you're fond of the Samurai Shodown series, this is
totally for you. All others can bypass it as they
probably won't understand what the fuss is about.
by Cole Smith
30, 2006 - Samurai
Shodown V is not an entirely new game. Much of it
has been ported from the NeoGeo arcade version which
itself contains hardware that is more than 10-years
old. The presentation is no-frills. It's a 2D fighting
game with few options and stands to get its ass kicked
by newer fighting games. Fans of the Shodown series
will appreciate the nostalgia trip as well as the
online play but if all you're interested in is a good
2D fighter you might want to look elsewhere.
don't really know what element of this game I could
recommend for newbies to check out. There's very little
we haven't seen in fighting games in the last 10 years.
Perhaps Shodown V's simple approach may be its greatest
strength. It doesn't bog the player down with control
configurations yet it doesn't encourage button mashing.
There is a cold, deliberation to the gameplay that
seems to favor strategy over action.
about all of the characters from the Shodown series
are included here. You'll see Haohmaru, Genjuro, Hanzo
and Ukyo as well as new characters such as the seven-sword
wielding Yoshitora and the monstrous Kusaregedo. Unlike
previous titles in the series, these characters will
not have alternate versions of each other but will
feature somewhat original characters based on other
characters' abilities. This give us about two dozen
characters but only a dozen are truly original. The
differences are subtle and it may take weeks of experimenting
until you find the perfect character for your style
slashes and special moves are favored over combos
and button mashing. A few well-placed hits will do
more for you than just hitting every button willy-nilly.
A meter monitors the strengths of your attacks. It
drains the more you use it and it replenishes itself
as you hold off. This discourages button mashing as
it will just make your attacks weaker if you continue
to strike out.
rage meter is fuelled by getting hit. The more hits
you take the faster the meter will fill up. When you
decide to unleash it you will turn red and have the
ability to unleash a devastating move that may turn
the tables on your opponent. It will also immediately
refill your strength attack meter should you require
a bit more endurance to engage your opponent after
disarming him or her. You can only unleash one rage
attack per match.
Concentration One attack, like the rage attack, can
only be used once. It slows the action into a form
of bullet time, allowing you some precious time to
do some real damage to your opponent while he's stuck
in slow motion. This feature usually comes into play
near the end of the match proving that it's anybody's
game until the match is completely over.
I already mentioned, there isn't much in the way of
extra features. You can fight against the computer,
go head-to-head with a friend or just have fun fighting
all of the opponents in the practice mode. Of course
the one great addition is the online mode. Those that
have cultivated their skills by playing this series
over the years will be able to put their powers to
the test against other fighting gods from around the
a game online isn't difficult if you use the Quickmatch
mode. It automatically pits you against anyone else
in the world looking for a fight at the same time
you are. The problem is that you can't challenge them
to a rematch since the mode kicks you out of the arena
and continues in search of another wayfaring combatant.
However you can keep the same opponent using the Optimatch.
a cartoon flair, the game is colorful but the graphics
are a mixed bag. The old characters look the same
but the new characters just don't seem to be from
the same game. The movements aren't exactly fluid
and it can be a little difficult to tell just how
much damage you've inflicted by viewing the attack
onscreen. What might look like a light tap that barely
misses your opponent can turn out to be a devastating,
game-ending blow. It's nice when it happens but it's
music is nicely done with a variety of tunes to match
the different, eclectic backgrounds. The sound effects
are tight and punchy and the voiceacting is surprisingly
well done for a game of this genre. The English translations
are good and if you're a purist, you can choose from
the original Japanese dialog.
don't have to be a big fan of the series to enjoy
this game but it certainly would help. The no-frills
features prompts me to recommend renting this game
unless you're content with fighting like-minded fans
online for the next few months.
Xbox support featuring Tournament Mode
from a total of 26 fighters including 11 new characters
to the franchise plus one boss and one hidden character
characters designed by world-renowned manga artist
of 23 combo-moves featuring 8 new moves for the
up the Rage Gauge and unleash death combos for extreme
the Spirit Strength to make your opponent go into
the Sword Spirit Gauge to strategically plan your
attacks for maximum effect
version of the original arcade release