Here’s a game I had no idea existed at all because I didn’t know there was even a Rastan II. For the unfamiliar, the original Rastan arcade game was a side scrolling beat’em up akin to Sega’s Golden Axe in execution and setting. However, Rastan featured pretty big sprites on a 2D plane. I think the only time I’ve played the game outside of arcade conventions was through the compilation Taito Legends on the Playstation 2.
So for the stuff I didn’t know, namely anything about Rastan II. The sequel came out shortly after the first arcade game, releasing in 1988, and featured largely the same type of gameplay as the original. However, looking at gameplay footage of the sequel, it looks way more cartoony and simple comparatively. There was also a Sega Genesis port, but I’ve never come across that one either.
Fast forward to 1991 and we’ve got Warrior Blade. Looking way more like the original game than the sequel, Warrior Blade brought back the titular Rastan to battle all kinds of medieval bad guys. Bigger, beefier looking sprites, a larger plane to play on, and highly detailed animations made this the sequel I imagine original Rastan fans were craving. When I played Warrior Blade at Galloping Ghost I had no idea the game was in the Rastan series. Rather, I just liked the game’s tight control, and honestly pretty damn impressive visuals. It’s a beat’em up, and a decent one at that: What more could I ask for?
I think Warrior Blade has remained an arcade exclusive too. Outside of a Japanese exclusive rerelease, I do not know of any home ports or arcade compilations that include this game. That means it’s joining the likes of Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder as arguably the best game in the series that is only available in arcades.
If you find this one at the arcade and think it looks cool, you should definitely give it a try. If you like games like Golden Axe or even Konami’s beat’em ups, you definitely want to check this one out.