This is Street Fighter…….with big Samurai Swords and other sharp implements…….with a dollop of blood.
Now, this isn’t as good as Street Fighter, but still a decent fighter.
The Samurai Shodown Anthology is a game I didn’t think I’d like, but only because I’m not very good at fighting games, a bit like Street Fighter 4 which I’m useless at. But with Samurai Shodown, I jumped straight in and really enjoyed it.
There are 6 games in 1 with this anthology and although very similar in what you have to do etc, there are differences to the games like there are with most sequels.
There are more characters to play with, who all have different moves and weapons. The scenery changes, the characters get bigger and meaner like they’ve been taking steroids since their last outing, you know, the usual stuff.
The first few games have around 12 characters to choose from to start off with, but in the later games, the numbers go up. The 4th Showdown has 17 fighters, the 5th 24 and number 6 a whopping 30+ characters to play with which I was mightily impressed at.
There is also a ‘Mini Game’ which is really just a bit of fun where you get to choose one of four animals each representing a different difficulty and all you have to do it collect items that are thrown by a guy in the background. The difference in difficulty is that your animal gets smaller for the harder game.
The rules are simple, fill up the bar to progress to the next stage. Food is worth points so the more you get, the quicker that bar fills up. Certain items can increase or decrease your time and other can take points off you and take your bar down a few notches.
The controls are very easy to use too. Just tilt your Wii Remote left and right to make your animal move.
Also on the main menu is a ‘Character Edit’ section where you can change the colour of your fighters clothing. Not a great feature but something extra there for you to have a little play about with.
The graphics are as can be expected from an old skool game like this, but I do like going back to my past and reminiscing the golden old days. The soundtrack is quite Japanese-y as are a lot of the characters voices which I found to add to the overall feel of the game.
The controls are very basic and I found the Wii Remote and Nunchuck to be my preferred weapon of choice of the Classic Controller. All the characters have a move list which is available from the in-game menu as with other fighters to help you pull out something different.
If you’re finding it hard to do certain moves, fear not, as you can go into the ‘Practice Mode’ from the menu screen and hone up those skills.
There’s also something quite similar to the ultra moves in Street Fighter 4 and this is the bar at the bottom of the screen. Keep getting hit and it fills up, and when it does you can perform a special move for whichever character you’re fighting with to unleash hell on your helpless opponent.
Just a shame you can’t wield your Wii Remote around like a sword as that would have added extra spice to this game, but button bashing can be just as effective!
Some people may find this quite tedious just doing the same thing over and over throughout the games especially as there are 6 of them, but I did find myself enjoying slashing people with my weapons and watching the blood spill everywhere.
Samurai Shodown Anthology has made me recover from some of the humiliation I had from Street Fighter 4 and makes me enjoy fighters once again. Your powers have increased old man (although I’m not old!!)
The first Samurai Shodown is also available on the SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1.
3 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.