Sharp Metal Blades

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‘Thunder Blade’ or ‘Blades of Steel’ – what’s in a name? Hang on; are we talking about helicopter gunships, ice hockey or a samurai sword fighting game here? Don’t you just love mysterious titles?

Of course you know these games have nothing more in common than the reference to ‘Blade’ in their titles.

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‘Thunder Blade’, possibly borrowing from the movie, Blue Thunder (Ed: not confirmed!), is about a high-tech attack helicopter trying to save mankind from some evil-doers. Sega’s 1987 arcade shooter was housed in two arcade guises: a stand-up cabinet with a force feedback joystick; and the awesomely cool sit-down cockpit version with the seat moving in tandem with joystick movements. The conversions sadly lacked this aspect. On the other hand, Konami’s 1987 ice-hockey game, ‘Blades of Steel’ is about dudes trying to play a game of ice hockey while breaking out into a bare-knuckle interlude (or should that be the other way around?). The arcade controls were unique for this game – a back-lit optical trackball to control players and three buttons, one dedicated for punching! Apart from both games being released in 1987, they could not be any more different from one another.

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So there you have it, confusion clarified (Ed: really?) – Two very different games with very similar titles. You are more than welcome. Now go and play some video games!

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