For the 1993 video game, check Samurai Shodown.
Samurai Shodown, known as Samurai Spirits (侍魂) in Japan, is a fighting game by SNK released in June 2019. The game is a reboot of the Samurai Shodown series and the first "mainline" game since 2008's Samurai Shodown Sen, marking an 11 year gap between the releases themselves. This is also the first SNK game having to utilize Unreal Engine graphics (in this case, Unreal Engine 4) and the second of the official chronology, succeeding Samurai Shodown V.
The illustrations, in-game artwork and background were mostly done by Yumi Saji while covers were done by Eisuke Ogura.
The game was first released in June 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and later ported to the Nintendo Switch and Stadia. An arcade version (running on Taito Type X3 hardware with the NESICAxLive2 digital distribution platform) was playable in August at EVO 2019 in Las Vegas and was released in October 2019 in Japan.
It is 1787, the 7th year of the Tenmei era. A newly appointed counsel to the Shogun, Matsudaira Sadanobu, has been chosen to usher in a new age of reform with the Kansei era. However, the land remains beset by fire, ruin, and famine, all while a sinister cloud darkens the air with a foreboding sense of dread.
The starting roster features a total of 16 characters, with 13 returning veterans from the past Samurai Shodown games, along with three newcomers and a new final boss to the series. Additional characters are slated to appear as DLC.
- Shizuka Gozen (non-playable)
This section needs expansion.
- Note 1: In Story Mode, the following characters doesn't have an associated stage, fighting in the featured places:
- Earthquake: Gairyu Isle (Nighttime), Kumano Kodo & Green Hell;
- Shiki: Mikatagahara & Kumano Kodo;
- Yoshitora: Rakucyu Sanmonmae, Uduki & Gairyu Isle (Nighttime) [only in Hanzo's Story Mode];
- Darli: Gairyu Isle (Daytime), Mikatagahara, Kumano Kodo & Uduki (only in Shizumaru's Story Mode);
- Ruixiang: Uduki, Green Hell, Kumano Kodo (only in her Fateful Battle vs. Shiki) & Kamui Kotan;
- Basara & Mina: Rakucyu Sanmonmae;
- Wan-Fu: Kamui Kotan (Late Winter).
- Note 2: In Battle Mode, the Boss Stage (Sakura of Shizuka) is available only in the first version. In addition, the Dojo Stage is only available in the Battle and Dojo Modes.
- Note 3: In Story Mode, Nakoruru fights in the following stages:
- Uduki: in Rimururu's Story;
- Mikatagahara: in Mina's Story.
- Gairyu Isle: Daytime (A.K.A. Gairyujima) — Haohmaru: The new version of the famous stage, showing the Mount Fuji and the Miyajima Shrine. Bonsais, lamps, a boat, a lighthouse and sharp stones are featured. Stage reminiscent of Samurai Shodown II and Samurai Shodown V Special.
- Kamui Kotan, Late Autumn — Nakoruru: A forest on an autumn day. Various animals, a waterfall, trees, a bamboo bridge and the village can be seen in the background.
- Note: in a new update, the deer present in the stage, which was crouching before, stands.
- Mikatagahara (A.K.A. Mikatagahara Field) — Genjuro: The new version of the famous dandelion field on a full moon night with a red sky. Features mountains and dead trees in the background, besides pathways through the field. Stage reminiscent of Samurai Shodown II.
- Minerva no Ma (A.K.A. Hall of Minerva) — Charlotte: The new version of the salon of the de Colde family. Features a new portrait showing all the original cast in the game (the same showed in the first trailer), a red carpet, chandeliers and vases with red roses. Stage reminiscent of Samurai Shodown II.
- Pirate Galleon or On The Galleon (A.K.A. Galleon Senjyo) — Galford: The deck of a pirate ship. Other ships appear in the background and the crew can be seen (which reacts when certain fighters win or lose fights, no matter the position), as well as barrels, cannons, woman statues and ropes. Similar to the stages of Samurai Shodown I and II.
- Note: When the fight's time is almost over (starting from 10 seconds), the ocean water rises high, scaring the crew.
- Uduki (A.K.A. Early Summer) — Jubei: A open bamboo forest. Features shacks, stones (some with Buddha face) and lamps. Also can be seen a gate in the background and the sun. Stage reminiscent of Samurai Shodown I and II.
- Gairyu Isle: Nighttime — Ukyo: In this version, the shrine and lamps are multiplied and a shack can be seen. The boat and the lighthouse disappear, and in the left side, can be seen a full moon. Stage reminiscent of Samurai Shodown II and Samurai Shodown V Special.
- Kumano Kodo — Hanzo: The pilgrimage route forest next to the Nachi Falls and the Tsugizakura-oji, Chikatsuyu-oji and Hosshinmon-oji shrines, in a cloudy and misty day. Can be seen a small rain on the stage. Similar to the stage of Samurai Shodown I.
- Shibaigoya (A.K.A. The Kabuki Stage) — Kyoshiro: The famous stage which Kyoshiro performs his Kabuki act. Features sakura trees, a Kanji sign, painted walls and an audience watching the fight. Stage reminiscent of the three first games of the series.
