woot! Game of the Week is being updated on time! (not really)
Samurai Shodown 2 is the popular sequel to Samurai Shodown, and with good reason, its one of the best fighters on the system!
It build on everything its prequel set, more characters, better balance and gameplay, etc. And its also the favorite NeoGeo game of our beloved leader, Kazuya_UK! So it must be good, amirite! ;D
Samurai Shodown/Spirits 2
Genre: Fighting Players: 2 Size: 202 megs Released on: AES, MVS, NeoCD, Windows, Playstation, Samurai Shodown Anthology (PS2, Wii, PSP), Xbox 360 (live arcade), Wii Virtual Console
Samurai Shodown 2 is the second game in SNK's popular Samurai Shodown series of versus fighting games. Following up on the extremely-enthusiastic fan reception of the first SS game, SNK rebuilt the sequel from the ground up, including almost all of its predecessor's cast, adding several new characters, and refining the overall gameplay with more responsive control, more moves (particularly the use of the POW meter as a finishing-move meter), and a substantial number of Easter eggs.
Finally, the GotW (& HSC) of SS2 is here, but more important is that SS2 made some improvements over the 1st one. (and maybe for its time, of course.), such as more moves, more graphics, and who but SS vets cannot forget the Fatals that is unique to the series. (Besides SS5 & 6 though.) Even funny but adorable Chibi-Verions of the characters themseves, but of course I can go on, but for SS2, its something. (Warning: Side Effects in these types of games include SNK Boss Syndrome, namely Kuroko & Mizuki, so play at you own discretion, because they're cheap.)
Edited by NeoStrayCat on 25. January 2010 23:38
Hmmm... I think I'll play this game some this week to see if it can grow on me before officially weighing in. I feel like I should like it, but I've just never been able to get into the SS series. Maybe that will change this week?
But one thing is for sure. This screen shot is ridiculously awesome:
SNK really got the panning right in this one. Perhaps, it is the best panning in a 2-D fighter. IIRC, this went head on with Mortal Kombat II. Guess who won? From my perspective it looked like MKII. This game (Samurai Shodown 2) utterly kicked Super Street Fighter II's ass though, in my book. By the mid-90s, fighting fans couldn't stomach any more Street Fighter II updates. Many looked for alternatives, the SS series being an excellent substitute. Admittedly, Genesis and SNES owners (I was among these) really felt the exclusivity of the Neo-Geo when this got ported. We got left out in the cold!
Edited by Wonderboy on 26. January 2010 05:36
FANTASTIC I love it , a special place in my heart and here is why.
roughly Oct 1996 I was living with a girl who I was very unhappy with living in a very rough area called Botcherby, one of the roughest council estates in Carlisle. Not through choice but could not afford mortgage at time. No disrespect to any council estates or people who live on them I am by no means to the manor born ( but living on that estate was a big culture shock to me as it was so different to what I was used to) but I was young and gullible and got the house to please my bunny boiler girlfriend who was from a less than desirable background, from the horrors of West Cumbria ( awful place check the net Workington especially stinks ). At the time my doctor actually prescribed me anti depressents due to the culture shock.
I was unemployed and miserable but had some joy in my life as I had just traded my Saturn ( which I replaced a year later when I got into work) for a NGCD as I had just played KOF95 in the arcades and had to have it as the Saturn version was a while off . It came with FF2 but I saved my dole money for about a month and sent off for KOF 95, got a phone call from I think Raven Games in London as Carlisle had no shops dealing in NG to say it was OOS but they had just got SS2 back in. The guy on the phone raved about it and I took a gamble and said yes £49.99 which was a lot back in 96. At the time I had never actually played SS1 so it was a huge gamble.
It came a week or so later and to say I was blown away was an understatement, in fact being on the dole at the time I played it constantly for about 3 months ( I did get my KOF95 later). For them 3 months it gave hope and joy to my overwise sad life stuck in that horrible street with that horrible girl , SS2 was my own personal world that I lost myself in , a world that blocked out the misery of my life at the time.
I do not play it much now as I prefer 4/5 or LB but it is still a brilliant game that I love on CD due to the music and being able to configure controls like 3-4.
SS2 I thank you for keeping me sane during that time. For the record I dumped the girl at Xmas and moved out the house the following summer.
Edited by STE C on 26. January 2010 20:11
It was pretty good. I first found out about this game back when I was 12 & I thought it looked pretty cool. When I've finally played it for the first time earlier this year, it was pretty hard to me & I got frustrated in the end. I've gave it a second chance though & I had a really good time with it. I'm thinking about playing it again.
I would say SS2 is my 2nd favorite SS game. Guess which one is my first favorite.
Interesting story STE. I can see Samurai Shodown 2 will always be a special game for you.
Samurai Shodown 2 is an outstanding entry in what is my favourite series of fighting games. The first game was/is still a classic that plays really well but the sequel was a significant improvement. I love all the new characters especially Genjuro and Mizuki is a very cool boss despite being very frustrating to fight against at times. Graphically it still looks very impressive too. Gameplay has been improved significantly from the original game. The story in SS2 is very good too and really adds to the experience.
