Developed by Studio Saizensen, Blade Strangers is a dream come true for fans of indie games and 2D fighters alike. Aside from the charming visuals, the Blade Strangers’ accessible gameplay is sure to draw you in. Similar to the Smash Bros. series, special moves are performed with a simple direction + single button combo. While that may seem far too easy for fighting game elitists, it’s also a great way of drawing in larger crowds that enjoy the games that the title’s roster is comprised from, such as Cave Story, Code of Princess, and two that I’m incredibly fond of – The Binding of Isaac and Shovel Knight.
While not particularly revolutionary, it’s nice to see that Blade Strangers doesn’t skimp out on modes or offer half a roster of characters only to sell the rest as DLC or part of a season pass. Right off the bat, you’ll get a story, arcade, and a versus mode for local 2-player play, as well as a robust tutorial and training modes, to help you prepare for online play. A mission mode is also available that sees you completing missions and attempting to conquer survival mode, which can hone your skills further. Though there are only a modest 14 characters to choose from, learning how each combatant can punish the enemy and get themselves out of tight spots can lead to harrowing fun with friends that you miss battling in the arcade with. In fact, for a full Blade Strangers experience, I recommend lining up a row of quarters on your screen as you and your friends end up playing for hours on end.
Blade Strangers Review Final Thoughts:
Blade Strangers is a game that feels like it follows a mantra of balance. There aren’t scores of characters to choose from, but there are enough modes to explore to see which each can do best. Some bring swords to this knife fight, while others come equipped with pistols, shovels, and in one case, a giant cat that is as cute as it is deadly. If you don’t mind a little playfulness with your pugilists, then Blade Strangers is definitely worth getting to know.
Blade Strangers Review on PS4
- Lots of game modes, including both local and online play.
- Controls that are easy to learn but take time to master, making them great for newbies and veterans alike.
- A roster filled with independent game all-stars, including Gunvolt, Curly Brace, Isaac, and Shovel Knight, who is set to get a final DLC pack and physical release in the near future.
- Could use a bit more variance in terms of characters, but that’s what sequels are for.