Power Blade 2
Box Shot
Power Blade 2
Platform: NES
Publisher: Taito
Designer: Taito
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1992
Reviewed by: Matt Hull and Adam Lamontagne

I don't remember much about the original, as it's been awhile since I played it, but after playing PB2 for awhile a little bit about the original came back to me.

The gameplay in both games are pretty similar. You have control of your jump in mid-air (unlike games like Castlevania) and you have a boomerang type weapon (the power blade) to throw at your enemies. You have a weapon strength meter which you can increase by collecting power ups. The higher this meter the further you can throw your weapon and the more destructive it is.

At the beginning of the game you can enter a password to start further along or you can start from the beginning. You can select which stage (1-4) you want to start out on. After completing all 4 stages you get to play stage 5. In each of the first four stages you will find a door about half way through the level which contains a boss that you fight for a power suit. The suit you get in stage 1 will let you climb walls, in stage 2 will let you move around freely under water, in stage 3 will let you fly with a rocket pack, and in stage 4 will let you have two orbs rotating around you for protection. When you wear each suit there is an energy meter that will count down as you are wearing it. When the meter is no more, you cannot wear the suit anymore unless you had some energy tanks in reserve. You can also find health tanks throughout the levels that you can keep in reserve. When wearing a suit your weapon is a powerful energy beam.

The midbosses that you fight for the suits all have the same basic pattern. Shoot them a few times, duck to avoid their shots, then duck and slide under them. Yup, you have the ability to slide like in the later Mega Man games and Strider, which gets you out of a lot of tight situations.

The final bosses of each stage are also fairly easy. You can basically just blast away at the bosses (if you have enough energy) and wear them down. The level 4 boss is an exception. It is the Gemini boss. There are two of them, but all you have to do is slide under them as they jump at you, shoot them from behind, and keep repeating.

The graphics are very well done with nice detail and color. That last stage has some of the wildest graphics ever! Very well done though. The stage select screen utilizes some double scrolling NES technology and looks very cool. Compared to the original, Power Blade 2 did a great job with the graphics. They have more detail than the original game. However, the original seemed to give you that "feel" more than this one. Weird.

As far as the music goes in Power Blade 2, I really like it. It has a lot of variety and doesn't remind me of any other games. Only the instruments sound familar. ;) Each individual track is original and very nice. It doesn't bother you after a while either which is a BIG plus. Taito even included the Christmas song "Silent Night" which is very nice. Although the original just may have better music, I REALLY like the music to this one too.

The control is good yet a little slow. The addition of the "slide" is very cool though. One slight flaw is that you go REALLY slow if you enter the water without the wet suit. The control is VERY slow if you don't have this suit. Just make sure you enter the second stage before the fourth. Also, the game is linear now...the exploration elements of the original are gone, and missed too. This was one of the best parts of the original and Power Blade 2 seems lacking without it.

Overall, Power Blade 2 is a cool game and is definitely worth a play. It has nice graphics, music, control, and some radical suits to use. It's also rather challenging towards the end. The storyline is cool and the gameplay is great. The main character could have been given a few different weapons, but I suppose that's what the suits are meant for. This is basically one of those "memorize the patterns and you'll do okay" type of games. There are even a couple areas where you have to ride moving platforms like the parts in Battletoads where you had to ride the snakes...I thought that was kinda cool. To summarize, Power Blade 2 is a decent game.