BLADES OF STEEL / Konami / Arcade
 
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The original arcade release of Blades of Steel is the most unrealistic hockey game ever made, but its weird rules (which essentially force you to 1CC the game) and its solid level of challenge make it a strangely entertaining experience to try to make it through the entire game and bring home the Unspecified Cup to Green City.
 
 


The NES port is well known, but this arcade original (released a year prior) actually seems to have been played by relatively few people. The core gameplay is fundamentally the same, but this one looks quite a bit better, especially when you go into a fight (which appears to have been drawn by the artist who would later do most of Snatcher's art). There's also a wide range of digitized and laughably muffled/Engrishy taunts that the combatants shout at each other prior to dropping the gloves.
 
 
 


The other major difference is that you only play as the Green Team, initially taking on Red before moving on to Yellow and possibly some other colors if you really want to play for that long.

Goalies are near-useless and players will almost never intercept a shot, but there's still some challenge in weaving around the defense and getting an opening to shoot at just the right time when the moving arrow is in a favorable position. Games do end up being like 20-18 at the end, but there's continual challenge in that you have to score to extend your playtime (which is separate from the overall period time), and you'll lose a bit of playtime when the computer scores. That might sound like a recipe for quarter-sucking, but I actually find that once you get good at this you can play for much longer on one quarter than most of the mid-1980s arcade roster.
 
 
 
 
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