<table> <tr> <td class=headerlogo> <p class=image><a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent"><img alt="Logo by MP83" src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/logo/hg101logo.png"></a></p> </td> <td> <table class=headerright> <tr> <td class=headermenu> <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/alpha.htm" target="_parent">Articles</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/features.htm" target="_parent">Features</a> | <a href="http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net" target="_parent">Blog</a> | <a href="http://hg101.proboards.com/" target="_parent">Forums</a> | <a href="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/about.htm" target="_parent">About</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardcore-Gaming-101/109837535712670" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/facebook.png"></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/HG_101" target="_blank"><img alt=" " src="http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/twitter.png"></a> </td> <td class=searchbox> <form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box" target="_parent"> <div> <input type="hidden" name="cx" value="partner-pub-5230184257141993:xfg3mydy24k"> <input type="hidden" name="ie" value="ISO-8859-1"> <input type="text" name="q" size="30"> <input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search"> </div> </form> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google.com/coop/cse/brand?form=cse-search-box&amp;lang=en"></script> </td> </tr> </table> <table class=headerad> <tr> <td> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "pub-5230184257141993"; /* HG101 */ google_ad_slot = "4961941287"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table>

<<< 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!

Back to the Index


Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage / Kenkaku Ibunroku: Yomigaerishi Sōkō no Yaiba - Samurai Supirittsu Shinshō (剣客異聞録 甦りし蒼紅の刃 サムライスピリッツ新章) / Fighters Swords - PlayStation (1999)

Japanese PlayStation Cover

Samurai Shodown's third (and for a long time final) foray into the third dimension is also subtitled Warriors Rage, but it was a completely new game and exclusively released for Sony's PlayStation in 1999, around the same time when SNK was porting titles like Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition to the console. Due to weird region-naming issues, it was originally released in Japan as Samurai Shodown Warriors Rage 2, following the naming convention of its predecessor, Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage. (The 64 is omitted due to the game not running on the Hyper Neo Geo 64 system like the previous two titles.) The full Japanese title is Kenkyaku Ibunroku: Yomigaerishi Soukou no Yaiba - Samurai Spirits Shinshou, which roughly translates to "Story of the Swordsman - The Revived Blue Crimson Blade - Samurai Spirits - A New Age." The product we received turned out to be worse than anyone could have thought possible.

Chronologically, Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage is the final installment, occuring in 1810 (about twenty years after the original series). The character roster is almost entirely changed, and only two characters from the previous titles remain: the aging Haohmaru and a younger relative of Hattori Hanzo. Both have lost many of their signature attacks from earlier games. Nakoruru and Rimururu make appearances as well, but only as spirits. The story revolves around how the age of the sword is coming to a close, and the aspirations of a faction called the Razor Trio located on a criminal island called Ritenkyo. There's nothing wrong with the story, really - there's quite a bit of dialogue in between fights that correlate to the chosen character. But the new cast just feels generic and flat.

Much like the Warriors Rage arcade game, this entry is strictly regulated to the x and y-axes, save for a sidestep that briefly moves the character into the background. The battle system shares several functions with its brethren, such as the Rage Gauge and Rage Explosion. The control and feel are also similar to the last two games - and all similarities end there. The system is almost entirely combo based, the input has been changed entirely to format the PlayStation controller (two buttons for slashes, one for kicks, one for the dodge mentioned above, and another to activate the Rage Explosion technique).

Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage (PlayStation)

The input for special attacks and maneuvers is, at best, floaty and unresponsive. The quarter circles we've been performing for years come out easily enough, but most others seem to only activate at their conspicuous fancy. A dragon punch movement is already tricky; this input system makes the game nauseating. Many characters have combo-based movelists (perhaps to make up for the shoddy input system), but it's unnecessarily complicated for an Samurai Shodown game. The computer opponents don't even bother with special attacks or combos, and just hit you with regular slashes since the combos aren't even that damaging.

There's also a new life meter system. It's separated into three decreasing "intervals" and there's a short break in the action every time one is depleted. After the second is gone, the attacking character will taunt the opponent. Maybe the developers were striving for dramatic effect, but it ultimately just disrupts the action. This is irritating because you have to face droves of generic characters, including Iga Ninjas, "Brutes," Amazons and Samurai. This quickly gets annoying because they have the same amount of life bars as the regular characters. Each and every one of them. Apparently the idea was to make you feel really powerful by taking on mooks by the barrelful, but you'll just find yourself wanting it to be over with.

