Blades of Steel, later released in Japan as Konamic Ice Hockey, is an ice hockey video game released by Konami for North American arcades in 1987, and ported to the Family Computer Disk System and Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. All teams are fictional but based out of real Canadian and American cities. The game is known for its fast paced hockey action and especially for the fighting. It is a one or two player game. When playing against the computer, there are three difficulty levels to choose from: Junior, College, and Pro (with Pro being the most difficult and Junior being the easiest). Each team consists of three forwards, two defencemen, and a goaltender.
The NES version was re-released on Nintendo's Virtual Console service on December 24, 2007. The arcade version was re-released on Microsoft's Game Room service on November 24, 2010.
At the beginning of the game, players can select either 'Exhibition' or 'Tournament' matches. An exhibition match is just one game played against either the computer or another player. Tournament matches are similar to the NHL playoffs. It starts out as one team of the player's choice going against other teams in a playoff style tournament. The team that is successful in beating all of the opposing teams is awarded the Cup.
Fighting in the game occurs whenever two players bump into each other three times in a row without hitting another player. The fight screen appears and the gamers take control of their players. The loser is given the penalty and sent to the penalty box (the winner is not punished), creating a power play opportunity of 5-on-4 skaters. Up to two players can be penalized, for a maximum of a 5-on-3 advantage. If a fight occurs close to one of the nets, the referee may break up the fight and call a 'penalty shot'.
During the second intermission, either a video game will appear for Player One to play or a Konami ad will appear featuring a bear shooting the puck into a net mouthing the words 'Nice Shot!' The video game is actually an advertisement for Contra and other Konami games, in which (at one point) a little spaceship is trying to destroy a much larger spaceship, this being a reference to Gradius.
If the score is tied at the end of the game, a shoot out (similar to a penalty shot) is used to determine the winner. Each team gets five shots. The team with the most goals after five shots is the winner. If, after that, the game is still tied, each team keeps getting one more shot until a winner is determined.
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You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller in Amazon or in some of your favorite online stores.