Super Sabre: Blade Symphony Coming To Steam

By Jim Rossignol on February 18th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.


Gosh, it’s been a long time since we mentioned Blade Symphony, way back in the mists of mod-time. But following a successful Kickstarter the game is now in beta (backers have their access) and it’s soon to arrive on Valve’s big nozzle of game delivery. What is Blade Symphony? Well, it’s a sword-fighting game running on a modified version of the Portal 2 engine. Project lead Michael Chang explains his motivation: “I wanted to restore the glorious Jedi Knight II saber dueling combat from the mid-early 2000s and so I started a mod and began recruiting people.”

Needless to say, it looks pretty good, as you can see from the video below.

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79 Comments »

  1. Rawrian says:

    Hmm, I don’t know, so far it looks kind of weightless. But seeing if it’s still in development, here’s to hoping we’ll get a good sword-fighting game alongside Dark Souls and Chivalry.

    • Engonge says:

      Chivalry isnt a good swordfighting game,mount and blade is.. however I agree with your point,this does seem weightless…

      • Rawrian says:

        A game where I can cut off three heads (two of them being teammates heads) in one zweihander swing isn’t a good sword-fighting game? I beg to differ!

        I mean, all games are quite far from real thing, but at least some of them get importance of things like weapon weight, range, and attack direction right.

      • Dana says:

        Mount and Blade isn’t a good swordfighting game, Chivalry is.

        • solidsquid says:

          I’m guessing Mount and Blade is a good mounted sword fighting game?

        • Victuz says:

          I didn’t have a chance to play Chivalry yet so no opinion there. Mount & Blade CAN be a good sword fighting game, it has a nice feel to it and the combat can be quite interesting.
          I have one major problem with it however, you can hit only ONE target at a time. It doesn’t really make sense that when I’m using a big two handed sword and swing into a crowd of puny peasants only ONE of them drops dead. I have to make one swing for each one of the 20 guys I’m fighting and to be honest it does get pretty annoying pretty quickly (especially in sieges where there are huge clumps of people standing right next to each other and yet you only seem to hit that one guy right in front of you.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Chivalry is TF2 set in the 1600s.

            Mount & Blade was designed to more accurately handle combat.

      • Ephant says:

        Hey guys. It’s me, WotR! Don’t forget me please!

        • Rawrian says:

          Sorry, you are much better at archery and maybe at jousting, WotR, not so good at melee on foot.

    • Kitsunin says:

      That’s exactly the impression I’m getting from the video. Especially the way the characters jump like they’ve got a ball and chain attached to them. The swings are also much too fast. For one, it looks dumb to have that “Impact freeze” upon contact, when the attack is so fast and lacking in tangible effect it doesn’t really feel like an impact. Still, better animations might be enough to fix that.

      • Rawrian says:

        Wondering if jumps are even needed at all in that kind of game. I’d even go as far as saying jumps make it look more silly.

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          maninahat says:

          Agreed. It ends up looking like a half assed Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Academy, which was actually a very fun game for light saber fencing, but lacked any tactical approach.

          Now the Fight Night boxing games, they know how to do hand to hand – all punches are controlled by a gamepad’s analogue stick, with quick jabs produced by little flicks of the sticks, and huge haymakers controlled by big round movements. It has the advantage of making the game more immersive, whilst providing a simple, natural way for heavy attacks to take longer to pull off. Stamina plays a big a part as health, and a person who swings wildly is only going to tire themselves out before the second round. Sword fighting games could do well to borrow from that sort of thing.

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  2. Gnoupi says:

    “I wanted to restore the glorious Jedi Knight II saber dueling combat from the mid-early 2000s and so I started a mod and began recruiting people.”

    Where do I send my money?

  3. pupsikaso says:

    Why does it look so choppy?

  4. Stevostin says:

    No decapitation, no blood, not even reel collision : some key stuff is lacking. That being said the way to pick your attack is smart.

    Also, the “hu” of the character have to be placeholders =)

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      For this once, just this once, let’s try to keep it as a fencing game, instead of an acne driven blood and dismemberment exploitation game. Please?

      You can have it your way on some other game.

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        Harlander says:

        I’m not an expert on the sport, but fencing isn’t traditionally done with katanas, is it?

        • Mario Figueiredo says:

          You are probably right. I’m unsure. My English is a shaky with this one. The translation to Portuguese, “esgrima”, does refer to any type of sword and combat, not just sports. But that’s probably irrelevant.

        • Riley Lungmus says:

          Kendo is fencing. While it’s done with straight bamboo weapons called Shinai, the cattas that one practices in learning Kendo are done with wooden Katana called Boken, which are more-or-less wooden Katanas.

      • Davie says:

        “Acne-driven”? That’s one I haven’t heard before…

        While it’s fair if you don’t want blood and limbs flying around all the time, if nothing else, that sort of feedback helps make the weapons feel like they have weight and power behind them. If the devs want to go the bloodless route they’re going to have to work extra hard on the animations and collision so it loses the floaty, robotic look that it currently seems stuck with.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        You don’t like gratuitous violence. Forgivable. (WIMP!!!)

        You don’t like puns. Unforgivable.

        I henceforth declare you a boring person.

  5. Greggh says:

    Why isn’t there any more sword-fighting games like Bushido Blade??

    • Rawrian says:

      And Kengo!

      • Greggh says:

        My only problem with Kengo was the health bars…

        In Bushido Blade you’d get wounded (get hit on the support arm = you can’t hold the sword with both hands, etc.) but almost all direct, full-blow hits meant insta-death.

