keep you coming back to your Nintendo time and time again.
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