It’s the late nineties. I just finished a totally awesome series in a bowling tournament and need to kill some time. What does teenage me do? Head to the arcade, of course. And what do I find there? A few decent options, but the real star for me is Samurai Shodown. While I didn’t put enough hours into the game to call myself an expert, every time I saw a Samurai Shodown machine at the arcade, I had to plunk a few quarters in to play. So I was gleefully excited to check out the brand new game in the series, which takes that original arcade and home console classic and updates it for 2019.
The first thing that blows most people away with the new Samurai Shodown is the art. Featuring cel-shaded visuals that evoke the feeling of the old school game while looking totally fresh and new, it’s a real treat for the eyes. You can see this in the gameplay below, which features my early steps into remembering the game followed by a couple of the developers playing against each other so you can see some real skill.
Those developers are Director Nobuyuki Kuroki and Producer Yasuyiki Oda who watched as I played and offered some advice. This included how to properly utilize the ultimate ability, which is a once-per-game attack that can deal a ton of damage, especially if you’re low on health. But using it is key to victory, as you can waste it and end up in much worse shape than your opponent.
There’s much more to the combat though, which includes parries and disarming using perfectly timed blocks. And you’ll want to use this because Samurai Shodown is a truly hardcore 2D fighter. It has the classic feel of the original arcade release, with the visual and gameplay polish of a modern one. Fans will love getting to see their old favorites updated, and there’s even some new fighters along for the ride. This isn’t just a remastering in any way, it’s acting as a reboot of sorts for the series, and that was clear with our time at PAX East.
Check out the gameplay below and be sure to keep an eye out for more as Samurai Showdown heads to release on PS4 and Xbox One in June and later on PC and Switch.