Review by glasspicasso
"Fantastic Old School Weapons Bashing for a New Generation"
The Samurai Shodown series was a staple at arcades for much of the early 1990's. Garnering much praise from critics and much play time from arcade goers alike. Unfortunately because of the then massive specs of all the games' on the Neo Geo's Mega Shock hardware, the ludicrous price of Neo Geo home cartridges and some pitiful conversions to mainstream home consoles: not many players other than arcade fan boys/girls got too deep into the mechanics of this worthy competitor to Capcom's Street Fighter line; and as such, Samurai Shodown remained a cult hit in its prime. Until completely falling off the gaming radar into niche territory with a few off-shoot polygonal flops and SNK's ultimate demise and renewal into SNKPlaymore.
In my personal opinion, SNKP's Samurai Shodown 5 can't touch the excitement of the previous incarnations of the series. But they got it right with Samurai Shodown 6. And amazingly the series' entire legacy can be experienced on one PS2 CD; in all its arcade perfect glory. Samurai Shodowns 1-4 are fighting game classics. I'm not too fond of Samurai Shodown 5. Probably because the feel of the game play is off kilter in comparison to the previous four titles. I'm not going to nit-pick about Samurai Shodown 5 Special being omitted from the package, because all it really did was add four playable bosses (marking the return of the greatest fighting game boss ever...Mizuki). Besides you get to play these monster warriors in Samurai Shodown 6 anyway. Part 6 being one of the most intensely loaded two dimensional fighting game since Street Fighter Alpha 3.
The game play options available to your characters is staggering. Six fighting modes affecting different technical aspects of your fighting style. Besides this, Samurai Shodown 6's roster contains every Samuai character ever in the series, and then some. The roster is huge! If your not a fighting game veteran, Samurai Shodown 6 could be mighty intimidating at first. But with some hours of play, you'll realize your playing another great SNK branded brawler. Deeper than King of the Fighters 2001 (the most intricate game in the series).
The previous Samurais have aged well. Samurai Shodown 2 remains a gaming classic. While Samurai Shodown 3 is a visual feast for the eyes. Samurai Shodown 4 is the most accessible game on the entire disc, and probably one that newbies will play most on their down times between Tekken and Soul Calibur.
There are no museum modes, nor are there any unlockable options. What is here is raw gaming history well worth the price of the PS2 disc considering the earlier games ran about $200 per Neo cartridge when they were released. Samurai Shodown fans will be in heaven.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/21/10
Game Release: Samurai Shodown Anthology (US, 03/24/09)
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