Although I love SS2 ultimately I do still prefer playing Samurai Shodown 3 and 4. They are significantly different from the first two games but for me at least the changes were for the better and I enjoy them a lot more.
Edited by merlin on 27. January 2010 14:20
I think its funny that nobody ever mentions the weak new characters (besides Genjuro of course, who is one of the best characters SNK ever came up with). But I think there is a reason why we didn't see Sieger, Nicotine and ChamCham again, at least not as playable characters on the NeoGeo. I think Sieger just doesn't fit... or maybe I just don't like him because he reminds me too much of German Skin-Heads I had to struggle with in my youth. Nicotine is ok, I like his stage but he is a little too goofy just like ChamCham whose design is so not Samurai Showdown in my opinion. Don't get me wrong I love this game to death, but my favorite is 4, mostly because of its more serious atmosphere.
The best 2D fighter ever made. That is all.
Preach it! Can't really put it any better myself.
I know my review of this game really doesn't do it justice, it's one that I really think I need to do a re-review of if I get time. It quite simply is one of the best fighting games ever, in every posible way. It plays brilliantly and it's a testament to SNK's skills that even 16 or so years later it is still great and I never really get bored of playing it personally.
Cham Cham is still my nemesis. I have one in most fighting games and in SS2 Cham Cham is always mine... definitely a bogey character for me and I swear that little bastard monkey is taunting me personally every time she beats me by clawing me in the face for the 10000th time. Seriously though, I still love her, and indeed the majority of the cast.
i like this game, i especially enjoyed playing this for the HSC. I am not quite so keen on the style of fighting which is more defend and attack on the counter attack based, but is a unique fighter with its own style. I can not imagine what impact this had back in the day, given that i only played it last year for the first time and was very impressed. This was one of the Neo Geo games (well the first game anyway) i was aware of when the console first came out!
is very nice i would quite like to play it again now
And lets not forget that it has the most stylish intro of all the Samurai Shodown games. And it's release was accompanied by the best fu..ing poster ever!! Just Haohmaru's face with toothpick in his mouth and the determined look of a Samurai. Pure Style...and it is hanging on my wall of course
I kind of agree with you on the serious atmosphere Yao. I also like the more serious atmosphere in SS3 and 4, but have always had a soft spot for the slightly more goofy or "freakish" characters in the series... I know people that don't think Gen-an fits either, but I've always loved him personally. And as I said before, Cham Cham is my personal nemesis, but she is still one of my faves.
I love all the characters in the first four Samurai games including the slightly less serious ones like Gen-An, Cham Cham, Earthquake etc. but like Yao I think having a darker more serious atmosphere in SS3 and SS4 was a great move.
Although I love Samurai Shodown 2 I do have a bit of an issue with the control scheme. Considering that the Neo Geo has only 4 buttons did it really make sense to have 6 basic attacks in this game? I personally dislike having to press 2 buttons together for a heavy slash or heavy kick. Seems like they felt since the Street Fighter games had 6 attacks that they had to do the same thing. I don't think it's necessary to have 3 different kicks in a weapon based fighting game. Three slashes and one kick in SS3/4 makes a lot more sense.
On Friday I played some SS2 for the first time in a while and I have to say... I liked it more than I expected to. For the time it was released I'm sure it would have been mindblowing. The sheer size of Earthquake still impresses me! Finishing him off with Charlotte's septagram super was pretty awesome looking, I have to say. The graphics are vibrant and definitely suit the game well. The gameplay is decidedly old school and slower than I'd prefer, but it's still fun. Also:
merlin wrote:Considering that the Neo Geo has only 4 buttons did it really make sense to have 6 basic attacks in this game?
I could not agree more! I have spent a little time with SS4 back in the day, so this change was not very welcome. I'm guessing in console ports you can edit the controls to use six buttons though? I wouldn't mind maybe picking up the XBLA version at some point if that were the case, or just getting the SS Collection if I can find it for a good price.
However, after playing SS2 for a while I got a bit frustrated with it and decided to load up Last Blade 2. Maybe it's not a fair comparison since they were released so many years apart, but while I casually like SS2 despite some flaws, I really think LB2 might be perfect.
On a completely random note I spent the weekend celebrating winter-een-mas - the inofficial gamer's holiday where you beat as many games as possible over a weekend - beating SS1, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The big number 2 was already beaten by someone else last year on a 360 so it wasn't eligible for the list. In doing so however I found a new appreciation of the series as a whole! Might get around to doing number 2 and enter the HS challenge to kill two birds with one slash.
Asuka does not wait until after school, she will kick your ass right now!
samurai shodown 2 is rock solid! great game though, although its hard trying to play it as gotw as ss4 refuses to allow itself to budge out of the cart slot at the moment. some gaming god cleared it with 1 credit in the arcade today with jubei though and i got to see the special ending for the first time, which was nice. i doubt ill ever be able to pull that off, but maybe i should fire it up and give it a shot!
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