I've enjoyed a number of fighting games over the years, especially with friends, but overall I've never gotten too deep into them. I just don't have that much skill or the commitment to learning all the characters. Bushido Blade, though, is something else.
It stands out to me because of how fragile everyone is. One well placed slash to the head or chest will kill you or your opponent instantly. Going for that high attack leaves you vulnerable, so it's not always the best idea, but of course it's tempting. Limbs can be crippled as well; one hit to the arm/hand will cripple it, hurting your ability to attack, but you can still do it. You can run and block and wait for an opening and prevail. A second arm hit will cripple both arms, though, and render you defenseless. Similarly for legs, one shot will make it hard to move but leave the player capable of blocking and attacking, but a second blow leaves you crippled on the ground, not able to do a lot. You can also commit suicide for an honorable death during the match. It has a pretty small move list, with the combat based on the weapon chosen more so than the character. Some weapons have more reach but take longer to swing, etc., kind of what you'd expect.
Body parts hit in one round of the match will appear bandaged in the next. You can run between sections of levels; some stage have 2-3 screens to go between, if you don't mind waiting for the load. I recall specifically one stage has bamboo trees you can cut down as you fight, with pretty good slicing tech for 1997. The rounds tend to be very short because of how easily characters die; you can probably blow through the arcade mode with a character in under 10 minutes if you do it right. I can see why for some it would be too simple or easy, but the style of it, how fragile you are and how that changes how you play, the exciting comebacks possible by overcoming crippled limbs, make it one of the more memorable fighting games I've played. The memories I have of playing this with friends are very strong.