Whenever a classic series has a new entry that isn’t clearly a sequel, the question comes up of just what the hell is it. Is it a remake? A remaster? A reboot? The answer is usually pretty nebulous, so when I got the chance to ask this for a new game I took it. That game was Samurai Shodown, coming back following a many year absence and at first looking like a remake. But there’s new stuff here, so what the hell is it? A soft reboot according to the developer.
I asked the question at PAX East the other week, and the answer came after a bit of debate it seemed. “It’s more like a soft reboot,” replied Josh Weatherford, one of the game designers behind this latest release. Although it does seem to be up for a bit of discussion as he consulted with both Director Nobuyuki Kuroki and Producer Yasuyiki Oda before and after answering. However, no one objected so the term seems to be agreed upon by everyone now.
A soft reboot sounds about right though for what Samurai Showdown appears to be. It’s taking us back to the beginning of the series, shedding some of the baggage that had been added over the years and bringing it back to its core. However, it’s not a remake as it has lots of new content and gameplay that wasn’t present in the original. And all of this is on top of the great new art style that mimics, but still upgrades what was there back in the 90’s.
You can get a good look at this in our gameplay video below. And be sure to check back for more as Samurai Shodown heads to release on PS4 and Xbox One in June and later for PC and Switch.