The graphics are also pretty bad, with boxy character models that look even worse than PlayStation launch titles such as Battle Arena Toshinden. There's barely any blood, either. And while the first Warriors Rage arcade game also had flat bitmaps for backgrounds, it used some visual chicanery to make them appear more three dimensional. This one doesn't even bother, and the results are battlefields that feel huge and empty. At least the music and ambiance are impressive. Each stage's tune fits in just right, from the slow melody of the village and the pounding tune in the abandoned city area. There's also loads of unlockable artwork, and you can even go through the aptly named Battle Mode to power up a character.

But still - who would want to buy this game? Only masochists who enjoy shoddy frame rates, loading times, unintuitive controls, poor gameplay and boring characters would get any kind of kick out of Warrior's Rage. All of its redeeming qualities, are overshadowed by the fact that the whole game seems like it was rushed out the door. It's an extremely poor entry into the Samurai Shodown series and is a deplorable game in general.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage (PlayStation)

Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage (PlayStation)

Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage (PlayStation)

Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage (PlayStation)

Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage (PlayStation)


Characters

Seishiro Kuki

Seishiro Kuki is the main hero of Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage. He works for the Japanese government and seeks to take revenge on his adopted brother for the death of his father. His design is okay, but he's so boring as a character. He's a pretty good character to play, but this isn't saying much due to the game engine.

Jin-Emon Hanafusa

Seishiro's older sidekick, who accompanies him on his journey. His spear attacks are reminiscent of Charlotte, though, which counts for something.


Haohmaru

The only truly returning character to denote this as a Samurai Shodown game at all. He has aged quite a bit and lost some of his moves - maybe he's gotten too old to pull them off, anymore?

Hattori Hanzo

He isn't really the Hanzo from the other games - throughout history, there have been actually four Hattori leaders who in some capacity bore the name Hanzo, which has been taken by popular culture and transformed into this continuous lineage of super ninjas, with the name functioning more as a title. At least that's a better explanation for his reduced moveset than Haohmaru got.


Saya

The inevitable fan service character, Saya is a buxom blonde who wields dual curved swords, which makes for an interesting play style. She seeks to assassinate the Razor Trio.

Ran Po

A youthful punk that likes beating up brutes for fun in Warriors Rage, which makes him mildly interesting. Uses high-flying attacks and a giant mallet.


Yaci Izanagi

This man seems to be supposed to be a "bad guy." Wears a rather laughable outfit and uses a razor sword. Also seems to be gay, bi, or simply doesn't know his "girlfriend" is a transvestite. He's interesting for that reason alone.

Jushiro Sakaki

He uses a sword/rifle weapon. He also wants the Razor Trio. Seeing a pattern?


Rinka Yoshino

A young girl from a Samurai family that uses a sword nearly twice her size. Also has the obligatory pet animal that joins her in her win animation.

Haito Kanakura

The only decent new character in Warriors Rage 2. His design is awesome, as is his moveset. Has some wicked combos and a power-up move. His involvement in the story isn't any better explained than the other characters, though.


Ganryo the Whirlwind

A big gang leader that uses a stick as a weapon. He's too cool to put in an effort, so he keeps one arm in his jacket. He wants revenge for his murdered comrades.

Mikoto

Daughter of Shiki and Asura, but adopted by Haohmaru and Nicotine. Uses a double sided blade. She apparently has a struggle with the demons within her, which she needs to deal with before they take over completely.


Tohma Kuki

Adopted brother of Seishiro, and a member of the Razor Trio. They're trying to take over the government and/or attain more power. Has a better design than his sibling, although he makes for a very poor man's Genjuro. He killed his foster father and took one of the family's sacred swords because he knew he would never be accepted as a true heir to their style. His brother eventually kills him for this.

Oboro

The main villain of Warriors Rage. Uses two rather neat looking blades and you must fight him while he is invisible. Not much to say. Too bad he's not playable.


Minto

She's the younger sister of Ran Po. It's highly disturbing that the in-game character voice sounds like some sort cross between a chicken and an army clock alarm, and may have you waking up in a cold sweat for weeks to come.

Daruma

The master of Ran Po and Minto. And he also wants a piece of the Razor Trio. That's it.


Tashon Mao

Some Chinese warrior that uses his enormous left hand as a weapon and has a crush on Nakoruru. His voice actor is hilarious.

