Bushido Blade

Probably the best 3D fighting game ever made, Bushido Blade uses the 3D environment to the fullest. Not only can you run anywhere in 3D, but some of the levels are vast and cover many different terrains, such as mud, water, and even ledges to climb and bamboo trees you can cut down. Fighter wise you have a choice of 6 characters, ranging from weak and fast to strong and slow. Each character has a choice of 8 weapons, such as a katana, broadsword, rapier, and even a hammer. Certain characters use certain weapons better than others, such as the stronger characters are more able to wield the heavy weapons than the weaker ones. Other than strength and appearance, the characters are for the most part the same as far as what they can do with the weapons. It's the choice of weapon that changes your fighting style, and each weapon has 3 stances for attacking. 1 solid hit can kill your enemy, and there are no power bars whatsoever. If you get a good hit in, the fight is over. However, the matches don't end as quick as one might think. You can get hit without dying, and some well placed hits will maim rather than kill. You can disable an opponent's arm, causing it to go limp and useless, or even slice their leg, and they'll be crawling on one knee.  The game, as far as I know, is closely based on traditional Japanese fighting etiquette, and not following the "code of honor" (such as don't hit the enemy while he/she is talking, or has their back turned, etc.) will assure you don't see the ending to the game, or even proceed past a few enemies. Also the weapons and fighting stances I believe are closely modeled after the real thing.

There are many modes to this game. the first is a normal 1 player mode, you must fight through a few enemies and then face the boss, and victory will earn you a rendered FMV ending (which will be saved under the "movie viewer" for your viewing pleasure). There is a VS mode for 2 player action, and a practice mode for whooping on helpless fools to better your fighting skills. There is also a mode where you fight 100 enemies in a row, in waves of 10. Beat this mode on hard, without continuing, and you'll earn a hidden character (the guy with the gun). You can only use him in VS mode, but its still fun. Anyways, then there is a 1st person perspective 1 player mode, ala doom, but you can only play single rounds against the computer, no story mode. There is also a link option for 2 player mode in the 1st person perspective.

The game is a solid title, and although it's radically different from any other fighting game out now, any fighting game fan will probably find some enjoyment from this game. Once you get used to the unique style of play, it becomes second nature as any game does.