Review by leeko_link
"Sword Slashing Goodness"
It has being a long time since the Neo Geo once brought us Samurai Shodown II. Now the time has come for this spectacular sequel to the greatest 2D weapon clashing fighting game of all time to make its long awaited return. If you are those who had already play through the first Samurai Shodown may had already know what to expect from this game and will feel right at home when you first download this great Neo Geo AES classic to your Wii.
Since this game was release like a full decades ago back in the 2D era, its hard not to love them since back then these kind of graphics are the cutting edge of its era. Backgrounds had tons of great special effects in them like rain, wind blowing the crops on a cropfield, bird flying before a match, soup boiling in the pot, tree and branches dances within the mountains of Kamui Kotan and more that you will be amaze by its wonders. The character sprites are also much more interesting and details than ever and had no cuts in frames of animation of any kind. This make the game feel closer to the arcade MVS version as it could be. I had to say the graphics in this game look superbly fantastic for a 2D game of its era.
I love how some character had memorable musical tune such as Nakoruru and Cham Cham which are signs that the Neo Geo console itself could play out great stereo sound while popular character based on real life legends like Haohmaru (based on the real life legendary samurai, Musashi Miyamoto) and Hanzo (based on the real ninja of the same name) had ancient Japanese samurai tunes which had that ancient Edo feeling to it. Also cling sounds from sword, agony screams from the characters, and every pounces and kicks could be heard almost flawless to the original arcade version.
This is where the game falls a bit, back in the Neo Geo days, games were play using arcade style joystick which only benefits by using four action buttons and to keep the arcade feel, the four action buttons were to be layout almost identical to its arcade counterpart; however, with the VC version release I find it difficult to get used to with the different layout using the Wii remote, GameCube controller, and classic controller. The diamond layout is okay but with characters like Hanzo and Galford, performing special moves that required simultaneous tap of multiple buttons is quite a hassle and there are no options to remap buttons like there were for other fighting game such as Samurai Shodown for the Super NES and Sega Genesis. If you don't care that much about hard to execute moves and only for the gameplay fun of it, the gameplay is no such a bother as the gameplay is well-balance, the fighting is fast paced, and there are no loading issues or framework slow down of any kind and yes all the stuffs from the arcade version such as the blood, screams, violent, and zooming features are here so you don't have to go out and waste quarters on a machine version.
Since this game is a port of an arcade game and a good game at that, there aren't any special modes to find or any stuff to unlock to keep you coming back. You could always replay the game again with a different character and discover all the endings or try to unlock the hidden referee Kuroko or boss Mizuki for play but besides that there aren't much to do once you finish the game and be warn you got only four credits to prove yourself too so don't think this is a walk in the park. It's also quite disappointed that a Training Mode is not included in this game since it is a difficult game to master and a challenge to beat. Besides single player mode, with two-players the game is a blast to play with friends and arcade buddies to tackle through against each other. Even though it's not a party style brawler like "Super Smash Bros. Brawl," there are over 15 different characters to master so every player had the edge to master all of them and become a veteran player themselves.
So in the end, I can't believe how great a fighting game this will be, for only 900 Wii Points ($9.00), you could purchase this once $100 Neo Geo brawler to your Wii without any sacrifice unless if you are the many who still wait for the upcoming Samurai Shodown Anthology for the Wii early next year which contain this and other SS arcade classics. Either way, don't hesitate to play what I believe to be the greatest 2D arcade weapon -based fighter of all time.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/15/08, Updated 07/31/12
Game Release: Samurai Shodown II (US, 08/25/08)
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