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September 21 2019

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  NGP - Samurai Shodown (Mono) · ©SNK 1998

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Game Stats
1 or 2 players
(with link cable)

One on one fighter

8 Megs

Japanese Name:

Samurai Spirits



Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:


  • Dark Arms
  • Samurai Shodown

  • Review:

    This is a review of Samurai Showdown, not to be confused with Samurai Showdown 2 color. It's Basically a version port of Samurai Showdown 4, with most of the things that make the original a hit. The reason I say it's in Black and White is because it not in full color. At the same time the game is not totally devoid of color. It is more of a Game boy Color type deal with about only 4 or more shades of color.

    It was probably one the second fighting game released for the Neo Pocket (I remember seeing a deal in which you could buy a Neo Geo Pocket (BW) which came with a neck strap and Samurai Showdown in Japan.) probably right after KoF R1. It features 12 of the SS4 characters: Haohmaru, Genjuro, Hanzo, Jubei, Sogetsu Kazama, Kazuki Kazama, Amakusa, Galford, Shizumaru, Rimururu, Nakoruru, Ukyo. Hidden characters Shiki and Zankuro available via a code. Bust and Slash versions of characters are also available and feature every all the moves straight from SS4! The combos are here too, but only to 4 hits. The "super-filling" 15 hit combos have been taken out... but the combos that are in, will still fill your super bar. Supers are done the same as in SS4; back, forward, to down and A+B. The rage eruptions, rage combo, and rage pierce are also here!

    The button break down is usual: A is slash; hold for strong/ B is kick. A+B is dodge, and toward +B is parry. Pressing diagonally toward and A+B starts the SS4 combo hits. Toward + strong A pushes your opponent when close. Pressing back then toward and A+B initiates your Rage eruption. During Rage eruption pressing toward then back and A+B will the a rush in Rage combo but uses up some the meter. During Rage Eruption you may do a super (also takes some of the meter) or press back to toward and A+B again to use the all-out Rage Pierce (uses all of the meter)! This is all straight from SS4. To sum up the game play, everything from SS4 is in SSP except for the medium slash button; the kills, "No Contests", ground hits, story time limit, and the 15 hit combos I touched on earlier. You can even knock the sword out of your opponent's hand with a super move (like in SS4) and then taunt to drop your sword making it a fair fight!

    The plays pretty smoothly and the graphics for not being in color are pretty good! The characters are "Super Deformed" but still retain their fighting style from SS4, at times you may think you are actually playing SS4! Animation gets the job done, and is pretty comical at times. When characters are hit with certain attacks, funny things happen! For example Haohmaru posing like a Buddha statue when hit with a fireball! The backgrounds in the game leave a whole lot to the imagination in ways of color. They are dull and feint with absolutely no animation (animation doesn't really count, background animations didn't appear on pocket until Match of the Millennium, but it would have helped!). The backgrounds are cool with all the drawn in cameos of left out characters. Its fun trying to figure out who is there watching the fight. I like Jubei's background with the shadows of Nicotine and Gaira looking for Basara who is hiding in a tree above them (Oh why wasn't Basara a character in this Game? Will the Nightmare end? Kagarabi! [Poor Basara has all the bad luck!]).

    With the all the comical animations it sometimes feels like the Dark Stalkers version of Samurai Showdown. The game music and sound effects are not that good, for instance, Jubei's music is complete silence with wind blowing now and then. Fortunately not all the music is like that (that's the only one like that), I actually like the way they scaled down Haohmaru's music (the longer intro is no longer there [a good thing, the fight was usually over before the music got good in SS4]). The sound effects are good enough to get the job done, with all the sounds needed to make a quick sword fight.

    The cool things about the game are how much it plays like SS4! Also I like the fact that Shiki is in the game (she's so cute "Super Deformed")! The game is also fun on Versus mode (2 players); it moves perfectly smooth even on versus unlike KoF R1 or even R2! There is also no annoying handicap option on versus like in some games (Samurai Showdown 2 Pocket) that way you can just fight with out someone putting their handicap up to max to win!! Probably cooler than that are the Season effects and the Intro! Yess, this game actually works with your NGP's calendar function! Depending on the season, it will change the leaves that fall in the intro to cherry blossoms or snow flakes! While this isn't too impressive, its fun to be surprised occasionally when you turn on the game.

    Even better then all of this are the intros, yes, 2 of them!! Probably my favorite part about the game! The first intro is pretty cool with a lot of arcade effects, introducing the less popular characters... Still cool though! The second intro is absolutely the best intro I've ever seen on the NGP! I even compare it to the Fatal Fury 3 intro! It's so cool! Haohmaru and Genjuro slide past each other clashing swords with lightning in the background! Mamahara swoops past the screen and lands on Nakoruru's shoulder as a lens-flare shines in the background!! And whenever I see the part with Zankuro dropping his mighty sword into the ground, I want to cry!!

    All in all, this game is pretty cool. I'd recommend buying it just to have it. The Survival mode and Versus mode add to the replay value just a bit. Otherwise it never came out in the states, so it's a little rare... Maybe? Okay, okay, so you should just get it anyway! Since it's not in full color it will only about 20 bucks or less, and if you are a fan of SS4 (and don't mind the missing Basara [Kagarabi!]) then I'm sure you'll like it.

    Graphics: 6/10
    Sound: 5/10
    Game play: 8/10
    Replay Value: 5/10

    Overall 7/10

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