I love Blades of Steel, it still stands as one of the greatest console games of the 1980s, and I’ve been waiting for a DJ to discover and remix all the sound effects into a chart topping hit. I mean this game is full of audio clip classics, like…
“Hit the pass”
Or just a basic “Ahhhhhh”
And I have the opening Blades of Steel Anthem playing in this post by default because it is that good. Fact is, Blades of Steel was an all around game, the play was both quick and technically simple, while at the same time challenging. What’s more, it was a hockey game where you could actually fight your opponent, and the fight sequence was awesome, best part of the whole thing was that the loser gets thrown into the penalty box—gives you quite an incentive to win. The penalty shot scenario was both well done, and downright exciting with six areas to aim and shoot the puck. It was only available when you were decked on a break away or when the game was tied after three periods of play. What was even more intense than taking penalty shots, though, was being the goalie trying to defend against the penalty shot.
I got Blades of Steel for NES for Xmas of 1988, and played it regularly for over two years. In fact, in 1990, when I moved to Long Beach California, my brother and I spent a large amount of out time fighting it out on the ice—I was always Chicago for some reason (I think I liked their red and gray uniforms), and he had a weird affection for Vancouver. Needless to say I owned him at the game, he got the nickname penalty box Billy given how often I beat his ass in the fight sequences. What’s crazy about Hockey video games since the late 80s and early 90s is that the big franchises like EA Sports NHL Series got rid of fighting as of 1994. How can you just pretend “the code” doesn’t exist in a video game? Reminds me of this clip from Swingers:
If you haven’t played Blades of Steel, you really should. Here is a link to both an NES emulator (the previous link is for a Mac emulator, but there are emulators for other platforms there as well) and here’s the ROM, enjoy yourself. And if you are too lazy for that, play it online here.