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Why re-reviews are important: Samurai Shodown 2019 – Reader’s Feature-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

A reader details how much has changed about SNK fighter Samurai Shodown in the last five years and why it’s not reflected in review scores.

Why re-reviews are important: Samurai Shodown 2019 – Reader’s Feature-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

Samurai Shodown – a lot has changed since launch (Picture: SNK)

A reader details how much has changed about SNK fighter Samurai Shodown in the last five years and why it’s not reflected in review scores.

It’s a rare thing these days for games to release in their final completed package. Season passes and downloadable content are the norm, so when a game releases and gets a review score it only tells you about the game day one, and rightly so.

What’s reviewed at the time of launch ends up on sites such as Metacritic and can give a false impression of a game when you look back a few years later, after it’s had it’s updates, tweaks, and add-ons. It’s possible for an unpolished game to launch and be fixed later on. A bad or mediocre game could become a great game with more work over a period of time.

The game I want to talk about today is the Samurai Shodown reboot from 2019. By no means a bad game at launch, in fact far from it. Just a game that lacked content on day one. It still is a bit high and dry on game modes, as pointed out by GameCentral in their original review, but what it does now have is more characters, something that hindered its review score on its initial release.

The game is now also an enhanced version running at 120 frames per second on the Xbox Series X that I play on. It’s ultra smooth in motion. It’s the first game I’ve played at this frame rate and it’s a joy to behold in action.

Samurai Shodown is a Japanese game. Even with its English subtitles, all the spoken language is in Japanese. Iza Jinjouni, ipponme, shoubu! Which translates as ‘to a fair duel, round one, fight!’ You’ll be hearing this a lot when you start a match.

Samurai Shodown is unlike any other fighter I’ve ever played. You don’t need to learn massive combo strings here. Combos are almost non-existent. The game focuses more on deliberate weapon hits to do massive damage, those weapon slashes can even outpower the special moves. Leave yourself open and you’ll receive massive damage if those weapons connect.

Samurai Shodown – five years of additions (Picture: SNK)

It’s a very tactical fighter and has good depth to its underlying game mechanics. The vast array of different weapons that the characters have range from a samurai sword to a boomerang, a bladed spear to a three-bladed weapon on a chain, and a huge stone pillar to a parasol. Don’t be fooled, that parasol packs a punch. We now have a multitude of very unique characters each having their own pros and cons. It’s a delight to choose any of the cast and see what they can do in a fight.

The game released with 16 characters on its base roster, which in this day and age is a little bit low, especially when you consider that SNK’s other fighting game, The King Of Fighters 15 (2022), released with a base roster of 39 characters. In GameCentral’s original review the game scored 8/10 with one of the cons being the small roster of fighters.

Samurai Shodown’s roster has almost doubled in size, 14 extra season pass characters now take the final roster to 30. It’s a massive improvement over the original game release. What’s most impressive is that every character feels genuinely different to play as and of a high quality. There’s no unnecessary bloat or filler here. The character designs are also brilliant and so are the animations.

Samurai Shodown – now featuring caber tossing (Picture: SNK)

These season pass characters haven’t been introduced just to boost the numbers, for me they’re absolutely necessary to the final completed Samurai Showdown package. For me it’s turned it from a good game into a great game. For me it now deserves another point to take it to a 9/10.

The season pass characters are Basara, Kazuki Kazama, Rimururu, Shizumaru Hisame, Wan-Fu, Gongsung Li, Iroha, Mina Majikina, Sogetsu Kazama, Warden, Baiken, Cham Cham, Hibiki Takane, and Amakusa. I want to share some screenshots of all the new characters to show off their designs but also to show just how many characters were missing from the final game on release.

If you like fighting games and want to try a fighter that’s completely unique and unlike other games in its genre and it’s final form, then I definitely recommend giving this one a go. It gets my seal of approval and I’ve been a fighting game fan for a very long time.

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Samurai Showdown 2019.

The way of the Samurai is to know death.
The way of Shura is to know victory.
I am the ultimate fighter, and all those who stand in my way shall…


– Quote from Haohmaru in the opening sequence of the game.

By reader Nick The Greek

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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