“There can be only one. “ – Blade Symphony
Sword fighting has a wide level of traditions and practices across the world. Games like Chivalry and War of the Roses have sought to bring back some of that elegance in a medieval format. The latest entry in the sword slashing genre is Blade Symphony and it seeks to merge the old with the new with a spicy Asian flavor.
In Blade Symphony you play as one of four characters. There’s the Purge for the people that like to jump quickly while they hack and slash. Ryoku is a fast character who does strings of quick combos. The Phalanx is a medium character that can move quickly and can strike hard. And lastly we have Judgment who has the heaviest armor and the slowest speed but can strike the hardest, he also has a bit of a drinking problem according to his bio. Each character has their own bio, and Pure is the lone female character, though “she” appears to be some kind of robot, so she may not even be female. The rest are various Asian male tropes found in anime and video games since the very beginning of their conception.
What started the fights? Why do these people hate each other? No one knows, or cares. This is a game for people who just want to beat the living crap out of each other using epic sword fighting techniques. It features a very basic training mode for beginners, and the availability for a more in depth training mode for download. There is also the ability to hone your skills before you go after online opponents, by using the AI Opponent who is more than happy to act as your personal punching bag.
Blade Symphony features two game modes; there is duel for those who just want to get straight into the one-on-one action without having to bother with the tiring aspect of personally challenging someone as you wander up to them. By default the game is limited to just a few stages there is the classic Japanese style monastery, the outside of a wintry rural Japanese area, and the downtown Tokyo area completely lit up with neon lights. Blade Symphony is a game backed by steam workshop meaning that it is completely possible to make new hats, new swords, and new arenas, the only limit being the creators imagination. This is a massive boon as any online game lives or dies by its fans and their ability to keep new content flowing long after the original game company has lost interest or revenue.
Graphically this game is gorgeous. The team spent a great deal of time squeezing as much as they could out of a small budget. Stages are crisp and clear, with very little clipping, and a few places where you can commit seppuku and drop to your death. It is not known whether this was intentional or not but it can be hilariously frustrating to back flip over the rails to your death in the middle of an intense battle.
Controls for Blade Symphony can appear clunky and awkward at first as you try to learn all of the new maneuvers. Once you have had time to learn them the moves become more fluid. The inclusion of a run button would have been appreciated, as it can be very slow to traverse the map.
Blade Symphony’s online modes have worked flawlessly even on the lowest connections, no drops were experienced, not even a bit of slowdown.
Blade Symphony is a simple yet rewarding experience for players who enjoy hack and slash one-on-one fighting games. It features nice graphics, a rewarding control style that doesn’t let you off easy at first and makes you learn it until you can get it right, and the ability to beat the crap out of people from around the world with a sword. Even acting as a spectator can be just as much fun as participating in the matches and that is not something that can be said for a lot of multiplayer games. If you have a penchant for sword fighting with a few friends that share that very same love you owe it to yourself to give Blade Symphony a play.
Blade symphony is currently available on Steam.