Samurai Shodown – Great Battle

Target Right Presentation
In its efforts to return to the gaming industry, SNK indeed feels still “shocked” by what gamers perceive as modern games, especially in terms of presentation. The last two KOF series, whether in the main series or spin-off, must be admitted cannot be aligned with many modern fighting games, even those using a similar visual approach. He could not match Street Fighter from the artistic side or the accuracy of the fantastic character model in the Arc System Works concoction games. The good news? For the first time after they returned, Samurai Shodown must be admitted to executing this matter so well.

All the iconic Samurai Shodown characters from the past such as Haohmaru, Ukyo, Nakoruru, and Kyoshiro now come with a familiar design and similar to what you know in the original series, but look more modern through the concept of cell-shading that must be recognized, right on target. This visual quality improvement not only occurs in character models, but also the effects of attacks that appear, from burning fires to a variety of special cinematic attacks. In short, SNK’s effort to make Samurai Shodown feels right and must be recognized, better than what they offered in the previous KOF project.

One interesting thing is how they still open the options for gore content in the game itself. That to “brighten up” what is offered in the original series while at the same time giving a more realistic impression, this is a step that should have taken place. Samurai Shodown provides an option for you who want blood and mutilation to occur.

The blood that flows from every attack you receive or throw right now is not only splashed in every slash that happens, but also sticks to the body and clothes of the character. Indicates that a great battle is happening. A strong attack at the end of the round also has the opportunity to mutilate the opponent’s body into two parts, even though the end does not show the contents of the body or blood flowing. But at least he is quite consistent so you can still execute this type of mutilation attack against Nakoruru for example – which incidentally is a 17-year-old sweet girl who in some other games, might get “special” treatment. Everything is combined with animated attacks that are still loyal to what you know from the original series.

So from the presentation side, Samurai Shodown managed to offer a fantastic form from the artistic side. The choice of the right cell-shading style, the reboot of the character model that managed to make each of them feel modern while maintaining the original version of the attack animation, the option to turn gore on and off, and music that supports the mood? We were even surprised by what we got.

Calm or dead
The genre that he stretches may be similar, fighting. But for gamers who have eaten the salt acid of this genre, they certainly understand that it is not always a hitting action with extra weapons and this special attack can be generalized. Almost every fighting game, which looks similar though, has a different gameplay mechanic that makes each one feel special. In Samurai Shodown, the key to victory will be in one thing – calmness. Believe it or not, in the modern era where fighting games are often strongly associated with the speed of animation and brutal combination attacks, Samurai Shodown maintains its limited old taste. Something that beautifully, represents the battle between samurai who should be.

Timing is everything in Samurai Shodown, not just about attacking but also defending. The attack will be divided into three broad categories – weak, medium, and strong, each of which has a different system of damage and speed. Strong attacks of course produce super big damage that is not playful, but on the other hand, has a slower execution speed than the other two types of attacks. While weak attacks offer the opposite. So, what is the effect? This system was later merged with a fantastic blocking system. If you succeed in predicting an existing attack animation and doing the right blocking, there will be a stagger gap there, where you can then strike back. Or if not, even normal blocking will still open a big opportunity for you to produce certain damage.

Do you know the more cool part? That on the same side, it also offers mechanical depth that can be mastered by those who want to grow more proficient or even ambitious to enter the pro scene. You, for example, rather than just blocking, can end up disarming your opponents. By executing the right attacks or even using specific special attacks, you can make their weapons fly and stuck on the ground. Fighting like this certainly produces benefits for those who hold weapons considering that he produces super large damage but also allows him to continue to launch special attacks that require weapons. While those who are disarmed, are now in a position of “defending” with one main motivation – trying to take back the weapon and make a position in the game again equal.

Dramatic and cool Lightning Strike!
Not enough to get there? Samurai Shodown also offers a bar power system called RAGE. If he is in full position, gamers can activate RAGE Explosion and get specific benefits. You can attack with greater damage, can execute Lightning Strike – a super dramatic attack that will immediately kill the enemy if their blood is below 50%, to use an attack called Weapon Flipping – a special type of attack that will immediately disarm the opponent. Unique? Unlike most fighting games where power bars like this are always available for you to fill, Samurai Shodown only allows you to do RAGE Explosion only once in a fight. If you use it in the first round for example, then you will no longer be able to use it and fill it in the second and third rounds.

This then grew into a matter of decision making and how important RAGE Explosion is to ensure you stay in battle. Is sacrificing this bar right? Or can you wait longer and make sure you can use it in the next round? Because there is one other mechanic who is strongly associated with this system. Your character can also enter a phase called MAX RAGE, where passively, all characters whose RAGE bar is in full position will get boost damage. This RAGE bar will also decrease slowly automatically, making timings in this bar more important than before. Mechanics “as simple as” a power bar alone have become a new consideration in Samurai Shodown.

Samurai Shodown is a fantastic fighting game. That in the midst of its simplicity and old appeal, it is a competitive game built with love and caution. Something you can feel since you first raised the sword with him.

Samurai Shodown is a solid fighting game that is a pity to miss, regardless of whether you have tasted the original series or not. He offers a classic fighting game sensation where the key to victory never lies in your ability to remember and memorize attacks of super long combinations that must be executed long. Its strength lies precisely in its simplicity, where standard attacks that you can only execute with a single button can end up being a disaster with great damage. But on the other hand, there are super deep mechanics that can be learned for those who want to master more complex mechanics. With a relatively slow girlfriend, the key to victory lies in calmness.

But that doesn’t mean Samurai Shodown can be called perfect. Although it must be admitted, most of the criticisms that we will throw here are totally unrelated to the basic gameplay mechanics that deserve thumbs up because of the depth and strategy that you can execute with it. What we are concerned about is actually more rooted in the system of mutilation which ends up only being cut in half for any type of attack rather than showing something more gore or a story that is not too essential. Weaknesses also lie in the AI ​​Ghost Battle, which as far as we try, against Ghost himself or someone else, ends up more “stupid” than the Normal AI in various modes. There is something strange here.

Apart from these shortcomings, Samurai Shodown is a fantastic fighting game. That in the midst of its simplicity and old appeal, it is a competitive game built with love and caution. Something you can feel since you first raised the sword with him.

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