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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: 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 SHODOWN11 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 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. [SNK] Expand

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Samurai Shodown - Embrace Death Gameplay Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Jun 24, 2019
    90
    Samurai Shodown is one of the best and most unique fighting games this generation, hands down.
  2. Jun 24, 2019
    90
    Samurai Shodown is a pristine work of fighting game clarity.
  3. Jun 24, 2019
    85
    Samurai Shodown is the breath of fresh air the saga has needed. The visual style immediately adds to the atmosphere, helped by an immersive soundtrack and fluid animation. The addition of the dojo and the game's accessibility make you want to dive in and master everything. In terms of gameplay, it's in these games of defence and subtle counter-attack that Samurai Shodown shines. It's not the best game out there, but we highly recommend it to fans who want a different fighting game experience.
  4. Jun 26, 2019
    81
    Overall, Samurai Shodown is a fun release that brings back memories of a simpler time in the fighting genre where focus laid squarely on technique and gamer ease-of-use. The inclusion of a variety of modes helps to beef up the fighting content and offer up good challenges for those seeking them. All of this makes the experience more engaging and entertaining.
  5. Jun 24, 2019
    80
    Samurai Shodown is true to the series’ soul, like a modern version of Amakusa Kourin which lacks something to achieve perfection.
  6. Jun 24, 2019
    80
    SNK has a lot to celebrate with the release of Samurai Shodown as it’s a triumphant return to form for a series that hasn’t had a mainline release in over 15 years. Not only does it keep the calculated and punishing gameplay in tact, it manages to offer up a great tutorial that allows for newcomers to understand the nuance of its depth.
  7. Jun 26, 2019
    60
    Samurai Shodown manages to present a superb alternative to quicker, more bombastic fighters. This comes across as more of the thinking man's fighter, testing a player's reaction time and rewarding those who are able to read their opponents over those who try and go for meaningless combos. Samurai Shodown doesn't need to stand atop a crowded fighting game mountain, because it's done a nice job staking a claim over on a nearby hill.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 26, 2019
    10
    SNK successfully breathes life back into one of their most beloved fighting game series. The game looks gorgeous, plays just like the classicSNK successfully breathes life back into one of their most beloved fighting game series. The game looks gorgeous, plays just like the classic SamShow you know and love, and serves as a perfect entry point for those looking to get into fighters with its focus on neutral play, lack of complex combos, and easy to use reversal mechanics. Expand
  2. Jun 25, 2019
    10
    Amazing old school fighting game with depth and an incredible art style. Netcode is legit!
  3. Jun 25, 2019
    10
    This game is a lot of fun I enjoy it alot. One of the best fighting games I played all year
  4. Jun 25, 2019
    10
    Snk did such a great job with this game. I am enjoying this game more and more thank you Snk.
  5. Jun 26, 2019
    8
    Honest review from a long time fan of Samurai Shodown:

    Although I am glad to see such high scores for the game, I do not believe this to be
    Honest review from a long time fan of Samurai Shodown:

    Although I am glad to see such high scores for the game, I do not believe this to be a 10/10 game. And I say this as a long time fan of the franchise dating back to the first game when I encountered it in an arcade as a kid. Samsho is my #1 fav fighting franchise until it transitioned to 3D in the early 2000s and killed it.

    So why is a fan like me giving this game an 8 only? Actually I'd give it a 7 but my inner fanboy is so glad the series is back I boosted it up 1 due to my love for the franchise.

    The GOOD:

    It feels legit oldschool. After falling in love with Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, I am surprised that an oldschool game like this is actually what I am looking for now. Slow paced, sure. But deep. Not in the way GG and BB was with lots of systems and combo chains, here it's about mind games and counter moves, reading your opponent and then punishing them.

    SNK delivered a true SamSho experience.

    The BAD:

    LOAD TIMES are atrocious. Takes a good 10-15 seconds of black screen with a white rabbit to get into a match. It feels too long for a game of this nature.

    Graphics are subpar and feels like a budget title sold at full price. I am biased towards 2D sprites. But Guilty Gear Xrd, DBFZ and footage from Granblue Fantasy Versus showed me what is possible with 3D: cellshading done so well they look like high def 2D. And those games are done in the UE4 engine, the same as this game. SamSho 2019 is not on that level.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it's super ugly. What we get is still very pretty and stylized. But I can't help but wonder what SamSho would look like if it was done on the tech level of DBFZ, with the WATERPAINTING look they are going for. GG and DBFZ raised the bar too high. I want to see that waterpainting look fully realized.

    Speaking of raising the bar, MK story modes did that for single player mode. SamSho is oldschool, but that turned out to be a double edged sword. The story mode here is too oldschool and feels barebones in this day and age. You fight through random opponents for no real story reasons, get the same boss tease cut scenes, get 1 single rival opening scene, and then the boss. I was expecting this to be the case so I wasn't disappointed. BUT how could I give a 9 or 10 to a fighting game in 2019 as a competitor to MK11?

    FINAL:

    SamSho 2019 is just too barebones to compete with its contemporaries. Other games have done so much more in terms of content and graphics (and load times) for the past 5 years or so. This makes SamSho 2019 feel like a budget title. They should have sold it as such. For full price there just isn't enough.

    That's a shame, since the gameplay, the systems, the soul behind it is so well done. It IS SAMSHO, you can't get that experience from the other fighting games.

    And for SamSho fans, that's probably enough. And so despite my misgivings I have to give it an 8. It is hard not to love the game, but also hard not to be annoyed by it.
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