In March, SNK brings us a reworked version of the title already released in 2019 for Xbox One, Samurai Shodown(Samurai spirits in Japan), which marked the resurgence of this saga. In this one version for the new generation of Microsoft consoles, among its novelties it is possible highlight your visual improvements, your performance (up to 120 fps in Series X) and additional content from the first Season Pass. In addition, users who already own the Xbox One version will be able to continue their progress saved to date, because it is compatible with Smart Delivery.
A saga clasica with marked differences
The saga Samurai Shodown it’s a great knowledge of arcades in the 90s, being Samurai Shodown II the most and the best retained. There’s no denying that the brand has lost some of its luster over the past twenty years, it’s about that 2019 reboot. the first title in the series in ten years (by removing smartphone games from the equation).
It is a classic fighting arcade, in which you fight with weapons, but with an emphasis different from other referents of the same sex. True to its name this is a slower paced game you have to pause, control spaces and prioritize defense over attack. The health bar can drop drastically with two or three hits, and every enemy attack can be the last. We will have to be patient, face the swords and wait for the opening moment to attack the opponent.
Master the art of combat
We have three attacks, weak (X), medium (Y) and strong (B), in addition to kicks (A), which despite their weakness they are used to break down defenses. Each type of attack and depending on the direction in which we press will cause different animation and movement in our fighter. Learn all of these basic attacks to know how to control spaces in duels, that’s the key. Already with the basic attacks we have enough variety, but as a good fighting arcade nowhere combos and special moves may be missing.
We have a move list for each character that we can see at any time in the pause menu. Don’t expect endless button attacks or long combos, because Samurai Shodown aims to be fairly accessible to all audiences. For some of these special attacks, we have a “fury” bar, which is filled when receiving hits. When we have the bar partially full we will be able to carry out disarmament movements and special attack, and when it’s full, we can get into a kind of fury in which our attacks do more damage.
Also, with our fighter in this state, if we press the same buttons we use to enter fury mode again, this will launch the lightning attack, which will remove half a life bar the opponent. We can do this attack once per fight, because once done, the rage bar disappears. A handicap that strength to be strategic and choose the best time in one of the “towers” to launch it.
To defend ourselves from all these attacks that we have a series of pretty overwhelming defensive moves In the beginning. In the end, everything is solved by pressing a few buttons and the joystick: bribes, dodges, parries and the aforementioned disarmament. Taking advantage of these defensive movements will be vital to be able to expose our rival and strike with all.
A renewed visual aspect
With this “reboot”, the saga has radically changed its graphics section, following a line very similar to what Capcom did with Street Fighter IV. We see this thick brush stroke to delimit the characters, bright and striking colors, the already known scenarios now very colorful and alive
Let’s go with the animations, nothing to object here, there is a good job behind using the base of the classics. There are a lot of the old moves we saw in the arcade, and now they look better than ever. As for the characters, there are the usual ones and some new ones, as well as others who later joined the franchise. Moreover, the game has its Season Pass and its paid characters, a point still debatable. Maybe with this there will be different opinions about it, but we noticed things like lack of details in their models, or characters not very charismatic in one of his designs.
In the sound section we find melodies of Japanese feudal folklore when we stay on the menus, they go very well with the decor. During combat, it becomes a bit more “intense” to accompany the action, which is typical of Japanese fighting arcade games. However, can’t stand out overall, leaving a bittersweet taste. The sound effects don’t stand out too much either, lack of strength in various situations
Different ways to play
Samurai Shodown It offers us several game modes, we have the story mode, in which we will get to know each playable character better. Other than that, there’s no narrative that ties everything together or a different development for each character, perhaps the most interesting is to see the end of each of them. On another side, we highlight the Dojo mode, in which we will face the AI of players who compete online, even that of our own ghost.
Samurai Shodown, final conclusions
You can’t deny it Samurai Shodown came back with force. A powerful and very technical fighting title, which offers something different from what we normally find in the genre. Despite this, it seemed to us moderately accessible, because it makes it easier for us to perform actions like lightning attack with one button. While it can be difficult to get into its dynamics, if we can understand how it works, we will find a very competent game of its kind.
Although its game modes are quite classic, Dojo mode is a good implementation it will give us hours of fun. It has its weak points, and the introductory price is a bit high be an “improved version” of a title from two years ago. In our opinion, Samurai Shodown is a recommended buy for fans of the genre and those who once enjoyed this classic saga. For more analytics like this and more Xbox related content, be sure to visit our website.
- Accessible fighting style
- Spectacular visual appearance
- Dojo mode
- Game modes are lacking
- Paying characters
- The online mode remains to be fine-tuned