The Future was Then.
The Last Blade is a fighting game series set in Japan’s Bakumatsu era, a mid-nineteenth century period significant for the opening of Japan to western trade, investment and influence. It’s all a bit historical, but the distinct motifs of the era are what make The Last Blade so aesthetically interesting.
First appearing in arcades in 1997, The Last Blade is more a spiritual successor to Samurai Shodown than an evolution, since both games have unique mechanical strengths. Shodown’s careful, measured play is heavier than Last Blade’s, which, while also featuring strategic elements based around devastating big weapon blows, is all-round lighter and faster. With two play style options, Speed Mode and Power Mode, the player can shape their preferred character around quicker combo driven play or a stronger, more defensive approach.
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