|Samurai Shodown (2019)||Stories||Gallery||Credits||Trivia|
This article is about the 2019 video game. For the 1993 video game, check Samurai Shodown.
"Embrace Death And No One Can Stop You."
Samurai Shodown, known as Samurai Spirits (サムライスピリッツ) in Japan, is a weapon-based fighting game by SNK released in June 2019. It's the 12th "mainline" installment 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. It is the prequel of the first Samurai Shodown and the second of the official chronology, succeeding Samurai Shodown V. This is also the first SNK game that utilizes Unreal Engine graphics (in this case, Unreal Engine 4). The illustrations, in-game artwork and background were mostly done by Yumi Saji, while the covers and promotional artworks 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. The Epic Games PC version has been released in June 11, 2020, and the Xbox Series version is released at March 16, 2021. Beside, the Steam version is released in June 14, 2021.
The new director of the game, Hayato Konya, announced a new mechanic called Guard Crush, along with a new rebalancing, whose main objective is adding measures to prevent weapons from disappearing off the stages. Both changes are slated on March 8, 2021, only for Xbox users (due to a SNK's error), and March 16, 2021, for the rest of the platforms.
It is 1787, the 7th year of the Tenmei era. Tanuma Okitsugu, counsel to the Shogun, loses his grip on power amidst the turmoil with Hinowa. Meanwhile, the newly appointed 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.
In the beginning, its effects were barely noticeable. But, by the time its unholy nature became clear, it was already too late, as the darkness and despair had spread throughout the land of Japan.
- NORMAL ATTACK (ARMED)
Perform different slashing attacks when armed depending on the button used. Some techniques may change depending on the distance to your opponent.
- NORMAL ATTACK (UNARMED)
You can still attack even when unarmed. However, such attacks are less powerful than armed attacks.
Kicks can be performed whether or not a character is armed. Different kick attacks can be performed when the directional buttons are used in combination with the kick button.
- SWORD CLASH
When slashing attacks collide under certain circumstances, a Sword Clash will occur. If this happens, repeatedly press the slash attack buttons.
Press the directional buttons in the opposite direction of your opponent to defend against the opponent's attacks. You can guard while either standing or crouching. Each kind of guard has certain attacks that it cannot block. You can also deflect certain attacks by guarding against them.
- JUST DEFENSE & STANCE BREAK
Guard right when an opponent attacks to perform a Just Defense. You can perform a Stance Break when this happens.
- SPECIAL MOVES
Combine the directional buttons with other buttons to perform character-specific special moves. Some moves will change depending on the buttons pressed.
- GUARD BREAK
Inputting a throw command near an enemy will perform a Guard Break, which cannot be guarded against.
The enemy attacks can be dodged on the spot. However, enemy throw attacks (Guard Break attacks) can only be dodged during the first moment of the attack.
Countering certain enemy slashing attacks at the perfect moment will allow you to deflect the attack and knock your opponent back. It is possible to send an opponent's weapon flying by deflecting a heavy slash attack.
- BLADE CATCH
Performing a Blade Catch against certain slashing attacks at the perfect moment when unarmed will cause you to catch your opponent's weapon. When successfully performed, you will down your opponent and can send his or her weapon flying.
- SURPRISE ATTACK
Surprise Attacks are special mid-level attacks that cannot be blocked by a crouching guard.
- MAX RAGE
Your Rage Gauge will fill as you take damage. Once the Rage Gauge is full, you will enter Max Rage. During Max Rage, your attack power will increase, certain special moves will be enhanced, and you will be able to unleash a Weapon Flipping Technique.
- RAGE EXPLOSION
You can perform a Rage Explosion at the cost of your Rage Gauge. This will greatly increase your attack power, enhance certain special moves, and allow you to perform Weapon Flipping Techniques and Lightning Blades.
The Rage Explosion can be performed at any time during a match, but only once per match. After activation, your Rage Gauge will be consumed. She will also last for a longer amount of time if your life is low when it is activated.
