Tag Archives: samurai shodown

The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini Is Clearly Superior

Our original review called the Neo Geo Mini arcade-style retro console “cute, but an imperfect nostalgia trip.” The Samurai Shodown limited edition, released this week to celebrate the latest entry in the long-running fighting game series, is exactly that, but it comes with more stuff and looks so much nicer.

I firmly believe that translucent plastic makes everything better. Game consoles. Action figures. Toilets. Maybe not toilets. But just about everything else becomes a work of art when opaque plastic is replaced with something more revealing. That’s certainly the case with the three different Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini consoles. Available in see-through <a rel="nofollow" data-amazonasin="B07T4MCGKW" data-amazonsubtag="[t|link[p|1836996031[a|B07T4MCGKW[au|5724686334600252479[b|kotaku[lt|text" onclick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Commerce', 'kotaku – The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini Is Clearly Superior’, ‘B07T4MCGKW’);window.ga(‘unique.send’, ‘event’, ‘Commerce’, ‘kotaku – The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini Is Clearly Superior’, ‘B07T4MCGKW’);” data-amazontag=”kotakuamzn-20″ href=”https://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Shodown-Limited-not-machine-specific/dp/B07T4MCGKW/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1MUZ9CP1XEXEB&keywords=neo+geo+mini+samurai+shodown+limited+edition&qid=1565091587&s=gateway&sprefix=neo+geo+mini+sa%2Caps%2C132&sr=8-2&tag=kotakuamzn-20&ascsubtag=a096a38d6abeb92501f9be1721091cb4bf9650a6″>red, <a rel="nofollow" data-amazonasin="B07T3J5Z3F" data-amazonsubtag="[t|link[p|1836996031[a|B07T3J5Z3F[au|5724686334600252479[b|kotaku[lt|text" onclick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Commerce', 'kotaku – The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini Is Clearly Superior’, ‘B07T3J5Z3F’);window.ga(‘unique.send’, ‘event’, ‘Commerce’, ‘kotaku – The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini Is Clearly Superior’, ‘B07T3J5Z3F’);” data-amazontag=”kotakuamzn-20″ href=”https://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Shodown-Limited-not-machine-specific/dp/B07T3J5Z3F/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1MUZ9CP1XEXEB&keywords=neo+geo+mini+samurai+shodown+limited+edition&qid=1565091587&s=gateway&sprefix=neo+geo+mini+sa%2Caps%2C132&sr=8-3&tag=kotakuamzn-20&ascsubtag=ac0fb4145d5cde776f0ab31a065e3e073fa678a4″>white, or <a rel="nofollow" data-amazonasin="B07T4JL1BM" data-amazonsubtag="[t|link[p|1836996031[a|B07T4JL1BM[au|5724686334600252479[b|kotaku[lt|text" onclick="window.ga('send', 'event', 'Commerce', 'kotaku – The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini Is Clearly Superior’, ‘B07T4JL1BM’);window.ga(‘unique.send’, ‘event’, ‘Commerce’, ‘kotaku – The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini Is Clearly Superior’, ‘B07T4JL1BM’);” data-amazontag=”kotakuamzn-20″ href=”https://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Shodown-Limited-not-machine-specific/dp/B07T4JL1BM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1MUZ9CP1XEXEB&keywords=neo+geo+mini+samurai+shodown+limited+edition&qid=1565091587&s=gateway&sprefix=neo+geo+mini+sa%2Caps%2C132&sr=8-1&tag=kotakuamzn-20&ascsubtag=e74b6d347d3924dcb5690d251c775167d1f42b83″>blue, the $140 bundles not only look gorgeous—they include everything two players need to play 40 classic Neo Geo games right in the box. It’s a bit more expensive than the original Neo Geo Mini, which launched at $109 and now goes for around $89, but it comes bundled with a pair of clear controllers and an HDMI cable, items sold separately from the original.

Each of the three colors represents a different Samurai Shodown character. Blue is Ukyo Tachibana. Red is falcon tamer Nakoruru. White, the version I have, features Haohmaru, my personal favorite. Along with a non-slide pad for the bottom of the unit and a sticker to cover the control area, each version comes with a sticker for the top panel of the cabinet featuring its corresponding character, as well as a special collectible character card. I was hesitant to apply the stickers, not wanting to obscure the translucent goodness, but they look pretty good.

The Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini isn’t just about fancy see-through plastic and stickers. The game lineup is tweaked slightly from the original release to focus on samurai and the shodowns they have. All six Samurai Shodown games for the Neo Geo are present, including the first, third, and fifth games, which aren’t available on any other edition of the hardware.

  • Samurai Shodown
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Samurai Shodown III
  • Samurai Shodown IV
  • Samurai Shodown V
  • Samurai Shodown V Special

As Chris Kohler did in his review of the original Neo Geo Mini, I’ll break down the remaining games into two categories. First we have the fighting games.

  • Art of Fighting
  • Fatal Fury
  • Fatal Fury 2
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury 2
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  • Kizuna Encounter
  • The King of Fighters ‘97
  • The King of Fighters ‘98
  • The King of Fighters ‘99
  • The Last Blade 2
  • World Heroes Perfect
  • Ninja Master’s
  • Aggressors of Dark Kombat

And then there’s everything else.

  • Blue’s Journey
  • Burning Fight
  • Cyber-Lip
  • King of the Monsters 2
  • Magician Lord
  • Metal Slug
  • Metal Slug 2
  • Metal Slug 3
  • Ninja Commando
  • Robo Army
  • Sengoku 3
  • Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
  • Top Hunter Roddy & Cathy
  • Alpha Mission 2
  • Blazing Star
  • Twinkle Star Sprites
  • League Bowling
  • Soccer Brawl
  • Super Sidekicks
  • Top Player’s Golf

It’s a different lineup from any other version of the system. For example, it’s got fewer King of Fighters games than the international version, and it includes Aggressors of Dark Combat, which was only on the Japanese version before.

My experience with the system closely mirrors that of Chris Kohler’s with the original Neo Geo Mini. The standalone experience is much more playable than I expected. The tiny joystick and buttons are surprisingly responsive. It’s a bit blurry connected to a television. I was hoping for crisp, sharp pixels and was disappointed. There are better ways to play these old games out there, but those ways don’t look nearly as pretty on my desk.

My favorite thing about the Samurai Shodown Limited Edition Neo Geo Mini is my favorite thing about most translucent plastic products. I love seeing the insides of the stuff I am playing with. I enjoy getting a peek at the tiny board that’s emulating hardware that took up a lot more room back in the day. It’s a beautiful thing.

Source: Kotaku.com

Samurai Shodown Competitor Shows Off By Dropping His Character’s Sword, Gets Wrecked

Samurai Shodown is a brutal fighting game, where matches often hinge on landing one good attack. That said, Samurai Shodown also gives players a few cheap ways to mercilessly style on an unsuspecting foe, one example of which blew up spectacularly in a competitor’s face during a major United Kingdom tournament last weekend.

VSFighting is arguably the biggest fighting game tournament in England, and as such it featured Samurai Shodown talent from across the globe, many likely trying to get in as much practice as possible ahead of the Evolution Championship Series and its $30,000 pot bonus next month. The bracket featured over 80 players in total, with matches getting much more intense as the event moved into the finals with just 8 competitors remaining.

Where many fighting games permanently glue a character’s weapon to their hands, Samurai Shodown is a little different in that the various blades wielded by its roster of fighters are treated as separate entities that can be knocked out of their grasp, usually with attacks known as Weapon Flipping Techniques. However, players can also manually drop their own weapons with a special input if they want to settle things with their fists. Since most Samurai Shodown characters are weaker without their swords, this is essentially a way of saying, “I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back.”

This type of posturing came into play during VSFighting’s losers bracket when local Samurai Shodown competitor Joshua “Rycroft” Podesta found himself in an advantageous position against Japanese visitor Yota “Pekos” Kachi. Rycroft had just landed a massive super with his fighter, Charlotte, leaving Pekos’ Haohmaru with just a sliver of life left. Apparently sensing that this was a good time to showboat, Rycroft dropped Charlotte’s fencing sabre and rushed forward, needing just one more solid attack to win the match, despite his now-limited moveset. The commentary team immediately took offense to this decision, both repeating, “I hope he dies!”

