The wind is blowing. A pair of Blades clash once and again. A single body falls. Sometimes both of them.
Bushido Blade is not your average fighting game. There're no life bars or energy gauges, and just one hit is enough to finish a match. You pick from 6 characters and 8 different weapons: A katana, a nodachi, a warhammer, a naginata, a saber, a long sword, a broad sword and a rapier. Quite a few of these weapons are actually missing from the sequel, and characters have never really been all that unique among each other, so in a way, this game actually has more variety.
In the sequel, body blows didn't matter too much unless you were hit on an arm. In this game, unnecessary damage is an actual hindrance, which is awesome. Being hit on your legs will decrease your running speed or sometimes even reduce you to a crawl, which limits your stances and movement. Getting hit on an arm will limit the stances you can switch to. Getting hit anywhere will make your attacks slower. You really don't want to get hit in Bushido Blade 1, because if you survive the hit it will hamper your efficacy.
Bushido Blade 1 isn't better or worse than Bushido Blade 2, it's just different. While I prefer BB 2's faster paced combat, the importance of body damage in this game makes it a much more interesting affair. And while BB 2 might have more characters, I'd rather have more weapons! All in all, this is an interesting case, as I would suggest getting both as each game offers something different. But for what it's worth, Bushido Blade 2 definitely has more longevity: More modes, more characters and more stages.
8.5 out of 10