- WEAPON FLIPPING TECHNIQUE
This technique can be unleashed when you are at Max Rage or in Rage Explosion mode. Send your opponent's weapon flying by landing this technique. However, Max Rage or Rage Explosion will come to an end when this technique is used.
- LIGHTNING BLADE
This is a powerful attack where you quickly rush toward an opponent. It can only be unleashed during Rage Explosion. The amount of damage this attack does is determined by how much of your gauge remains during Rage Explosion mode. Regardless of whether or not Lightning Blade lands, performing it will cause Rage Explosion to come to an end.
- SUPER SPECIAL MOVE
Each character has one extremely powerful attack. It can be used at any time during a match, but only once per match.
- BLOOD AND DISMEMBERMENT
In this game, there is a function called "BLOOD AND DISMEMBERMENT". When actived, the characters, when defeated with strong slashes or some special moves, are dismembered, and disappear from the stage. Beside that, some blood can be seen during the fight. The dismemberment doesn't occur with the 3D Retro Versions of some characters, Baiken, Gongsun Li and Shizuka.
- Note: These are the default control schemes. You can change them at any time with the Options Menu or by pausing.
- Note: In the Japanese PlayStation 4 & PlayStation 5 version, the Buttons used for Confirm and Cancel are reversed.
|PlayStation 4||PlayStation 5||Xbox One/Xbox Series X||Nintendo Switch||Neo Geo|
Like in KOF XIV, the voice cast changes considerably, with new voice actors, including those who have been voiced by the same actors since their debut or for several years. The exceptions include Haohmaru, Genjuro and Kyoshiro. Seira Ryu (Ruixiang's voice), Masaki Masaki (Kazuki's voice) and Mai Nakahara (Nakoruru's voice) have already worked on the KOF series, being the voice actors of Meitenkun, Billy Kane and Nakoruru in her appearance on the fourteenth KOF mainline game, respectively. Mai also voiced Nakoruru in SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy, a game released in 2018, and in her recent appearance in some games.
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. The game also counts with 14 additional DLC characters (divided in three seasons), between veterans of the series and guest characters (Warden, Gongsun Li and Baiken). The DLC guest characters are featured as part of the collaborations with Ubisoft's For Honor (an action game series), Tencent's Honor of Kings (a multiplayer mobile series) and Arc System Works' Guilty Gear (a fighting game series). Beside that, the game features a collaboration with The Last Blade series (Hibiki Takane). With exception of Warden and Baiken, all other DLC characters have gained new voice actors compared to their last in-game appearance.
The new original characters added to the cast are:
Original Series DLC Characters
- Note: Unlike the last two games in the KOF series, the DLC characters have relevance to the game's history (including guests from other companies) and closely matches, if not consistent with the historical timeframe of the series.
Crossover DLC Characters
Original SNK Crossover DLC Character
Crossover Guest DLC Characters
- Note 1: 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 2: In Story Mode, the DLC characters are always faced before the first two cutscenes.
Special Stage & Boss Stage
- Note: This stages are released only in Season 1.
Story Mode Stages
Some regular characters, in Story Mode, doesn't have an associated stage. Them fight in different places, depending on the character chosen by the player. Unlike them, the DLC characters without an associated stage always fight in the same scenarios. The lists are as follows:
DLC Character Fateful Battles
About the Fateful Battles (always occured in Story Mode and with DLC characters in that case), the rival characters fight in some stages different of his habitual. Below, the list:
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.
The returning characters Wan-Fu and Shiki were originally meant to be part of initial roster and DLC Season 1 Pass respectively, until the developer decide to switch their roster places in final release, whereas Shiki being put in initial roster and Wan-Fu being put in DLC Season 1 Pass character list.
Samurai Shodown (2019) received mostly positive reviews. About this:
- Review aggregator website Metacritic provided an average score of 81/100 based on 34 reviews;
- Otherwise, Game Rankings provided a score of 80,71% based on 17 reviews, all of this is indicating a “favorable” critical reception for the game. Reviewers praised graphics, artistic direction, and classic deep weapon-fighting action, while game modes, character number, online, load times, and Story Mode were the most criticized points.
