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Samurai Shodown Preview

Samurai Shodown
SNK / Athlon Games

Back in the 90s it seemed like everybody and their mother was coming out with some sort of fighting game. The Street Fighter series was probably the most dominant and widely recognized brand. And then there was the grandfather of 3D fighting games, Virtua Fighter. The King of Fighters franchise was also very popular back then, with its wide array of quirky characters. And let’s not forget about Tekken, with its juggle-combos are cool 3D battlefields.

Japanese company, SNK, put out a dizzying plethora of fighting titles. Perhaps the most unique game that they debuted back in 1993 was their weapon-based fighter called Samurai Shodown (also known as Samurai Spirits in Japan). The last regular entry, Samurai Shodown Sen, debuted back in 2009.

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Well, the PC gaming crowd that has been craving for the series’ weapon-based combat need not wait much longer, because SNK has teamed up with game publisher, Athlon Games, for the latest rendition of the classic fighter, now powered by the Unreal graphics engine.

From the official SNK website:

“SAMURAI SHODOWN has enjoyed worldwide success as a blade-wielding fighting game series since its first release in 1993. 11 years have passed since the last series installment, and it is now time for SAMURAI SHODOWN to return in a brand-new game featuring high-end visuals and gameplay! Faithfully reproducing the game mechanics and atmosphere that contributed to the success of the series, SAMURAI SHODOWN includes a revolutionary feature that learns from players game actions and patterns in order to create CPU-controlled “ghost” characters. With a story set one year before the very first installment, a diverse cast of returning and new characters cross paths in order to fulfill their destinies!”

Most of the classic cast will join in the 2D fighting festivities, including the wandering ronin, Haomaru, along with his rival, the assassin Genjuro Kibagami. Most of the cutesy characters have been cut from the roster, except for nature lovers, Nakoruru, and her younger sister, Rimururu (who is available as a DLC character).

For those who have never played a Samurai Shodown game, one thing that sets it apart from most other fighting titles is that its best played by those who exercise patience. People who are used to mashing buttons will probably enjoy some success, however, those who wait for well-timed openings will most-likely experience even more. Indeed, each hit by a character’s weapon can drain a large portion of a life-bar, so that means that some duels can be over in a matter of seconds. Therefore, matches play out in a more constrained, strategic manner, instead of just rushing in—balls-to-the-walls.

Just as with the franchise’s last entry back in 2009, this new version has a much darker tone than the first few titles. That means you’ll see lots of bloody fatalities once again, including a new slash-through move that has the screen turning red as one of the characters pulls off what looks like an evisceration-type maneuver.

Samurai Shodown will make its way to PCs everywhere (via the Epic Store) on June 11, 2020.

Samurai Shodown has some pretty good looking graphics that make its fighting gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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