TL;DR: The classic 2D arcade beat'em up returns to the PC and proves once again that it still has some fight left.
two decades later and they’re still at it
When SNK released Samurai Showdown in the mid-90s the gaming world was stunned. Not only did the game provide players with an unprecedented amount of unique characters to control, but it also introduced us to the three big things in fighting games: blood, weapons, and environmental zooming.
Now with the latest installment of the series, SNK has managed to strike a nice balance between the strategic and tactical formula of the first two titles. Even after two decades after its initial release, Samurai Shodown still manages to pack in more power, more weapons, more blood, and an increased level of difficulty than ever before.
The humungous Earthquake, for example, is one of the biggest characters ever seen on a home system and practically fills the screen just with his belly alone.
Show down at the shodown
With over sixteen diverse characters to control, SNK loaded this version with so much character diversity that makes it head and shoulders better than any of the previous installments. The characters themselves are as flamboyant as they are massive and their movements are smooth and fluid. The humungous Earthquake, for example, is one of the biggest characters ever seen on a home system and practically fills the screen just with his belly alone. The graphics are also incredible to witness with brilliant reds, deep blues, and glowing greens.
The sound is exemplary with each character’s fighting arena having its own music to create a distinct mood. Effects provide a crunchingly good accompaniment to the action going on and compliment the fighting mechanics nicely.?
Even with other great fighting games in the mix, Samurai Showdown holds its own. In fact, one can argue that it even does a better job replicating what the true essence of a fighting game should be all about. There are still minor gameplay issues that the series is known for, but overall, Samurai Showdown for the PC looks and looks and plays better than ever.