Their wish would be granted moments later.

Pekos, seemingly unfazed by his opponent’s ostentatious attempt at grandstanding, blocked Rycroft’s desperation overhead and countered with a short but damaging combo. Rycroft then made the mistake of rolling into the corner, allowing Pekos another opportunity to grab him and dish out an even more punishing combo. With one final uppercut from Pekos, Rycroft’s fate was sealed, and Pekos went up in a match he would eventually take with a clean 2-0 sweep. Rycroft was eliminated in fifth place, while Pekos would go on to place second after losing to fellow Japanese competitor Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue in the grand finals.

Part of what makes fighting games so entertaining to watch is the way they allow competitors to breathe a bit of personality into their gameplay. Samurai Shodown may include weapon dropping as a way to easily gain access to a character’s separate, unarmed move list, but players also see it as a way to inject an extra level of hype into a match by way of purposefully burdening themselves with limited options. Rycroft may not have won his match against Pekos, but his ultimately futile decision to throw away his character’s sword made for an entertaining bit of schadenfreude that helped the match stand out in an already exciting tournament.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Coolest-Looking Fighter In Samurai Shodown Is Unfortunately Shit

Screenshot: SNK

Since its inception in 1993, the Samurai Shodown franchise has had its share of standout characters, like a child-eating demon, a quick-draw swordsman with tuberculosis, and a weird little dude named Nicotine Caffeine. For me, the coolest guy in the series is Kyoshiro Senryo, and although he managed to make the cut in last week’s release, this beautiful fighter has already earned the distinction of being the worst character in the game.

Kyoshiro Senryo has been part of the Samurai Shodown franchise since the very beginning, putting him in the company of iconic franchise mainstays like Haohmaru and Nakoruru. While he doesn’t typically play a huge role in the series’ overarching narrative, Kyoshiro’s background in kabuki theater helps him stand out among the stern-faced warriors that make up much of the Samurai Shodown cast. He incorporates the graceful movements of his art form into a fighting style that also features a deadly spear, fire-breathing, and the ability to summon a giant toad. These aspects of his design have only become more striking in the franchise’s recent PlayStation 4 facelift, but when it comes to competition, knowledgeable players have come to the conclusion that he sucks.

Longtime fighting game player Mike “Olaf Redland” Spragg has studied the latest Samurai Shodown since it was first revealed back in September 2018 and has been putting together extensive guides and sharing his thoughts online. He recently collaborated on a preliminary character ranking with fellow competitor Cory Bell (who went on to place second during last weekend’s side tournament at CEO 2019), detailing the pair’s early thoughts on how the game’s cast shakes out power-wise. It’s a pretty typical list, with various tiers marked A through D to designate each character’s relative strength compared to the rest of the roster. Kyoshiro, however, was given a ranking of his very own at the very bottom: TRASH.

“[Kyoshiro] has to take far too many risks for his reward,” Spragg explained to Kotaku via direct messages. “Often times, his reward is low or average, but with moves that have far more startup or recovery than other characters, making them easy to react to or punish. Crouching Medium Slash has as much startup as some Heavy attacks, his projectile doesn’t recover until it has traveled its full distance, and his uppercut attack (which lacks any invincibility and misses crouching opponents entirely) can be chased and punished easier than many other characters.”

Samurai Shodown is all about calculated risks. With mechanics like Rage in play, very few attacks are completely safe, and much of the game boils down to reading your opponent’s next move. Adding an extra layer of risk to an already stressful game effectively stifles Kyoshiro’s ability to compete on the same level as the rest of the cast. It hasn’t always been like this—by all accounts, Kyoshiro was pretty damn good in Samurai Shodown V Special, the franchise’s most relevant outing—but somewhere along the way, the graceful kabuki dancer seems to have made enemies on the development team.

