Review by Macintosh User

Reviewed: 07/02/04

Samurai Shodown Slashes Its Way Into the Arcades

Samurai Shodown is a game that most people have heard of. It features one on one fighting with weapons. The game was a hit for SNK which went on to spawn three sequels. Samurai Shodown is a fun game that really brought a refreshing change to the world of 2D fighting. The Neo-Geo is the perfect platform for such a game, a game that uses incredible graphics, great gameplay, and cool music to set the tone for what fighting games should attempt to be. I remember when Samurai Shodown hit the local arcades in 1993, and really garnered a loyal following. Samurai Shodownis a bloody game that really uses hack n'slash moves in a very strategical manner.

(gameplay - 9)
Samurai Shodown has great gameplay. The game features responsive, tight controls, and the characters all have plenty of special moves in their arsenal. The control scheme is a bit strange as you must hold down both the light and medium slash buttons to achieve a heavy slash. I always found this to be a bit difficult, but really it's not that hard to learn. There is not really a combo system in Samurai Shodown, but what is here is good. The characters move about the screen at the slightest touch of the joystick and pulling off special moves is easy enough for anyone to learn.

(story - 8)
Samurai warriors have gathered to fight in a series of bloody battles to earn the right to face off with the end character. The final boss is a cool one and really is kind of surprising. The game doesn't have much of a plot, just that the samurai do battle to become the supreme warrior and victor of the tournament.

(graphics - 8, sound - 9)
The Neo-Geo is an awesome gaming system and really Samurai Shodown is one of the best examples of what it can do. The characters are large and detailed and very well animated. The samurai warriors each look very realistic and seem like they have real personalities. The backgrounds are also nicely done with plenty of gorgeous effects in the stages, a Neo trademark. For a game released in 1993 the graphics are amazingly good, and the stages and characters are all highly-detailed and colorful. The blood that squirts from your opponent after you slice him with your sword is a welcome effect and really does its job at making this game seem like its coming to life before your very eyes. Samurai Shodown has some awesome music to listen to while you fight. The game features all kinds of different music from quiet, soothing tunes to electric guitar rock tunes. The sound effects are also very good as you hear every slicing blade, every bloody attack, every furious punch is accounted for by the nice sound effects. This game is both visually and audibly impressive.

(replayability - 9)
This game has lots of characters to choose from and is very fun to play. The graphics and music are high-points as is the great control. It's easy to learn and possible to master, and you'll have a great time doing it. This game features plenty of replay value as you attempt to master your favorite characters and with all the special moves included, mastering a character takes time and patience. Luckily this game is very fun and therefore you will enjoy every minute of it.

This is definately a Neo game worth owning. It is very advanced for its time and the graphics and music all provide a wonderful atmosphere to play in. Add to that the great gameplay and you have a game that fulfills nearly all of your gaming needs. The game is also available on other systems, but none of the other versions can match the Neo-Geo version. Still though, if you don't own a Neo and you have a system that this game has been ported to, then by all means pick it up. Samurai Shodown is a great game that can really give even the most hardcore gamers their gaming fix. The action is fast and furious and the visuals bring it all to life. Incredible game for an awesome system.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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