Samurai Shodown II
Review by d Galloway
"SNK's greatest hour"
Okay, SNK never stood a real chance against Capcom (which led to its untimely demise), but that didn't stop them from making good games. Sadly, lots of them were overlooked by the young gamers who were drawn into Capcom's web of flashy colors and good translations. Samurai Showdown 2 is one such game.
Graphic-wise, this game is actually pretty good for its time. Characters are large, flashy effects are everywhere, and the red stuff (blood) flows like a river. And heaven help you if you pull off a super move; you're liable to get a spasm from all of the special effects! Earthquake, sadly, doesn't look too good (mostly because he's so big, you can see the pixels).
The music and sounds match perfectly. The music fits each stage like a glove, even in Gen-an's stage (even though I hate the music). The sounds are even better: swords clang, things fall and smash, and blood is spilled. They're just as you'd expect.
The story, believe it or not, is there. Apparantly Amakusa's defeat in the first game angered some evil spirit, who possessed the body of a Shinto Priestess named Mizuki. And, in the generic-villain fashion, he wants to kill the heroes that defeated Amakusa, as well as drain the soul of Haohamaru (the main character of the series). Everyone sets out, at first, to test their strength out by killing each other, then go after Mizuki. And, of course, Amakusa's back from the dead, on agendas of his own...
Gameplay is concrete for the most part, with rather easy controls and moves. However, there is something I must dwell on: the CPU's cheapness. You don't know the meaning of the word ''cheap'' until you see the computer in action. And Lord help you if you fight Seiger, Hanzo or Gen-an; unless you're REALLY good, you probably won't win. And don't get me started on Mizuki; she's possibly the hardest fighting-game boss of all time! This is the only thing keeping SS2 from getting a perfect score.
Graphics: 10/10 (Good)
Music & Sound: 10/10 (Also good)
Story: 9/10 (It's there, which is good)
Gameplay: 8/10 (Controls good, cheapness BAD!)
Overall: 9/10 (You can scratch buying it, since SNK's gone the way of the dodo, but ROM's are still an option, if you have a lot of space)
Buy or not: Well, you can't really buy it in a store anymore. Either get the ROM or find a garage sale.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/02, Updated 06/15/02
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