Samurai Shodown Review

Samurai Shodown (Available on PlayStation 3 & PSP)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Genre: Fighting
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: SNK
Release Date: December 21st, 2010

Parent Talk: Samurai Shodown is a fighting game featuring animated blood, but no gore.  The ESRB rates it T for teen and we feel that’s a perfect rating for this game.

Plays Like: Any 2D fighter.

Review Basis: Played through the arcade mode on the PS3, and tried some online multiplayer.

Details: PS3 version is $8.99 and PSP version is $6.99.

What’s This About: Samurai Shodown is the original weapon-based fighter, featuring blistering fast action and a focus on precise hits instead of special moves.  It won numerous Game of the Year awards in 1993 and holds up incredibly well today.

What It’s Remembered For:

  • 12 enjoyable characters with their own unique personalities.
  • The very first weapon-based fighter.  While nowhere near as technical as weapon-based fighters would become, it paved new ground.
  • Unexpected gameplay changes.  During the course a match food is sometimes shot on the arena allowing a player to gain a health boost.  Bombs were also thrown and they could drastically change the outcome of the fight.  These factors made Samurai Shodown completely different than the rest of the fighters out at the time.
  • Battles were intense and focused on quick and precise attacks instead of a wealth of special moves, which was the staple in Street Fighter II, Fatal Fury and, The Art of Fighting.
  • Fantastic art design, and incredible music for its time (1993).  You need to see this bad boy in motion to really appreciate it.

Anything Else We Need To Know?

(Note that all Neo Geo Station games feature online play, PSP versions, region-selecting options for blood and added bounciness, visual smoothers, save states, bug editors, and command lists.)

  • Like all the first wave of Neo Geo Station releases, the online play isn’t as good as later releases.

Bottom Line: Who Should Download This?

Samurai Shodown remains an incredibly fun and addictive fighter.  It’s a shame the online multiplayer isn’t as robust as the later Neo Geo Station releases because this is one game I’d love to get back into.  Casual fans might have a hard time with the dated feel, but it’s worth a look for the wonderful fighting engine.

2 thoughts on “Samurai Shodown Review”

  1. I’ve played a little of Samurai Shodown, but only on the Sega Genesis….which is definitely a watered-down way to experience it. The Genesis’ chipset was just so scrappy compared to the SNES and Neo Geo. I think that going back to this game in its more authentic form is a good idea. Weapons based fighters are always fun.

  2. You won’t be disappointed Tim. This is an excellent port of the best version ever released. If you give it a go, be sure to let me know what you think of it.

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