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Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown II

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Samurai Shodown III
Samurai Shodown IV

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Samurai Shodown V
Samurai Shodown VI

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Samurai Shodown 64
Warriors Rage (Arcade)

Page 6:
Warriors Rage (PSX)
Neo Geo Pocket

Page 7:
Samurai Spirits RPG
Samurai Shodown Sen

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Samurai Shodown Slash

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Samurai Shodown 64 / Samurai Spirits (サムライスピリッツ侍魂) - Arcade (1997)

Japanese Flyer

Japanese Flyer

Japanese Flyer

SNK noticed the paradigm shift towards three-dimensional polygonal games in the late '90s. Not wanting to be left behind, the company produced the Hyper Neo Geo 64 and created 3D installments for some of its more popular 2D franchises. Samurai Shodown 64 (simply titled Samurai Spirits in Japan), was released exclusively to arcades and features full 3D movement a la Soul Edge. It uses Samurai Shodown IV's gameplay system, renders characters and arenas in full 3D, and is also the first 3D fighter to feature interactive environments in which players can knock characters through walls and other structures and continue fighting in another part of the stage (well before Dead or Alive popularized the concept). There's also a "Fatigue" bar that increases as you sidestep or perform actions and is supposed to be strategic, but is ultimately just a hindrance. Samurai Shodown 64 also introduced super and fatality attacks in the most stylish way seen yet in the series. When executing a technique, the character rushes towards the enemy and slices them, causing the game to switch to a painted rendition of the attack in action. Your opponent then erupts in blood and falls to the ground.

Samurai Shodown 64's plotline occurs in 1790, a year after Samurai Shodown II. The new antagonist is a demon wizard named Yuga who plans to dominate the world and achieve unlimited power. The new faces to the roster include Shiki, a twin-blade wielding femme fatale, and Hanma Yagyu, a warrior/inventor. The returning characters are Haohmaru, Nakoruru, Hanzo, Ukyo, Genjuro, Rimururu, Galford and Kazuki. There are also a few midbosses to challenge players throughout Arcade Mode: the massive Gandara faces the player under preset circumstances, and the Deku/Dekuina duo must be fought before Yuga appears. These boss battles also constitute one on the most frustrating parts of the game - if you die between the mid-bosses or during Yuga's forms, you have to start all over. At least Yuga isn't too difficult.

Samurai Shodown 64 (Arcade)

Samurai Shodown 64 was not distributed very well, likely due to the cost of the Hyper Neo Geo 64 board. It never received a home port (and there was no home conversion of the Hyper Neo Geo 64 system), limiting its exposure to arcade dwellers. While serviceable for its time, the graphics are a bit blocky, especially the character models. Although they animate fairly well, they still have a bit of a wooden movement to them. The game also uses 3D renditions of backgrounds from earlier games, resulting in a sense of nostalgia and deva vu. Overall, Samurai Shodown 64 is a good title, though not particularly groundbreaking aside from its transition to the third dimension.

Attention: Due to the state of emulation, the screenshots for this game have various imperfections and are not representative of the actual hardware.

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Samurai Shodown 64 (Arcade)

Samurai Shodown 64 (Arcade)

Samurai Shodown 64 (Arcade)


Additional Screenshots


Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage / Samurai Spirits 2: Asura Zanmaden (サムライスピリッツ2 アスラ斬魔伝) - Arcade (1998)

Poster

The sequel to the first 3D Samurai Shodown title hit arcades a year later. The villain Yuga is once again the antagonist, having revived herself a year after the events of Samurai Shodown 64. Two new characters appear: Taizan Morosumi, a paintbrush-wielding demon hunter, and Asura, a swordsman from the demon world who desires revenge on Yuga. Asura is actually meant to be the new main protagonist, and the Japanese subtitle is Asura Zanmaden ("Legend of Asura the Demon Killer") Gandara also makes a return as another midboss. The greatest addition to Samurai Shodown 64 II, however, is not the characters themselves, but the representations of their Bust and Slash forms. Whereas Samurai Shodown III, IV and the first 64 merely distinguished the two alter egos with palette swaps, Warriors Rage takes a much more drastic artistic approach. The two forms are now extremely different from one another, almost appearing as two different characters in some cases.

The gameplay has been revamped and refined as well. The 3D movement has been removed and replaced with standard 2D gameplay (similar to Street Fighter EX), although there are still dodge attacks to move into the foreground and background. The 3D backgrounds have been eliminated completely - the backdrops are now two dimensional and scroll infinitely in both directions. Since the stages themselves are less polygon instensive, the character models have been slightly improved and the colors are much more vibrant in the arenas (the level with the Japanese gates and water is breathtaking), and the blood doesn't look quite so flat anymore. Several gameplay options have been removed, while news ones have been added. Features such as the "Fatal Slash" maneuver have been tweaked with the combo system first introduced in Samurai Shodown IV. Various command attacks, such as "low jumps" and side step attacks have been implemented as well. The super moves have been changed into more traditional flashy combos, ditching the still artwork of its predecessor. Many of them are extremely impressive, almost cinematic in nature, taking advantage of the three-dimension graphics. Asura calls chains out from the netherworld, holds his opponent in bondage, and slashes them repeatedly. Taizan draws huge calligraphy marks that demolish anyone. Shiki strangles her opponent, mounts them suggestively and sucks the life out of them. Hattori Hanzo executes killing blows that shows x-rays of various bones breaking, similar to any number of cheesy kung fu movies.

Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage (Arcade)

These impressive displays, along with diverse roster and other gameplay improvements garnered Warriors Rage more respect and definitely make it superior to its predecessor. Sadly, the game's low distribution and lack of a home port meant it failed to gain a sizable audience yet again. Currently, Samurai Shodown 64 and its sequel are sought by collectors and gamers worldwide due to their rarity. It's a good 3D fighter, and a worthy addition to the Samurai Shodown series.

Attention: Due to the state of emulation, the screenshots for this game have various imperfections and are not representative of the actual hardware.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage (Arcade)

Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage (Arcade)

Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage (Arcade)

Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage (Arcade)


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Characters

Page 2:
Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown II

Page 3:
Samurai Shodown III
Samurai Shodown IV

Page 4:
Samurai Shodown V
Samurai Shodown VI

Page 5:
Samurai Shodown 64
Warriors Rage (Arcade)

Page 6:
Warriors Rage (PSX)
Neo Geo Pocket

Page 7:
Samurai Spirits RPG
Samurai Shodown Sen

Page 8:
Samurai Shodown Slash

Discuss on the Forums!

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