Make Friends With the Blade Strangers

There’s a new fighting game starring all sorts of video game characters, and no it’s not Smash Bros.  If you were upset that Shovel Knight is just an assist trophy in the new Smash, well this may be the game for you.  Blade Strangers is a 2-D one-on-one fighter featuring characters from games like Shovel Knight, Code of Princess, Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac, and Umihara Kawase.  Since the characters are interesting enough, here’s a blog about them!

Blade Strangers is your typical fighting game with typical modes like Story, Challenge, Arcade, Training, and you can go online as well.  But while it may have some interesting characters, the fighting is a little slow and clunky.  BlazBlue and Guilty Gear this isn’t.  One good thing is it does have a full color instruction booklet and mine came with a keychain of the main Code of Princess character in chibi form.  I like it when companies put instruction booklets in their games.  One thing I am excited about is that later this year, the same company is making a puzzle game called Crystal Crisis that features a lot of the same characters, and even adds a few like FREAKING ASTRO BOY!  I can’t wait for that one as I like puzzle games way more than fighters.  Anyway, here are all the fighters in Blade Strangers!

Solange (Code of Princess)

The first four characters are from Code of Princess.  It’s a 2-D brawler that’s similar to Guardian Heroes.  It was first on the 3DS, but now it’s also on the Switch.  I played it on the 3DS, and while I have it on the Switch as well, I haven’t had a chance to touch it yet.  Anyway, the first character is Solange, and she’s the main character of the game.  She fights with a sword and wears VERY little clothing.  Even the other characters comment on that in this game!  Obviously this game is rated T for Teen.  You may be wondering why all these characters are fighting each other.  The game story explains that with these robots that look like walking PS2s, but that’s all I could get out of the story.  It’s not very important, at least to me it wasn’t.


I don’t really remember the other three Code of Princess characters as much.  Ali is kind of an anime Aladdin.  He’s a kind-hearted thief who fights with a sword.  And he’s friendly to all the other fighters, even after he beats them.


I think he’s an antagonist in the Code of Princess game.  He wears a mask that looks like an air conditioning vent, and he also fights with a sword.  I may be spoiling the story of Code of Princess here, but in this fighting game, he says he’s Solange’s brother.

Master T

This last Code of Princess character doesn’t fight with a sword, but his fists instead.  He’s a muscle-bound martial arts master who wears a weird mask over his head, spiky armor, and a breastplate with a lion on it.  Typical big slow strong character.  He also likes soft fluffy animals and gets excited about them.  He even mentions the Miminga from Cave Story.  And on that note…

Quote (Cave Story)

I remember when Cave Story first came out.  It got really popular, but mostly by word of mouth!  It was also kind of one of the first modern ‘indie games,’ too.  It’s an 8-bit styled Metroid-like exploration 2-D platformer.  It’s really hard, though, and I could never beat it.  Quote is the main character of the game, although when I first played it I didn’t know that was his name.  He’s like a humanoid robot or something.  Kind of reminds me of Ash from Pokémon.  Anyway, in the fighting game he’s not very interesting.  He just fights with a gun, kind of like how he does in his game.  Since he doesn’t talk, all his win quotes are just “…” but in the game he does shout out his moves (“shoot-o”) which isn’t very consistent.


The other Cave Story character is this girl humanoid robot.  Like Quote, she also fights with a gun.  In the fighting game, she’s always talking about protecting the Miminga, just like in her game.  The Miminga are a race of rabbit creatures that live underground.  But when they eat a certain red plant, they turn into monsters and are usually bosses you have to fight in Cave Story!

Helen (New character)

Out of a cast of characters from other video games, I’m not sure why the developers of Blade Strangers felt they needed to bother with making their own character.  Oh well, at least she’s cute.  She’s basically just a red-headed Sophitia or Cassandra from Soul Calibur, as she uses a sword and shield to fight.  And that’s really all there is to this fighter.

Lina (Boss character)

Once you beat the boss, you can play as her.  She reminds me of the android girl characters from BlazBlue, as she has a computer thing named Devian flying over her head and has rotating cyber spike things around her.  He story is a bit weird.  She’s helping Devian devour the code from all the other Blade Stranger fighters.  And when she does that, the world ends and the screen goes into a “Blue Screen of Death” and then a startup screen.  Pretty strange.

