While Bushido Blade 2 was in no way my first video game. It was the first that introduced me into a lot of new concepts. Now my video game life started with the NES and moved onto the SNES. However with the exception of a few friends, I spent most of my time playing these systems solo. The only two player action I ever saw was with Battletoads, because my friend and I were obessed with beating it. It wasn't until my freshmen year of high school did I meet one person that would change my gaming outlook forever.
My friend "M", as we will call him, had a game that he spoke very highly of. When he first uttered the words "Bushido Blade" to me I was intrigued. I had just started to get into the Japanese culture, so I knew what Bushido was. My first experience playing this game against him was amazing. My gaming prior to this was all action side-scrollers in the likes of Mega Man, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario games. Instinctively I would rush at him and get taken down. I just couldn't figure out why I was being beaten so easily.
The next day I went back over to his house. I was determined to figure this game out. I spent hours upon hours playing him non-stop. Every match was different. Each character had their own unique style. Once I had figured out how to survive a little better I noticed the damage system. Up until this time I had only seen the "one hit kills". I now saw the breaking of limbs. If you got hit on your right arm, it was useless! Your character then suffered! This was mind-blowing for myself. Never before had I seen this happen.
After a few days of searching local EB games (before they were bought out by Gamestop) and other local game stores, I found a copy to call my own. And with this was born the Bushido Blade nights. Every weekend we would get a few people together and play. We started having tournaments. I actually had a reason to be playing a video game. Before it was just for my own pride or entertainment. Now I was practicing religiously against the computer. Comprising new strategies. Trying different techniques with different characters.
When we finally started getting a decent amount of people to come play, we started playing for money. It wasn't much, but we'd all put in a dollar. The winner of the tournament would take the pot. When you're in high school without a job, the chance to win money for playing a video game was awesome. While I only managed to take a few of these tournaments for myself, the turnout each time was great. Eventually these tournaments fell off, but this was my first insight into competitive gaming. And ever since then I have been praying to the Gods of gaming for a Bushido Blade 3.