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January 18 2019

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  Samurai Shodown V - ©Yuki/SNK Playmore 2003

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Game Stats
1 or 2 player

One on One Fighting

708 Megs
Japanese Name:

Samurai Spirits Zero

Released On:


Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:


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Other Opinions - More Reviews On NG4L:
Review 2 - by One-Fu

Review Introduction:

The SS series has always been a classic fave of mine although I never was really good at the games, plus I hadn't played them in a while so this game made me want to go back to them. I'm going to be referring to the other SS games often in this review so it will give you a good idea how this new one compares to them.


To be honest I don't have a great idea on what's going on during the game between the characters since the story is only available in Japanese at the moment. I can actually read and understand it occasionally so I can tell you often it's just typical chatter but I would really like to know what it says during the intro because that sets up the story. I've never found anything wrong with the plotlines of the SS games and I can tell this one is probably about as good as the others from how it is presented.


Not much as changed from SS4. You can still kill yourself or throw away your weapon but there are no more set 14 hit combos for all the characters. The rage meter and rage explosion are still here but a few new features have been implemented into the system.

Sword Spirit Gauge: This is under you health bar. It drains as you perform normal and special moves and refills when you do nothing. You attack power is stronger when it is high and decreases as it drains.

Mu No Kyouchi: Near the end of your health bar there will be an area that is slightly different in color. During a final round of a match this will become red and then turn blue if you have only that much health left at the moment. During the time it is blue you can do the Mu No Kyouchi (QCB + CD) which will heavily slow down time for your opponent and give you a chance to strike.

Meditation: By holding down D this drains your rage meter but in effect causes the area in you life bar for Mu No Kyouchi to get larger, thus reducing the amount of health you must lose in order to do the technique.

Issen: Actually not a new technique (you could do these in SS4 after you used rage explosion) however now you can only do it after performing the Mu No Kyouchi. This one hit dash attack does a ton of damage but is now also measured by how full the Spirit Sword Gauge is.

The game seems about as balanced as the earlier SS games although a few people like Yoshitora are far too easy to win with. One thing I noticed very early on is that the moves and supers seem easier to do in this game because I'm usually terrible at executing them. The slash and bust modes are gone now which I like personally because I only ever used characters in slash mode and so it doesn't bother me they created new characters just as bust equivalents of some of the old characters even though that required little effort.


It's hard to judge because there are a few things that make me cringe along with some stuff I find excellent. The new characters look fantastic for the most part because they are obviously drawn from scratch, however a few of them (Evil Haohmaru, Enja and Suija) suffer a little since they are redrawn from Haohmaru, Kazuki and Sogetsu to be there bust counterparts. While this is also the case with Nakoruru and Rera she actually looks very good in my opinion. Another thing that is weird is most of the old characters look only about as good as they were in SS3 so they've lost some of their quality from SS4 (ironically enough they gave my favorite character Rimururu a totally new sprite so I wasn't as bothered by it as most people probably will ^_^). The same applies to the backgrounds as the new ones look quite nice but the old ones now look even worse then they were in SS3. They appear somewhat pixelated and the details that made them look nice were taken out like the lighting effects. The character art for the select and versus screens looks unbelievable though, and I actually like it even more then the art from SS3. I think they made some poor choices in preserving the old stuff but the new is shown very beautifully.

Sound effects & Music:

The music doesn't sound any better or worse then SS3 and 4 so I didn't find any faults with it, but theres a couple I found good such as the intro and Yoshitora's music. The character voices all have new actors from what I've heard and seem as good as ever. Sword clashes, explosions and other move sound effects also fit just fine. About as solid a soundtrack as you could ask for.

Music Samples:

Here's some samples of the music in MP3 format. Right click to save:

Intro Music - MP3 Format, 72 Seconds, 632k
Character Select Music - MP3 Format, 24 Seconds, 265k
Yoshitora Stage Music - MP3 Format, 45 Seconds, 707k


SS5 greatly pleased me with its general look and feel and a fighting system I'm more adept at using. I can see how many of the hardcore fans will be turned away by the lack of preservation in graphics from the previous games but if you overlook those small eye sores it gives you something you're liable to play for a good while along with the other SS games.

Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 9/10
Game play: 9/10

Overall Rating: 9/10

Extra Stuff:

Play as Poppy: Highlight Galford on the character select screen and press:
F, B, F, B, B, F, F, B, B, F + Any Button

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