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November 25 2017

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  Samurai Shodown - ©SNK 1993 (Review 2)





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Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
One on One Fighter

Size:
118 Megs
Japanese Name:

Samurai Spirits

Released On:

Home/MVS/CD




Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
The King of Fighters series:

94 - 95 - 96 - 97 - 98 - 99 - 2k - 2k1 - 2k2 - 2k3

- Samurai Shodown
- Samurai Shodown 2
- Samurai Shodown 3
- Samurai Shodown 4
- Samurai Shodown 5
- Samurai Shodown 5 Special

- Double Dragon

More of One-Fu's Reviews may be found at SNK-Capcom.com.


Other Opinions - More Reviews On NG4L:
Review 1 - by Kazuya_UK


Review Introduction:

It like any other typical 2D fighting game you seen...well, except everybody has a weapon.

SNK was starting to pick some steam making new fighting games for its Neo Geo machine like Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting for people to enjoy. What they didn’t know was they were about to bring out a game many consider was out of this world and way ahead of it time. A fighting game set in the time of feudal Japan, where swords was the main weapon of choice. The game was called Samurai Shodown…


Gameplay & Controls:

SNK’s gimmick system for this debut was something called the POW meter. Located on the bottom part of the screen, what it did was for any damage you got inflicted with on your life bar, a portion of the POW meter was filled and the letter got bigger and your fighter’s skin get redder as you got hit more and more. When it reached to the end, the POW letters start flickering in red and yellow, telling you it payback time. In this quick limited trance, your attack power increases tremendously, letting you swing powerful assaults onto your opponent. This can quickly change the outcome of the match in an instant if you’re not wise enough to block and avoid attacks.

For the players who don’t notice the surroundings that much, a guy will randomly run across in the back, dropping several some helpful or harmful items. It can be anything from coins to add to your score, meat to refill your life bar, or a time bomb that could get you good if you don’t get away from it on time. So the situation of the fight can be seriously change for the best or worse if that running guy comes in and throws certain items near your enemy. The true unbalance in the game, that really isn’t as big as it seems, was the number of moves given to each person and how slow some battle can come out. A majority of the people had only two moves, while some had more then others, which restricts the thinking in battle somewhat. Another thing was that this was the loser didn’t just get knock down for the round, but they could possibly die if they were cut in a big way. Cutting in half and spewing out blood from your opponent’s chest takes a note from the old Japanese samurai movies with the loser falling in a dramatic end. Nice!

The controls respond very well and added some interesting tricks. Quickly tapping forward twice gets your warrior running, while tapping back twice lets you fasten your retreat. The two slashes and two kicks has a different approach then most fighting games. Other then your weak and strong attacks, by pressing both buttons of the same type of strike, you bring out the hard version of it. So pressing the weak and strong slash/kick buttons together unleashes a more hard powerful slash/kick. It will give your right hand some good exercise and pain.


Graphics:



The colors and animation of all the fighters are impressive as SNK putted a lot of work in it for a new series. Compared to Fatal Fury 1 and Art of Fighting 1, it seem like SNK put a lot of production value on it like it was a big budget campaign. You can see their dedication when you look at guys like Earthquake, who is huge as hell. The people of SNK did seem to forget key things about size. I mean its pretty funny seeing in the after battle portraits Haohmaru is all big and muscular, but he’s has a smaller skinny body compared to the petite Nakoruru. A case of mismatching I guess, but not everything can be perfect, right?

The game has a zoom in and out feature so you can stretch the fighting area to see the entire stages, which is nice to look at. Speaking of stages, they are alive and well…active as can be with the “referee”, holding his red/white flags, blitzing back and forth trying t keep up with the action. The stage that Ukyo and Haohmaru share is incredibly beautiful in both versions of it. Sure the moving scenery in the backgrounds lacks movement over and over again for every stage in Samurai Shodown, but the backdrop work great to relate the warriors’ lifestyle and attitude.


Sound effects & Music:

Man, the OST match all the stages they were sent into. If it’s a calm stage, it’ll have calm music. If it’s a crazy stage, it’ll have crazy music. The composers have tapped some astonishing songs and they belong on the list of the best soundtracks of the early 1990s. Nothing else could touch this gem. This is one of the first games to feature voiced speeches that could let the people in the game say a single sentence of words, even though it was on the barely hearable level most of the time. The announcer sounds great, just being restricted to just saying the fighters’ names, starting the rounds, and congratulating the victor of the battle.


Replay Value:

All the fighters were given a bladed weapon that would give them their own distant personal identify so everybody didn’t overshadow the others. A very big melting pot selection of weapon based fighters for a game made in the early 90s, so you can find a weapon and warrior to suit you. Beating every single person take a long time and will take a good portion of your day and the bonus stages is a good test of timing and finding your target. The boss, Amakusa, can smack you around and steal tons of damage you like nothing with the wizard orb he holds. A nice battle for two people as well.


Overall:



For being the first game to include weapons for all the fighters, it’s was pretty interesting concept. What hurt the game overall was the slowness and low span of specials most of the fighters possess. The game’s persona completely heads towards nothing you could ever imagine. I mean its a fighting game with sharp weapons at hand…What’s not to love about Samurai Shodown?


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


Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


- Review by BryLmoo

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