That isn’t to say Kyoshiro doesn’t still have his fans, even among top players. Julien “Wolfgang” Ingram, who has a history of playing unconventional characters like Sean in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Blanka in Street Fighter V, is part of a growing Kyoshiro defense force. He has very publicly stated that Kyoshiro is not trash, as many believe, and he even went as far as to change his Twitter name to “KYOSHIRO IS NOT TRASH” at one point to share this opinion with the world. Ingram admitted to Kotaku that Kyoshiro has a lot more risk associated with his moveset than the rest of the roster, but he doesn’t think that this hampers him as much as others would have you believe. In Ingram’s mind, Kyoshiro is a highly defensive zoning character and needs to be played in a very specific way in order to succeed.

“Apart from the rest of the cast, he’s one of the few characters I believe will survive in the meta based on how you like approaching certain situations with his unique moveset,” Ingram explained over email. “While not having many cancelable normals, it’s to be warranted that he’s generally not an up-close fighter without risk of exploiting a few setups that can fool even the most seasoned of Samurai Shodown vets. He should be played very methodically and unorthodox, taking advantage of players asleep behind the wheel.”

Fighting game developers now have the luxury of patching post-release, meaning Kyoshiro need not remain a bottom tier character for the rest of Samurai Shodown’s lifespan. Spragg believes the character would benefit greatly from applying a short window of invulnerability to his uppercut to improve its usefulness as an anti-air, as well as some added damage or improved startup on his frog command grab. Meanwhile, Ingram would like to see Kyoshiro receive a fake fireball akin to Haohmaru’s, which could be used to bait opponents into jumping over a projectile that isn’t actually coming.

“It feels to me that they were worried about Kyoshiro being too strong out of the gate, probably for fear that he would annoy new players, so they preemptively nerfed him,” said Cory Bell, who partnered with Spragg in creating the aforementioned tier list, via email. “It just doesn’t make sense to me, though, because almost all the tools they removed from him, other characters got to keep their similar (if not better) tools. Samurai Shodown is still an amazing game and I love it, but it definitely feels like some of the lower tiers could use improvements.”

Fighting game tier lists are often built over the course of years, with thousands of matchups between various top players serving as the foundational research. As such, it might seem too early for anyone to have these opinions of Kyoshiro, since this is all based on just a week of time with the game. Still, Spragg justified that it’s a little easier to suss out the competitive viability of legacy characters. Kyoshiro lost in the same areas a lot of other characters gained, making the differences in each of the fighters’ power levels more readily apparent for players who are already intimately familiar with the Samurai Shodown franchise. The 2019 release is a completely different game, sure, but there are enough similarities to make an educated opinion possible very early into its life.

As far as Ingram is concerned, he plans to stick with Kyoshiro for the foreseeable future. He’s already found a modicum of success at his local events, and his history with characters who are widely considered weak has given him the dedication to soldier onward.

“If I can get top 8 with Kyoshiro at my local’s first Samurai Shodown weekly versus other solid players when everyone doubted him, you can play anyone you want and do fine,” Ingram added, summarizing his thoughts as a Kyoshiro fan. “It just takes hard work that you have to be willing to put in, regardless of what anyone says. As a friend once told me: In the end, the game is about player skill, and being able to read your opponent as opposed to their character. If you have that talent, it doesn’t matter. Cross-eyed gang unite!”

Ian Walker loves fighting games and loves writing about them even more. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.

Source: Kotaku.com

Tips For Playing Samurai Shodown

Screenshot: SNK

It’s been said about a million times before, but one more won’t hurt: Fighting games are hard. Stupid hard. If you weren’t lucky enough to be born during the arcade’s heyday, when fighting games ruled the world, you’re already at a disadvantage. Samurai Shodown, which launched earlier this week, only exacerbates the issue by carving out such a unique niche that having a baseline of fighting game knowledge might actually hurt a player’s chances of winning matches early on. Truth be told, you probably aren’t going to be good at Samurai Shodown—or heck, even decent—for a very long time.

For an in-depth explanation of the game’s mechanics, like the Rage Meter and various defensive techniques, you can check out my previous article. Samurai Shodown’s training mode should be the first place you stop after working your way through the barebones tutorial. I personally recommend starting with Haohmaru, who functions as the Ryu of the franchise thanks to his basic movelist and jack-of-all-trades skillset, but feel free to pick anyone you think looks cool.