Mugenji

A crazed murderer that inhabits the outskirts of the Ritenkyo. He likes "beautiful things" and like Yaci (in fact he's an exact gameplay clone), uses poison in combat. He resides in the 'tower of prayer' and functions as a mid-boss, although a very sorry one.


Additional Screenshots


Quotes


Samurai Shodown! / Samurai Spirits! (サムライスピリッツ!) - Neo Geo Pocket (1998)

Japanese Cover

Despite the obvious downgrades that occur when an arcade title is ported to an 8-bit portable system, most Neo Geo Pocket games turned out surprisingly well, and the Samurai Shodown entries are no exception. These portable entries are denoted by the exclamation mark after the title.

Due to the two button layout, Samurai Shodown! is forced to resort to alternate means to mimic its arcade brethren. Two context sensitive buttons are used to perform actions, which is daunting at first. Unless you spend a lot of time trying to dabble in it, it never quite becomes second nature, but since the game is generally pretty easy, you can just focus on performing your moves and get through most battles just fine.

Samurai Shodown! (Neo Geo Pocket)

The gameplay system is closely related to Samurai Shodown IV, and about everything from that game is intact. The select screen and opening stage are identical to the big brother. Characters still have Slash and Bust forms, although the black and white graphics prevent the game from from displaying any cosmetic difference. There are three gameplay modes: One Player, Survival, and VS mode. This is, honestly, pretty bare bones. One Player mode is just as you'd expect, a parody of Samurai Shodown IV's arcade mode, cut scenes and all. The only difference is the slight change in dialogue, which is sillier than the original and in English ultimately reads like a worse translation than the original version.

One of the main appeals of Samurai Shodown! is that it's a self-parody of the series. It begins with rather hilarious intro with the cutesy character sprites used for this game, similar to the ones in other titles like SNK Gals Fighters and SNK vs Capcom. The fighters use intentionally goofy moves and animations (like the smoke replacing Kazuki's usual fire attacks), and when a character is hit with a hard slash, they comically bounce all around the area. Fitting with the cutesy theme, the blood effects are gone, but there is a surprising amount of confetti.

Samurai Shodown! is undeniably fun, but unfortunately, the thrills are short-lived. When the novelty of the the premise and funny attacks wear off, so does much of its appeal.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


Samurai Shodown! (Neo Geo Pocket)

Samurai Shodown! (Neo Geo Pocket)

Samurai Shodown! (Neo Geo Pocket)

Samurai Shodown! (Neo Geo Pocket)


Additional Screenshots


Samurai Shodown! 2 / Samurai Spirits! 2 (サムライスピリッツ! 2) - Neo Geo Pocket Color (1999)

European Cover

European Alternate Cover

Samurai Shodown! 2's gameplay system is mostly unchanged from its predecessor's, and it uses the same button scheme. Otherwise, Samurai Shodown! 2 attempts to mimic a downscaled 2D version of Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage, with a dab of Samurai Shodown IV. The stages, mostly drawn from the 3D game, are instantly recognizable.

The biggest improvement is that Samurai Shodown! 2 is in full color. Like many Neo Geo Pocket Color games, the backgrounds look nice but sprites are still limited. At least you can tell the difference between Bust or Slash forms now. The stages change from night to day, the animations are really easy to spot (Rimururu's ice spirit looks nice) and before entering story mode, there's a slick intro followed by a scrolling title before every battle. The roster has also been increased to fifteen characters, including all of the characters from the previous game, as well as Shiki, Asura and Taizan from Warriors Rage. Yuga and Gandara also make appearances as the boss characters, and Kuroko is selectable too, here taking on the form of different players. The gameplay feels a bit smoother, and there's more emphasis on how you use your moves, since the CPU is a bit more difficult this time around.

Finally, perhaps in an attempt to make up for the short-lived nature of the first title, the game allows you to unlock cards, which are gained by going through Survival mode. There are eight unlockable cards for each character, split between the Slash and Bust forms, which grant stat boosts and new special moves. It's a welcome change from the skimpy package of the first Samurai Shodown!, and a great title for fans looking for Samurai Shodown on the go. However, it really just feels like this was SNK's attempt at a 2D port of Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage, and like potato chips in place of a proper meal, it still leaves you feeling rather empty.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Genre:

Themes:


Samurai Shodown! 2 (Neo Geo Pocket Color)

Samurai Shodown! 2 (Neo Geo Pocket Color)

Samurai Shodown! 2 (Neo Geo Pocket Color)


Additional Screenshots


<<< 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!

Back to the Index