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I made a hack to improve Power Blade (NES)


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I think most people who have played Power Blade agree that it's a great game, and probably a little overlooked in the NES library, but outside of a couple of somewhat troublesome boss fights (ironically on stage 1 and 2), it's way too easy to really be able to stand up to the more memorable titles on the platform such as Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden, or even Natsume's other platformers like Shatterhand and Shadow of the Ninja.
It's well known that the original Japanese version (Power Blazer) was a very different game, and also much harder. This is mostly due to it being very cumbersome to play though, and it's not really a good game. Meanwhile, the controls in Power Blade are insanely good, some of the tightest on the NES, but the player is also so overpowered you'll be blasting through the stages without needing to care too much about them. I figured that with just a few key changes, Power Blade could be a much better game than it already is, so I decided to do just that.


Essentially, a more consistent knockback system and increased damage values makes taking a hit a much more significant, while usage of boomerangs is more limited, requiring you to pay more attention to enemy patterns. Several of the bosses that were complete pushovers in the original game have been shaped up a bit. They still aren't hard, but they they have become a little more involving.
To counterbalance the changes, a much more lenient checkpoint system has been put in place, and 1ups have been added into the game. The game is a lot more challenging to play, but overall doesn't feel harder to beat. I wanted a more satisfying game, not a more frustrating one, and I think this hack does the job.
As a cherry on top, a couple of QoL fixes have also been added to the ladders and text boxes, and the boss grenade glitch has been fixed.

Just to toot my own horn (though all credit really goes to Natsume!), I think with this hack, Power Blade shoots right into the top brass among the best titles on the NES, alongside many of the Mega Man games! 😄
Quote from another forum where I shared this hack as I worked on it: 


The knockback system feels perfect and the new armor system works great as a fragile, Bloodlines-esque super mode. This is what Power Blade should have been right from the start.

Get Power Blade R2RKMF Edition here on romhacking.net

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