Haohmaru has a fireball and an uppercut, but what you’ll want to check out first are his normal attacks. Work your way through every button, absorbing their strengths and weaknesses. Light Slash is like a jab, for instance, meaning it comes out fast but deals little damage on its own compared to the Medium and Heavy varieties. In addition to standing, crouching, and jumping normals, each button can also be used during a character’s running animation, usually with unique properties. In Haomaru’s case, you’re going to want to focus on two specific normals at first: his standing Medium Slash and his crouching Heavy Slash. The former is a great poke that can be canceled into uppercut, while the latter is a functional anti-air. Keep in mind that Heavy Slash has very slow startup, meaning you’ll need to practice timing it correctly if you want to catch a jumping opponent.

Screenshot: SNK

No matter how cool it feels or looks, jumping is the biggest trap in fighting games. Although it may seem like the best option at all times, it leaves you completely defenseless. This goes double for Samurai Shodown, whose characters float lazily through the air with every jump. When you’re just starting out, only go airborne when you think you have a read on a fireball-happy opponent, and be ready to follow up accordingly. Haohmaru’s jumping Heavy Slash deals incredible damage, especially when you combo into standing Medium Slash and a Heavy uppercut. The timing on this short combo isn’t incredibly tricky, but you’ll want to be sure to land the Heavy Slash as late into the jump as possible to provide enough of a window to transition into the next attack.

The Samurai Shodown roster doesn’t begin and end with Haohmaru, though. After 16 years, the franchise has a ton of characters from which to choose. Nakoruru is small and frail but brings backup to matches in the form of her pet hawk, Mamahaha. She uses the bird as a projectile and can also latch onto its feet for some airborne shenanigans. The burly Earthquake uses long-range normals to make up for his slow speed, but he can also dish out damage with a quick command grab if he manages to get close to the opponent. South-American warrior Tam Tam comes equipped with a variety of projectiles, making him the closest thing the newest Samurai Shodown has to a true zoner, or a character that thrives by controlling the rhythm of the battle with fireballs.

No matter who you choose, it’s important to head into competitive matches knowing that online play is a brutal hellscape and you will lose more than you win for a long time. This can be frustrating, but winning shouldn’t be your initial goal. After every match, try to pick out one or two things that you can learn or improve upon. Were you unfamiliar with Ukyo’s tricky special attacks? Was Yashamaru’s double jump difficult to follow? Did you get tunnel-vision and try too hard to make something happen with risky attacks?

Since Samurai Shodown dropped a few days ago, the competitive community has been hard at work learning the ins and outs of the new outing and its various characters. They found some pretty useful things, so I’ll share some here. For instance, did you know the fully charged version of one of Darli Dagger’s special attacks is completely unblockable?

Ukyo is typically pretty good, but he was done dirty here. Many of his normals are punishable on hit—an uncommon characteristic since successfully landed attacks are usually safe from retaliation in most fighting games—so you’ll want to use them from specific ranges to make them more safe.

Wu-Ruixiang’s run provides a guard point above her head that blocks air attacks.

If you’re playing Shiki, Jubei, or anyone else with an uppercut-style attack, you’ll need to be careful against an opponent that still has access to their Rage meter, as Rage Explosion can be used to escape and punish combos.

Using Rage in this way eliminates its use from the rest of the match, but it’s a great way to seal the deal at the end of a game.

Yoshitora carries a lot of swords, but he doesn’t unlock his special seventh sword—which gives him access to a super damaging, screen-filling attack—until landing each of his six specials at least once. As such, players are trying to figure out the easiest methods of getting that seventh sword unsheathed. One way is to use an incredibly powerful attack known as a Super Special, which unlocks it immediately. This can only be activated once per game, however, so use it wisely.

Players can also land Yoshitora’s specials after the round has ended and they’ll still count toward unlocking the seventh sword in subsequent rounds.

