Last June, after seven years of drought, the venerable racket series rebooted on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Now fans of the series can also go to the throats on the Nintendo console. The most important thing for everyone who has completely missed the series so far: In the samurai shodown games that have appeared since 1993, players slip into the roles of different samurai or other sword bearers and then fight each other against the classic backdrop of feudal Japan.
Compared to genre colleagues, the fight here should remain exciting until the last second with a few tricks.
For newcomers, these tricks first take getting used to. The options to knock your opponent green and blue are numerous: in addition to the standard sword and kick attacks, the player can also trigger special moves, super special moves and "rage explosions" to turn the tide in combat.
The rage explosions in particular create plenty of excitement, because even hopeless arguments can be won in the last second. If you manage to break through your opponent's defense with maximum fury, you can use the so-called "Blitzblade", the damage of which depends on how hard you were hit before. Shortly before your own screen death, the opponent can be defeated with just one blow. In addition, there is the possibility of knocking each other's hand out of hand by means of disarming techniques and thereby gaining an advantage.
It can be beaten
Source: PC Games
The fights themselves are fluid, offer tactical components and are entertaining fun. The game should have been a bit more extensive. In addition to a local and an online versus mode, Samurai offers Shodown (buy now) just a training and a short story mode. The latter is actually nothing more than an arcade mode. Apart from a handful of short cut scenes and a few drawn still images, which are accompanied by traditional Japanese sounds, there is nothing to see here. No comparison to the elaborately staged story of a Mortal Kombat 11, which, on the other hand, has a cinematic effect with numerous cut scenes. The multiplayer is a bit more extensive. This consists of the typical offline versus mode, the online versus against other players and the "dojo", in which you have to take on computer-controlled "ghosts" whose attack patterns are generated on the basis of collected, real player data. To compete with equally strong opponents, you can also use your own ranking mode in multiplayer. The search for teammates worked pretty quickly during the test and while you wait, all other game modes can be continued as you like.
Source: PC Games
There are 16 different characters to beat up for the beating fun, including three new additions. Most of them are – who would have thought? – Samurai who squeeze their muscular torsos into traditional Japanese robes and only give masculine groans and silly sayings. They fit the blunt fights like a fist on the eye!
On the other hand, what doesn't suit the eye is the look of the game. Even in docked mode, the graphics look stale and pixelated. There would have been a lot more! In return, Samurai Shodown remains smoothly playable with a constant 60 FPS. Fans of the series should be satisfied despite small problems. The new edition of the thrashing classic is fun on the Switch and is also interesting for newbies. But they should perhaps wait a bit longer to buy, because the 50 euros that developers are asking SNK to release do not make the game a bargain – especially since the price of the versions for Xbox One and Playstation 4 has now dropped significantly.
Samurai Shodown is an entertaining spanking game with lame single-player content
For me as a newcomer to the series, Samurai Shodown leaves an ambiguous impression: On the one hand, the game in multiplayer mode is really fun and also pursues interesting approaches through some gameplay mechanics. In particular, the fact that the rudder can be pulled around by the "lightning blade" ensures exciting fights. On the other hand, the balance in comparison to the competition in the form of genre sizes such as Mortal Kombat 11, Streetfighter or Dragon Ball Fighter Z is rather sobering. Neither the size nor the look are very up to date and SNK has also exaggerated somewhat when it comes to pricing. Since comparable titles offer significantly more and are now often even cheaper, I can only give a real recommendation for samurai veterans. If you really feel like Japanese sliced meat, are a fan of the long-established series and can live with graphic drawbacks, you should definitely take a look.
Samurai Shodown in the test: The classic remake is now also available for the Switch! (1) (Source: PC Games)
Also popular with PC game readers PCNSWPS4XBOPS2
Samurai Shodown: Launch trailer with battle-focused gameplay scenes
Samurai Shodown: Launch of the beating game and season pass characters
Samurai Shodown: World exclusive trailer introduces the fighter Tam Tam
(*) We have marked affiliate links with an asterisk. We receive a small commission for a purchase via our link and can thus partially finance the free-of-charge website with this income. There are no costs for the user.