- Green Hell — Tam Tam: Tam Tam's birthplace. The fight takes place on a bridge next to the mudding ruins of the Mayan city, with a waterfall in the background, small waterfalls and native vegetation.
- Rakucyu Sanmonmae (A.K.A. Before The Temple Gate) — Yashamaru: The Ninna-ji Temple, in Kyoto. Features trees, lamps, mountains, flags, flying birds and a forest, in the background, besides. The snow falls slowly on the stage, and can be seen a small amount in the stage.
- Sakura of Shizuka: A courtyard of a temple. A sakura tree, multiple stairs, corridors and lanterns can be seen. In the second version of the stage, only the sakura tree and the lanterns are featured. Associated with Shizuka.
- Dojo: A empty dojo with small windows and a samurai sword in the background. Kuroko can be seen judging the matches.
- Note: This stage is the only one in which Kuroko appears.
- Kamui Kotan, Late Winter — Rimururu: The same stage as Nakoruru, but in the depths of winter. Leafless trees, snow-covered ground and forest animals can be seen, besides snow falling on the stage.
- Nikko — Shizumaru: The Toshogu Shrine, next to the Yomeimon Gate, in the background. Redwood trees feature prominently and dead leaves are strewn about the arena, besides lion statues and some trees in the background. Pigeons flock about the stage floor, which divides into a tiled walkway and dead ground.
- Sumidagawa (A.K.A. Sumida River) — Kazuki: A wooden pier next to the Sumidagawa and Azumabashi bridges, during the annual fireworks celebrations in Edo. A large wooden bridge and multiple boats can be seen, whilst fireworks fill the sky.
Samurai Shodown was unveiled at the SNK Investor Relations 2018 IPO conference, being developed by SNK. The twelfth main game in the Samurai Shodown series, it is the first mainline entry since 2008's Samurai Shodown Sen.
The development team consists of members who worked on The King of Fighters XIV and SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. Nobuyuki Kuroki is the director and one of the artists, while Yasuyuki Oda serves as producer. Kuroki has been previously involved with the series through the Samurai Shodown 64 titles. The internal staff at SNK who worked on the game consisted of 50 to 60 employees, as well as outsourcing some art assets, to form a total of an estimated 200 employees who worked on the game.  Some of the reasons for making a new title were the recent focus on the esports community and the many fan requests. The team considered using a realistic art style for the graphics but decided against it because too many fighting games were using it already. Oda has expressed interest in adding guest characters from other video game franchises.
Due to outdated graphics involving the releases of The King of Fighters XIV and SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy, SNK chairman Zhihui GE had stated that the future SNK fighting games will use Unreal Engine 4 graphics in order to give a better graphical presentation.
DLC Characters Trailers
DLC Season Pass Trailers
- Although it's advertised as a reboot, this is very unlikely, since the game apparently happens after Samurai Shodown V (the first in the chronology) but before the first Samurai Shodown.
- A cinematic after the character ending plays heavily implies Ambrosia's influence being the cause of Shizuka's corruption, and as well foreshadowing Amakusa's introduction into the lore.
- Of all the DLC characters, the existence of Sogetsu being a DLC character was accidentally discovered in the release of arcade version of the game, with his graphical assets already officially created ahead of the eventual reveal. Sogetsu's existence was also speculated by fans due to the fact his brother Kazuki has been released as a DLC character earlier, before the aforementioned leak, then finally the official announcement at EVO Japan 2020.
- ↑ https://www.snk-corp.co.jp/us/press/2019/072601/
- ↑ https://www.destructoid.com/samurai-shodown-is-reportedly-coming-early-2019-for-ps4-pc-xbox-one-and-nintendo-switch-533846.phtml Destructoid: Samurai Shodown is reportedly coming early 2019 for PS4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 http://shoryuken.com/2018/09/13/nobuyuki-kuroki-confirms-that-new-samurai-shodown-is-being-made-by-the-same-team-as-the-king-of-fighters-xiv-and-snk-heroines-tag-team-frenzy/ Shoryuken: Nobuyuki Kuroki confirms that new Samurai Shodown is being made by the same team as The King of Fighters XIV and SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 https://gematsu.com/2019/03/samurai-shodown-launches-for-ps4-and-xbox-one-in-june-switch-in-q4-2019-and-pc-later-44-minutes-of-gameplay-and-staff-interview/ Gematsu: Samurai Shodown launches for PS4 and Xbox One in June, Switch in Q4 2019 and PC later; 44 minutes of gameplay and staff interview
- ↑ https://www.polygon.com/features/2019/6/21/18700422/samurai-shodown-2019-snk
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 https://twinfinite.net/2019/03/samurai-shodown-darli-dagger/ Twinfinite: New Samurai Shodown Character Revealed: Darli Dagger; Neogeo Collection Announced
- ↑ http://gamefocus.co.kr/detail.php?number=88950 SNK 갈지휘 회장 겸 개발총괄 "언리얼 엔진 사용 확대, KOF15도 언리얼로 개발중"