As you can see, Samurai Shodown manages to be complex despite its focus on foundational genre skills. But don’t let that complexity scare you away! It’s very easy to jump into this game and learn the basics, and there are very few execution-related constraints. Yes, Samurai Shodown is going to kick your ass. It’s a fighting game, for crying out loud! Fortunately, you don’t need to be Daigo Umehara to challenge your friends in your living room, check out your local weekly tournament, or even attend events like Evo and Combo Breaker. Just show up, ask questions, and remember to have fun, because fighting games are something so great.

Ian Walker loves fighting games and loves writing about them even more. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.

Source: Kotaku.com

Samurai Shodown Is Slow And Deliberate In The Best Way Possible

Image: SNK

Samurai Shodown, which arrives for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, is the series’ first original outing in eleven years. Although it’s unnumbered, this release represents the seventh mainline installment of the storied fighting franchise, bringing its unique brand of methodical swordplay to a generation already overrun with sequels, reboots, and resurrections. My biggest question heading into my time with Samurai Shodown was whether or not it could stand apart in a crowded genre, and I’m happy to report that SNK hasn’t missed a beat.

Growing up, Samurai Shodown was my white whale. It was easy for me to jump into most fighting games and quickly figure out a few basic combos, but Samurai Shodown was different, even from a fellow SNK franchise like King of Fighters. I was routinely drawn to these cabinets throughout my childhood, enticed by the art style and samurai aesthetic, but after dropping a few tokens into the machine, I was lost. Why weren’t these attacks linking like I expected? Why was my health dropping so fast? Every time I tried my hand at Samurai Shodown, I would walk away disappointed, not at the game but at my own inability to grasp the mechanics on a fundamental level.

Now that time has passed and I don’t need to spend quarter after quarter getting my ass beat by more knowledgeable human opponents to learn a fighting game, Samurai Shodown isn’t a great mystery. Unlike its contemporaries, which focus on combos and mixups, this series is almost exclusively about spacing and predicting your opponent’s next move. The slow movement speed of the characters and the huge damage they can inflict with just a few well-placed attacks make every round a tense, deliberate affair, and it’s these key differences that continue to set the series apart even as fighting games have grown and expanded. In this way, Samurai Shodown feels more grounded compared to the rest of the genre, akin to the classic films of Akira Kurosawa rather than over-the-top anime or martial arts pictures from which most fighting games draw inspiration.

The newest Samurai Shodown revolves around four attack buttons: three weapon slashes of increasing potency—light, medium, heavy—and a kick. Light attacks are fast and low damage, while the heavy varieties are often accompanied by a dramatic swipe of the sword, making them intimidatingly unsafe but devastating if they connect with the opponent. From there, specific button combinations open up a character’s toolset. Pressing medium and heavy slash, for instance, results in a universal overhead that will hit crouching opponents, even if they’re blocking.

Where Samurai Shodown really shines is in its bevy of defensive techniques. Blocking just before an opponent’s attack hits results in a Just Defense, which ignores damage and can be transitioned into a space-creating Stance Break. Players can also avoid attacks altogether with Dodge, a move that, as the name suggests, dodges all attacks and throws during a short window. Then there are Counters, which deflect an opponent’s attack and disarm them; without a weapon, most characters can only use a set of much weaker physical attacks, although barehanded players do have the opportunity to perform a Blade Catch, which will disarm their opponent. As with most everything in fighting games, timing on these techniques is crucial, and any misstep will open players up to a world of hurt from a smart opponent.

The last component of all battles in Samurai Shodown is Rage. Over the course of a match, meters below both characters will fill as they get hit and perform techniques like Just Defense. Once the Rage meter is full, that character’s damage is increased, and certain attacks receive enhancements—mostly in the form of extra hits. Rage also grants access to Weapon Flipping Techniques, or supers that disarm the opponent if they land. Characters remain enraged for a set period of time that’s unique to each fighter, but Rage ends immediately with a successful Weapon Flipping Technique. Finally, players can use their Rage meter for a Rage Explosion, which further increases damage and allows the use of Issen, a super super that results in a dramatic animation and doles out tremendous pain on an unsuspecting opponent.

