A fighting game without equal.
A fighting game where one hit can kill.
A fighting game with no life bars, no special moves, no fireballs; and crucially, no timer.
These fights go on for as long as they have to.
(Jump straight to about 3:30 in)
This is a game where the single player story lets you roam a large map as a continual space, letting you flee briefly, explore, attempt to get some higher ground. A game that brutally denies you the chance to fight the final battles if any of the kills made along the way are dishonorable.
But where Bushido Blade truely shines is multiplayer. One on one, choosing a single contained arena to fight in.
Any arena, as long as it's the bamboo thicket.
A match tends to last anywhere from 2 seconds to a couple of minutes, but there is no rush.
The beauty of Bushido Blade is that it never forces you to be frantic. Never attempts to interrupt your pace. There's time to allow the tension to build. To naturally fill the space of the bamboo thicket. To consider your stance, your distance, your move.
There a moments of breath, of tension and release. Often you find you and your advesary almost motionless on the screen, waiting, each willing the other to consider a move they might parry so the dance can continue.
Then suddnely, a flurry of noise and blood. And swiftly we begin again. First to 50 wins? How about first to 100?
I cannot think of a better one-on-one title. Certainly not one that allows you to injure the other players legs so you can set about trying to clear a bamboo thicket (only to have your opponent commit seppuku.)
Someday, the ticket will be cleared.
But for now, I am the champion of the universe.
(You owe it to yourself to play this game, as it's on old PSX title I believe it's available on Sony's online service for PS3/PS4/VITA download.)
(Also Bushido Blade II is nowhere near as good, and I hear the Kengo games are pretty dire.)