- Ian Walker of Kotaku called Samurai Shodown “slow and deliberate in the best way possible”, feeling that the game’s defensive techniques is where really shines. About the experience: “can be exhausting, even frustrating at times but it’s a truly one-of-a-kind”. Ian notes that the tutorial “leaves a lot to be desired; it teaches the basics, sure, but lacks a real demonstration as to when and where Samurai Shodown’s complicated techniques are best utilized.”
- Mitchell Saltzman from IGN put Samurai Shodown in “a good balance between approachability and deeper mechanics that helps separate those who just mash special and heavy attacks from those who take the time to learn”, concluding his analysis commenting that Samurai Shodown succeeds as “a fundamentals-driven 2D fighting game”, with a score of 8.2. He claimed that rewards and punishments for battle reads and big mistakes are on another level, adding “there's an extraordinarily tense style of fighting that is unlike just about anything else in the genre”. Mitchell praise the character roster for its wildly differences, each one brimming with personality and ton of interesting small details, but noticing the Story/Arcade Mode as below today’s standards and outdated, also criticizes the long and boring loading screens. Regarding the Dojo Mode Mitchell qualifies it as “not very impressive” because every ghost he played against “essentially just jumped up and down, never approached, and utilized special moves seemingly at random”.
- About the battle pacing Suriel Vazquez from Game Informer called it “interesting”, writing “it’s often best to wait for your opponent to commit to an unsafe bet and punish them rather than start on offense yourself. But you eventually have to take risks to win”. Describing Online mode “works well for the most part, but has a few weak spots” as 10-player lobbies, no option to invite friends into a lobby, and the online connection as “decent overall, but unreliable”. Suriel also did not like the Dojo Mode because “doesn’t really work”. Like other analysts he felt the one player modes as “serviceable, but uninspired” because “they feel dated compared to just about every other fighting game series’ attempt to keep lone players invested”, advising that Samurai Shodown is better enjoyable with other human players. Game concept, painterly art style graphics, classic Japanese sound, and playability were praised.
- Eurogamer’s Martin Robinson gave the game a very positive score 4/5 and praising SNK for his return to form into the fighting games. He showed appreciation for the art direction, details, graphics that feels much more coherent and stylish than SNK’s previous effort The King of Fighters XIV, and the combat system where he says “it's the fighting where really shines, delivering a spin on the series that's approachable, deep and full of flair”. Martin thinks Dojo Mode “seem to be capable of putting up a decent approximation of an online fight”. His negative points where the effective but standard Tutorial, skinny Online, and overall scarcity of features, while thinks that roster number “is not as generous with its feature set as it is with its style but they're a distinct bunch complete with some delicious flavors”.
- From Destructoid Peter Glagowski describes the experience as “very classic arcade”, and notices the not much number of fighters, limited and not very diverse content, and is critical about the launch price of $60 against the overall game content, but he recognizes the game as an “impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash”. Peter highlights Samurai Shodown as a mental game where gamers play with each other’s minds instead of characters: “That back and forth where two minds meld and get into the zone, putting their worries aside and building their friendship over a shared experience. That's exactly what the arcade scene was and Samurai Shodown captures that well. Above all, Samurai Shodown proves that SNK still has its fighting spirit.”
Initial Roster Trailers
Original Series DLC Characters Trailers
DLC Crossover Characters Trailers
Original SNK Character (Season 3)
DLC Guest Characters
DLC Season Pass Trailers
Programs showing the gameplay of some characters of Initial Roster.
DLC Characters Fighting Demonstration Trailers
This videos appears only during the DLC Season 3.
- 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
- 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
- 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://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"
- Official Website
- NESiCA Page
- Press Release
- Nintendo Switch Special Page
- Samurai Shodown (2019) on Epic Games
- Samurai Shodown (2019) on Steam