Samurai Shodown – one of the more unique entries in the fighting game
Samurai Shodown, at the end of the day, is one of the more unique entries in the fighting game genre in recent years. It’s flashy, stylish and unique, and it drives home the importance of fighting game fundamentals that will help create the next great FGC legends in the coming years. It’s beautiful story mode and bevy of versus challenges will keep anyone occupied for quite some times, though it’s disappointing tutorial modes can do with a bit of patching in additional lessons in the future. Samurai Shodown may no longer have the name recognitions SNK’s premier fighting game used to have, but this entry is a return to greatness, rivaling even the Mortal Kombats and Soul Caliburs of the world. It’s a worthy addition to any fighting game fan’s collection and an excellent starting point for players new to the genre.
When I was growing up, there were always two games I’d play in the arcade: Soul Edge and Samurai Shodown. I was good at both – really good. Every Saturday morning, my parents would take me to the casino bowling alley here in Vegas, give us a handful of quarters and send us on our way. My brothers and I would take turns fighting the computer, thinking we were hot stuff since we could get through the arcade mode on just a few quarters. Fast forward to 2019 and I honestly felt the latest installment of Samurai Shodown would make me feel the same way. I could not have been more wrong. Samurai Shodown is a great mix of fundamentals-focused, highly stylized gameplay that simply never gets old no matter how many times the wrong spacing leads to a round-losing punish.
Years of getting lazy in fighting games made my first few games in Samurai Shodown a frustrating mess. I kept trying to attack Samurai Shodown like any other game – rushing and trying to string together combos. It was quickly made apparent that Shodown is slow, deliberate and deadly. Samurai Shodown thrives on fundamentals. I mentioned previously it’s deliberate: that’s a good thing. This isn’t a game where you’ll string together 20 hit combos on the regular. Samurai Shodown is instead a game where you’ll constantly be fighting for spacing, setting up the perfect counter attack. Each attack has the potential to close out games, causing tons of damage, making some rounds last only four or five swings of a weapon before the end of the round.
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