#271 Samurai Shodown II

Posted: 15th March 2021 by Jeroen in Games
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938th played so far

Genre: Fighting
Platform: Arcade/Neo Geo
Year of Release: 1994
Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK

We’ve covered a number of SNK fighters at this point, including The King of Fighters, Fatal Fury and even card game ‘adaptation’ SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters Clash. Samurai Shodown II (sic) is another, a series that based itself on speed rather than combos. That’s not as good news for a relatively inexperienced player like myself, but it’s not entirely unlike Bushido Blade‘s focus on a few realistic hits that really worked for me.

Our Thoughts

To a casual player, Samurai Shodown II feels like a standard 2D fighter. The book describes how the game focuses on precise timing to avoid exposing your weaknesses, which fits in with the focus on speed that’s apparently a part of the design goals of the series.

Given that, as I said, I’m not a great player of these games. The only experience I’ve had of the genre outside of this blog (which, to be fair, fills my desire to explore genres beyond my favourites) has been Super Smash Bros Ultimate which goes for something easier than perfect reactions. I struggled, then, to really get into this game and get anything special out of it. It looks fine, but I struggle to consistently play a part and any wins I did get were more down to luck than actual work.

Final Thoughts

I can see how Samurai Shodown II would appeal to people really getting into the timing needed to play the game. However, there’s a barrier here to people who don’t get it and I didn’t find my way in.