Kawase (Umihara Kawase)

Umihara Kawase is a very interesting series of games.  They started way back on the SNES and star a cute girl character who uses a fishing pole to swing around like Bionic Commando.  Enemies are walking sea creatures and the cute girl can use her fishing rod to reel them into her backpack as well.  The games are VERY hard, though.  Natsume even brought one of the games to the US under the title Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, and I reviewed it a few years ago!  In the fighting game, she uses her fishing pole and backpack as weapons as she fights.  Her finishing move is uncharacteristically violent, though.  She thrusts her fish gutting knife at the other player, and if it lands a hit, she knocks them down and starts stabbing them like she’s gutting a fish!  Now granted, there is no blood and the other character just lies down, so it’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be.  But Kawase/Yumi’s stabbing motions just don’t match her cute character!  Don’t mess with her!


The next two characters are also from the Umihara Kawase series of games.  I think I KIND of remember Noko from the game I reviewed.  She could stop time for some reason.  In the fighter she is a schoolgirl uniform wearing Time Cop from the future and also Kawase’s descendant.  She fights with a giant tonfa thing that turns into a futuristic gun as her special move.


I don’t remember this Umihara Kawase character at all!  But then, there are other Japan-only games in the series.  Anyway, she’s a little girl character who rides on the back of a GIANT cat named Shakemaru, who does all the fighting for her.  Kind of reminds me of Totoro or that Waku Waku 7 character who also is a Totoro parody.  I love their special move, though.  The cat charges into the other fighter, sending them flying into the air.  Then Emiko hops off the cat and uses a baseball bat to send them even higher.  Then the cat jumps onto the fighter and does a Zangief style spinning piledriver attack to the floor!

Isaac (The Binding of Isaac)

Out of all the characters in this roster, The Binding of Isaac is the only game I’ve never played.  My brother Jeff said I probably wouldn’t like it, though, and I trust when he says stuff like that, so I probably won’t play it.  Isaac sure is a weird character, though.  He’s a little naked baby doll looking thing and he’s always crying, as he has those anime river tears always coming out of his eyes.  In fact, his win quotes are just him saying “Waaaahhhh!”  He’s way shorter than the other fighters, making him look like one of the joke characters Roll or the Servebot from Marvel vs. Capcom 2.  When you first start the fight, he’s laying on the ground in a fetal position, then you hear a disembodied voice yell ISAAC! and the fight starts.  He attacks with his head as well as weapons like a knife, pickaxe, and bombs.  He turns into a devil or an angel and shoots a beam at opponents as his special attack.  So yeah, kinda weird.

Shovel Knight

Out of all the indie games out there, Shovel Knight is probably one of the best ones, aside from Shantae if that counts (wish she was in this game).  He mostly just swings his shovel around to attack, but his special move has him blowing a big horn, which was one of the special items from the original game.  Each character has their own stage, and Shovel Knight’s is the Lich Yard, but they just play a short version of the Shovel Knight title screen song as the stage theme.  I wish they’d just make a new Shovel Knight game.  I want a 16-bit styled Super Shovel Knight!

Gunvolt (Azure Striker Gunvolt)

Kenji Inafune is known as the ‘father of Mega Man’ but I disagree with that statement as there were many other members of the team who worked on those games that deserve just as much credit as he does.  Now if you want to call Inafune the father of Zero, yeah, I’ll go with that.  Anyway, after Inafune left Capcom, one of the games he made was Azure Striker Gunvolt, which also got a sequel and a couple of retro 8-bit spinoffs.  Those games play a lot like Mega Man X, except your character shoots tags that don’t do a whole lot of damage, but then he can shoot electricity at tagged enemies to defeat them.  They’re fun games, but way too hard and devoid of any of the charm that Mega Man games had.  Plus they’re too anime-ish for my tastes.  In the fighting game, Gunvolt uses electrical attacks as you can guess.  His special attack is taken directly from the main games, and they did a good job with this character in the fighter.  A lot better than some others anyway (like Shovel Knight).  In the fighting game story mode, Gunvolt talks a lot with his spirit partner, a ghost girl named Joule who gets quite jealous.

And those are all the fighters!  Let me know what you think in the comments section.  Also let me know if you think I should go over the fighters in SNK Heroines, which I can do maybe later if enough interest is shown.  See ya!  –Cary

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