      • bigjig says:

        Oh what I would give for another good Kengo game! (None of that Kengo Zero BS)

        Sadly an under appreciated gem of the PS2 era

    • Gundato says:

      Because, while insanely awesome, bushido blade had a few problems that limit it from being good for competitive (or even online) multiplayer:

      1. Too easy for a “newb” to win with a lucky shot
      2. Many matches devolved into “Run away for a long time, then smack them”
      3. Everyone who was cool would spend half their time “jousting”

      All that combines for a game where people would spend a long time in queues and bitch about “cheap” deaths. Great if you are playing with friends, not so much for pubbing.

      And I am REALLY looking forward to this (and Bushido Blade to eventually hit the PSN). Reminds me a lot more of ChaosUT 2 than Jedi Knight though.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      Bushido Blade? Mmmmmm.

    • Emeraude says:

      Such a beautiful game.

      I’d say, because the AAA hit driven model had stiffened innovation tremendously. And killed most middle sized companies that could have catered to such niche products.

      I mean, unless I’m mistaken, console-wise, when was the last time a game like, say, Tori no hoshi was released ?

      Used to be a decent amount of those. From relatively niche fighting games with interesting systems to historical simulation allowing you to play a concubine in the shogun’s harem trying to influence on politics.

    • Baines says:

      Yes, seeing the video just makes me want a new Bushido Blade. The closest we’ve had in years are the Deadliest Warrior games. (They use a lifebar, but you can still one-hit kill with a javelin to the head, and can briefly survive with a lost limb. Stages are fairly standard arena settings though, and it has a grapple mechanic that some people find iffy.)

      Blade Symphony currently just looks like a generic pretty but somewhat clunky and limited fighting game. They may breathe life into it eventually, but they very well might not.

    • djtim says:

      bushido blade 2 with two decent players was fantastic. a quick strike or a lucky hit could end a fight within seconds, but the occasional duel would end up as a lesson in intense concentration as two fighters dodge and parry each others’ strikes across the arena. I clicked into this article hoping that Blade Symphony would be something similar.

  6. Godwhacker says:

    This looks more like Plain Sight than anything else- nice idea, rather ropey execution.

  7. Keran says:

    If someone says they use Jedi Outcast’s saber fights as a template, waypoint, compass, shooting star or anything like it, they have my complete and undivided attention.
    Whether they get my money or not… well, that remains to be seen.

    Hm. Where did I put that Jedi Outcast cd? saberrealisticcombat 1 changed my childhood. Adolescence. Tweenhood. Whatever.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Only 1? You haven’t experienced ridiculous dismemberment until you set it to 3.

      You don’t even have to swing xD

      • InternetBatman says:

        It was always fun seeing more body parts than the person actually had fly off them.

      • Keran says:

        It went up to 20 if I remember correctly. The fights became very, very short at that point. And yeah, having two heads come off one guy’s shoulders was equal parts fun and disturbing.

    • miscz says:

      I backed them during the Kickstarter and now have access to beta. I also loved JK2/JA duels. It’s kinda similar but more diverse. You get different characters for different combos, different types of swords for block/parry/feint. There are some features that I miss from JK though. For example you can’t move your character much during bigger/longer sword swings to get more hits. There are also some advertised features that didn’t make it to the game like blocking mechanics (hard to explain).

      That being said, I have a blast playing it recently.

  8. reggiep says:

    I like the concept, but I never felt that the saber combat in Jedi Outcast lended itself well to a fighting game. Jedi Outcast was fun to play, but the saber combat isn’t a real elegant solution. There needs to be a lock-on mechanic to it. Otherwise it’s just way too clumsy.

    Perhaps the Ninja Gaiden mechanism is the best. There’s no explicit lock on, but your character is aware of the enemies and directs his attacks toward them simply by aiming at them. Without that, I’m afraid I have no interest in this game. It’s far too clunky for 2013.

    • miscz says:

      There was quite big part of community around no-force, saber-only duels and it’s the only part that survived for years.

  9. Screamer says:

    Will there be insults?

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    El_MUERkO says:

    The guy in the picture is in armour reminiscent of Haze, a turd of the PS3 game.

    • Davie says:

      Or Zer0 from Borderlands 2, if you want a slightly more current reference.

      • dE says:

        Dunno, this looks more like an evolution of their Dystopia Corporate Armor Designs.

  11. Christo4 says:

    Honestly, I’m rather dissapointed… I really liked the Jedi outcast/academy combat, but what was fun were the diverse game modes! Not only duel, deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag etc. I understand that weapons are not in the game, but they were fun too. And i think i would have liked this in a more sci-fi setting, like set in the future 20-30 years from now with some futuristic blades and weapons.

  12. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    Will be interested to see how this goes. Puny Human’s other game is Dystopia, which also looks pretty bad and dated, but has some of the most balanced, thoughtful & skill-demanding gameplay of any multiplayer FPS. That said, the katana combat in Dys was probably the weakest aspect of the whole game.

  13. Gooseman says:

    I think this video doesn’t do the actual game justice. I’ve put in about 10 hours so far into the BETA and I’m really enjoying it. My first impressions of the game were that the combat was very different than what I was used to ( 2-axis fighters such as Soul Caliber, Tekken, Virtua Fighter ).

    I had a hard time hitting my opponents as they do tend to move and jump around quite a lot. After a few hours of learning the combat mechanics, I’ve really started to become comfortable with how the attacks work and the game became immensely more fun.