NHL Blades of Steel

Game Boy Color

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

Blades of Steel was one of those games that became an instant classic the day it was released. It's rock solid gameplay, pin-point control, a playable Gradius level in-between periods, and excellent graphics made for one of the best sports games to ever grace the NES. The Game Boy Color rendition keeps the basic style of the game, adds full NHL rosters, and a battery backed-up season mode, but removes a few features that made the first game so playable in the first place

With the addition of the rosters, each player has varying statistics, the most notable being speed. Some of the players are ridiculously slow and others are speed demons... literally. The faster players are so insanely fast, they can barely be controlled. Getting checked seems to be completely random at times unlike the first game and can also be attributed to the addition of player attributes. The problem with all of this is that you never know exactly which NHL player you're controlling. There are no indicators so you'll simply have to guess. Oh, and those looking for another round of Gradius will be highly disappointed. It's long gone.

Most of the game looks exactly like it did nearly 10 years ago, minus a few frames of animation. Even the fights have been retained exactly like they were back then (though they don't occur all that often anymore), though there are no penalties this time around. The only major issue are the menus which have nearly impossible-to-read text which is a must for checking schedules and the like during the season mode. 

Music is a good thing, but it's the only thing in this game. There are no sound effects during gameplay at all. You'll never hear the puck hit off of the post, a hard check into the board, or a referee's whistle. The music is decent, but there's no reason for the game to lack sound effects. 

The awesome addition of a full season mode and the NHL should've made this one of the best portable hockey games ever made. It's unfortunate that the control was played with and the sounds are non-existent. If you give the game some time and can get used to the control, then you'll probably enjoy the experience. Those completely accustomed to the NES version may never actually grasp on to the changes, and that's a shame.


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Last updated: Thursday, July 07, 2005 11:26 AM