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November 13 2018

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  Samurai Shodown V - ©Yuki/SNK Playmore 2003 - Review 2

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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:
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

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

Review Introduction:

Can a game perform hara-kiri on itself?

Let us not beat around the bush here. SNK Playmore has their fair share of good and bad ideas. While the company reclaim some dignity with The King of Fighters’ series in 2003, many did not had the same exact feeling for the Samurai Shodown franchise, which many believe has been inching more and more downhill since it went into a more serious, dark outlook.

The majority of the work this time is being done by a rather unknown company called Yuki Enterprise, who had no knowledge of making a fighting game at all. With this predicament, could Samurai Showdown V be for victory or vulgar?

Graphics: 5/10

SSV was published seven years since the last entry and Yuki Enterprise were the ones behind the graphic work on this chapter. Upon further looking into all of the artwork and designs of this, I came to this conclusion: garbage. The character selection screen promoted nothing but ugliness all around. The enlarge portraits of the fighters were of such low quality and a step back to me. As for sprites, almost nothing were done with the returning cast’s animations, as oppose to the newer players, who look like crap. I do not care a good artist like Nobuhiro Watsuki did the new stuff, it still look rubbish. All you have to do is look at Suija’s dance-like fighting stance. Some of you may call it cool looking, but I found it stupid. Unless you count Rimururu and Nakoruru, who thanks to confusing storylines conflicts I read, are younger and smaller in size.

The stages are mostly recycled from the older games and were improve to look the same except shading one thing or removing an aspect. The colors and scenery are so flat, mix, and grotesque, it is not even funny. Even the few original new stages created for this game are not eye catching. When you ignite the “Rage Explosion” is gets even bad, switching the scenes into something that resembles where your minds goes, if you were on an acid trip. It makes you really question "How can this be from 2003?” Its obvious Yuki relied too much of the past engine and still could not get it right. I know it is their first time making a fighting game, but they should had rejected the deal and let some other company do quality work.

Gameplay/Controls: 5/10

Many features that became a staple since SS3 and SS4 are pretty minimal in SSV. No more combo slashes, sidestepping, or even fatalities are some of the areas that no longer exist. To put simply, I think most of the crew, by this time, had the creative juices flowing that could be describe as feces going down a toilet and then clogging up the pipes.

When you take a viewing of the move list, it becomes all clear before playing the game that some fighters will have bigger advantages/disadvantages against others. The fighting is now more like who gets to hit who first with the hard slash first. The special moves do not even need to be use anymore with this setup. Why would you when you can just slash all day? Speaking of fights, the AI is straight up easy village. The only challenge you will find is in the bosses of the game, even when their overall fighting style originality was rip offs of past accomplish samurais in the game. As for the new warriors, Yoshitora has ridiculous reach, Yunfei flies in the air repetitively, Kusaregedo translates as “rotten bastard” which I find very fitting considering he is probably, if not, the worse addition to the series, and Mina is just blatantly annoying with her endless amounts of powerful arrow shots.

The controls were change once again to something even more confusing and unwanted. It stays with SS1 & SS2’s layout, with a weak slash for A, medium slash for B, and pressing both A & B for a hard slash. Button C now serves as the kick button (where the “pushing” throw now stands), as D is now a special dodge type used for evading attacks in a variety of ways, using the joystick at the same time and a feature called meditation, but you will find yourself, more or less, ditching it. Super moves were also change to be much more understandable to execute, but at the same time, whatever happen to diversifying ways to perform the attack?

Another inserted skill that can be trigger, under the right conditions, is an Issen or slowdown method, which makes everything but you go in a slow pace and could give you a striking spot of doing the deadly one slash attack. Added to the carnage, is the slim green bar that act as a weapon power gauge. Each attack command depletes the bar, but it will recover all of it back fast. Depending what part of your bar is used up, your move can either do tons of damage or a dismal of it. Not revolutionary, but it will do.

Sound/Music: 5/10

The new voice work was definitely excruciating. In some incidents, for the newer warriors, the death groans when someone like Sankuro and Resetsumaru are defeated were way overacted. Enja’s yelling/screaming/laughing, Suija’s “shoo”, Rimururu’s giggling, and Champuru’s ability to speak and cry made me want to rip patches of my hair from the roots and press the mute on my television screen. Finally, I will go on record that I cannot stand Kusaregedo’s tone whatsoever. The only decent job they did okay was the new voice over announcer and the dialog some of the old favorites got.

The music has not a lot to offer and the evidence for that is most of the music from “Amakusa’s Revenge” was taken, with lessen beats. The original musical songs for the stages, to me, are in the wrong genre as they sound like they came from an old school role playing game. They try to come close with the traditional Japanese music, adding a modern flare of rock to it, but falls right into hell. Ditch the borrowed music and you got yourself one incredible piece of a forgettable soundtrack.

Replay Value: 5/10

The old fighters are the same and I do not have anything else to say. The new fighters are as interesting as a cup of water. If that did not excite you, Poppy is available via a code. The rest of these “new” players were just actually the “Bust” versions of some of the fighters back in SS3 & SS4. Thing is Rasetsumaru, Rera, Enja, and Suija were just wasted space, if you ask me. Sankuro, Yumeji, and Gaoh were of low production and just outright pathetic excuses as bosses. It did not help that everybody weapons’ screams sour expectations. I mean, c’mon. A sharpen bone, bow and arrow, bracelets, a red sword, and a large mallet? Give me a break!

If you are looking for a storyline…tough luck, there is none. Japan gets to keep all their story glory while everybody outside of the country will get exactly nothing to why all the fighting is happening. That was very polite of Yuki Enterprise to do that for us, huh? The only thing confirmed was that it starts off a few years before the first Samurai Shodown can to be. More confusion!

The two human versus fighting is quite good and if you have several players waiting to play around it, it can be a good past time and can block off the thought in your head of how below mediocre this is. Good luck finding a crowd.

Overall: 5/10

Have I been too harsh on this game? I do not think so. Many fans complained how Samurai Shodown 4 seems less worked on and not as tuned out, but now, I think this takes the cake. It should had been a big red flag from SNKP to give this successful franchise to a company that has exactly no experience of working with stuff like this. You are just asking for an automatic failing project.

SSV is broken and unbalance, there is no question. Overall, this did not feel like a Shodown game as it seemed to be a piss poor computer project in some extreme fanatic’s mind made into reality. I was hoping I would never say this about a Samurai Shodown game, but this is the worse one I ever came across. I am as much of a fan as the next guy to this beloved series, but you got to draw the line somewhere…If you see it at an arcade, go play it for awhile. If you actually enjoy it and love it, then hey, more power to you.

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