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Samurai Shodown V (Arcade) artwork

Samurai Shodown V (Arcade) review


"Samurai Shodown 5 is very, very difficult for me to review. On the one hand, I thoroughly enjoy the game, and I find myself playing it more and more. On the other, itís basically a slap in the face to fans of the series; which I am admittedly not. "



Samurai Shodown 5 is very, very difficult for me to review. On the one hand, I thoroughly enjoy the game, and I find myself playing it more and more. On the other, itís basically a slap in the face to fans of the series; which I am admittedly not.

Samurai Shodown 5ís story takes place prior to all the other SS gamesÖOh, wait, it does? Itís kind of hard to know that since they completely scrapped the story mode in the English release. Completely. Scrapped. The Story. They didnít just leave it in with no translation, itís removed entirely. You have no idea whatís going on, and since it boasts several new characters, thatís something you kind of need to know. SNK/Playmore must be getting lazyÖ Iíd like to touch more on the story point, but I canít, since it ISNíT @#$%ING THERE.

Since I mentioned characters, letís cover those. Boasting a surprising 24 characters, odds are youíll find several characters to your liking. Most of them have very unique designs and great personalities, as well as quite interesting movesets. SNK has always been known for itís great character design, and Samurai Shodown 5 certainly doesnít fall short.

ÖOr does it? Two of the new characters added are Mina and Kusaregedo. Mina is a cute, longhaired girl and Kusaregedo is a giant, completely disgusting pot bellied demon. Mina uses a bow, which is something unseen in most fighters, but it seems kind of out of place when the rest of the lineup is using melee weapons of some sort, even though bows were a vital part of the Samurai. Kusaregedo, however, is totally ridiculous. He simply should not be in the game, as it has nothing to do with Samurai, his design is ridiculous, and heís one of the most out of place characters of any game, ever.

On top of that, a good chunk of the lineup are clones. You basically have 3 Nakorurus, 2 Ukyos, 2 Kazukis, 2 Suijas(which are really just clones of the Kazukis, just with slightly different movesets) and 2 Haohmarus. This is really out of hand, and we really should have seen some more uniqueness in the character designs. It can almost be overlooked by the fact that there arenít many varied styles of combat, especially Samurai, and many warrior families fight together, as well as friends and rivals.

The sound isÖalright. Like every other fighting game, it sounds like they basically used the same striking sounds over and over, but at least their well done. The music is great, but itís really low volume wise and hard to hear. Not that youíll be listening hard in the first place, just letting you know. The sound isnít easily touched on because itís basically more of the same.

The gameplay is pretty down, sadly. The ďfatalitiesĒ of old are completely removed, most likely to save space, and thereís a new combat mode called ďenlightenmentĒ, where your opponents movements slow down greatly, allowing you to combo them into next week. Other than that, itís really more of the same. Anyone whoís ever played a fighter before can pick this up and start doing well right away. Mastering the game is another matter entirely.

In closing, Samurai Shodown 5 is a great game anyone new to the series can pick up and really, really enjoy. Itís got face paced, action-packed gameplay, some of the best characters to grace a fighting game and absolutely beautiful stages and backgrounds. However, longstanding fans of the series may find it hard to like, as itís starting to do the same as King of Fighters, just putting old junk in fancy new packaging. More of the same is awesome if youíre just getting involved in the series, because youíre getting a fresh, new game youíve never played. But if youíre a longstanding fan, youíre getting a stale, old game youíve played 4 times before.

Not much else to say about a fighter, guides are the place for that.

Rating: 6/10

vincent_valentine's avatar
Community review by vincent_valentine (March 22, 2004)

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