Screenshot: SNK

These aspects of Samurai Shodown combine to create an experience that feels wildly different than any other fighting game on the market. Sure, you’re going to find spacing and footsies all over Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, and Tekken, but Samurai Shodown cranks those fundamental skills to the max. Combos are short but damage is ridiculously high, and those numbers only climb upwards when players manage to anticipate an opponent’s next action and counter-hit appropriately. The meticulous dance that results reminds me, oddly enough, of Divekick, the humorous, one-touch-kill fighting game developed by former competitor and tournament organizer Adam “Keits” Heart, who most recently worked on the second and third seasons of Microsoft’s Killer Instinct reboot at Iron Galaxy Studios. Just like in Divekick, more time is spent establishing control of the battlefield in Samurai Shodown than on landing attacks—but when those attacks do land, look out, because whoever is on the receiving end of the katana is in for a world of hurt.

While Samurai Shodown is sure to appeal to dedicated fighting game players, it might not find fertile ground with less zealous fans. The game only includes a couple of minimal side modes to break up the monotony of online and offline versus matches, including a standard fight-cutscene-fight story mode and a ghost-developing Dojo mode (the latter of which wasn’t yet available at the time of writing). The tutorial also leaves a lot to be desired; it teaches the basics, sure, but lacks a real demonstration as to when and where Samurai Shodown’s complicated techniques are best utilized. The inclusion of a trial mode to help newcomers learn a few basic combos and strategies would have gone a long way, but as it stands, I don’t see Samurai Shodown converting anyone who doesn’t already have at least a moderate interest in competitive fighting games.

As I’ve grown older and my hands have turned from supple instruments of death into gnarled claws incapable of marathon practice sessions, my opinion on what makes for a satisfying fighting game has evolved. Where before I was enthralled by long combos and intricate mixups, now all I want is a collection of simple-yet-deep mechanics that allow me to do cool shit without as much wear and tear on my digits. Samurai Shodown scratches that itch and then some by bringing the franchise’s unique rhythm to the modern age, with an unshakeable weight that favors getting in your opponent’s head with a smart read over pulling off 100-hit combos. Samurai Shodown can be exhausting, even frustrating at times—seeing your health melt away with just one or two attacks for the first time is deeply demoralizing—but it’s a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Ian Walker loves fighting games and loves writing about them even more. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.

Source: Kotaku.com

Week In Games: Let’s Go Make Another Mario

Perhaps the best-known game coming out this week is Super Mario Maker 2, a sequel much anticipated by many of us here at Kotaku, not to mention Mario fans everywhere. But that’s not the only cool game on the docket this week. There’s a Switch port of the original Devil May Cry, plus the 2019 remake of fighting game classic Samurai Shodown, and also, the long-awaited release of the English version of Judgment on PS4. And so much more!

Monday, June 24

  • Heavy Rain | PC
  • Azuran Tales: Trials | Switch
  • Devil May Cry | Switch
  • Horresco Referens | Mac, PC
  • And All Would Cry Beware! | Mac, PC

Tuesday, June 25

  • Samurai Shodown | PS4, Xbox One
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night | Switch
  • Judgment | PS4
  • Car Mechanic Simulator | PS4, Xbox One
  • Monster Jam Steel Titans | PS4, Xbox One
  • We. The Revolution | PS4, Switch, Xbox One
  • Super Neptunia RPG | Switch
  • World of Warcraft: Rise of Azshara | Mac, PC

Wednesday, June 26

  • Victorian Mysteries: Woman In White | PC

Thursday, June 27

  • The Sinking City | PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Furwind | Switch, Xbox One
  • War Tech Fighters | Switch, Xbox One
  • Sega Ages Virtua Racing | Switch
  • Sega Ages Wonder Boy: Monster Land | Switch

Friday, June 28

  • Super Mario Maker 2 | Switch
  • F1 2019 | PC, PS4, Xbox One

Coming Soon

Tuesday, July 2

  • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers | PC, PS4
  • Red Faction Guerilla Re-Mars-tered Edition | Switch
  • Apex Legends Season 2 | PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Will: A Wonderful World | PS4, Switch

Thursday, July 4

  • Stranger Things 3: The Game | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Friday, July 5

  • Sea of Solitude | PS4, Xbox One, PC

About the author

Source: Kotaku.com