Stands out from its genre. Samurai Shodown has grown into my second favorite fight for Switch

Four strong cuts. That's enough for an opponent in Samurai Shodown to fall to the ground. You don't need any combos , juggling or tricks. All you need is knowledge of your own weapon, awareness of range, timing and of course the soul of a warrior.

Another golden fight period is underway. In addition to numerous classics of the genre such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter or Tekken, there are great news such as Dragon Ball FigherZ. The scene of intricate Asian BlazBlue titles is also becoming more and more visible. All these games share a common point: a gigantic gap between the amateur and professional scene.

Meanwhile, Samurai Shodown does not require knowledge of combos and does not rely on juggling .

I love Dragon Balla FighterZ. I love it. But if I make a mistake while playing online, I can leave the console for a few seconds. My character is trapped in a long, humiliating sequence of blows to reduce his life bar as effectively as possible. Let's add team special attacks and from a few seconds it gets even a dozen or so. You can throw an arcade stick on the wall.

Fighting is the genre of games where the gap between veterans and rookies is gigantic. Even a Sunday player will shoot someone from time to time in CS: GO or win a match in Overwatch. However, fighting ... There is no reduced fare here. Zero case. One hundred percent skill. That is why so many players give up the network struggle. It pisses them off when they hit the arms of a dozen seconds or so of a combo sequence that eats 3/4 of the life bar. They get frustrated when they are juggled in the air without any control over their own warrior.

Samurai Shodown steals in here, saving such a player from oppression.

The core of the reviewed game is to exchange individual, powerful blows using melee weapons. Samurai Shodown producers marginalize combos and juggles , focusing on fair, simple, direct exchange of cuts. The combat mechanism is based on four buttons: a quick blow, medium blow with a longer range, a strong blow and a free hand / leg punch. To this should be added a classic guard stepped back.

As I mentioned in the introduction, four strong blows are enough to deplete the opponent's life bar to zero. Remember how an inexperienced person plays Tekken. He presses every moment on the controller, activating spectacular sequences and holds from time to time. It won't pass here. In SS (hmm ...) every coup matters. Each cut released is an opportunity to inflict great damage on the opponent, but also a certain risk.

In the industry, this is called the high risk & rewar mechanism. In Poland, folk wisdom says that whoever does not risk, does not drink champagne. Samurai Shodown is playing with fire - the more powerful the blow, the more exposed we are and the more time we need to perform it. If such an attack succeeds - wonderful. About 1/4 of the enemy's health bar disappears forever. However, if the opponent pairs us or jumps back, he has us on his fork.

Knowledge of your weapon, its range, its speed - these are the absolute basics.

The fight of two experienced players on Samurai Shodown servers resembles a sword fight. Warriors dance it forward and backward, trying to catch the optimal distance for their weapons. Each weapon has different characteristics and behaves differently. This specific dance does not end after launching the attack. If it is paired, there is a small time window to block the incoming counter. In this way, the fight looks like a tennis match, with the ball - or the initiative of the attack - transferred from one side to the other.

Such fencing pumps huge amounts of adrenaline. Samurai Shodown builds tension well if we master the basics of defense and offensive. At the same time, such a sequence of blocks, excursions and countersigns respect for the opponent. Unlike other fighting games, where we want to crush, break and spoil the opponent, here we appreciate the rival's sense and pace. We treat him as worthy of himself. Something special!

Producers use interesting tricks to make this specific dance even more interesting. For example, after a simultaneous oncoming attack from both sides and the contact of the blades ideally in the middle comes to a mini-game of quickly pressing the buttons. The winner of such melee combat deals massive damage. To keep players from getting used to the movie diffuser, you can activate it only once per fight. Reasonably.

Samurai Shodown is based on simple rules, but the game has the right level of complexity.

For example, at the bottom of the screen you can see special Burst bars. They can be activated once per fight, resulting in short-term damage and greater durability. An alternative solution is to use the Burst strip for one ruthless attack that devours more than half of your opponent's life. Fortunately, such a blow can be blocked by a classic block. Similarly, it works e.g. in Mortal Kombat. However, there the special sequence lasted a few seconds and after a while it was very boring, while in Samurai Shodown it is one powerful cut lasting only a second.

Special blows also appear in the game. Also spacers. Interestingly, all fireballs, magic bullets or fired arrows deal much less damage than classic cuts. A great decision emphasizing the specificity of fights. Specials are twisted in a similar way to Street Fighter circles. For this reason, playing in SS I reached for a wireless arcade stick for Switch. Playing on Pro Controller is also acceptable. I advise against Joy-Cony. Analogs are not precise enough there.

Samurai Shodown has grown into my second favorite fight for Switch *.

* I exclude SSBU from this list because of the diametrical differences between brawlers and typical fighting games.

Although Dragon Ball FighterZ can still count on my special considerations, playing with samurai from SNK Corporation has secured a second place. The port for the Switch has been made very solidly. Liquidity drops mainly accompany one character, and the gameplay has been maintained at 60 frames per second, with second drops to 50 fps. Although the title scares my pixelose screenshots, it looks much, much better in motion.

Despite these delights, I must warn you of a fatal, absolutely fatal single player campaign. We choose the warrior we are interested in and then we win a few fights stretched. At the end, there is an asymmetrical boss with unique skills, against whom the classic assumptions and gameplay mechanisms do not work. Oh, classic Story Mode from the first Tekkenów or Mortali. The problem is that a lot of time has passed since 2005. Contemporary fighting games offer interesting movie campaigns with unique content. SNK Corporation, in turn, stopped in time.

The main menu is missing something extra. Something like the challenge towers and the Crypt with Mortal Kombat 11. Even Dragon Ball FigherZ - a remarkably tournament game - got a great campaign with unique characters and dialogues, told from three different perspectives. Samurai Shodown tries to save himself with modes such as Dojo (ghosts of other players, works in practice on average), Survival or Time Attack, but this is the absolute minimum. One would like more.

The biggest advantages:

  • Refreshing combat mechanics
  • Combo and juggle reduction
  • Each warrior is a unique pearl
  • Good optimization on Switch: 60 fps

The biggest disadvantages:

  • Archaic story campaign
  • Today, tutorials and training for each character is standard
  • A poor number of modes

Keep the above in mind if you plan to play Samurai Shodown offline and without friends. In my case, the title worked best as a couch game in a small group. The clear, refreshing mechanics of this title meant that friends in the SS always wanted to play their round in the SS, who earlier with a groan of disappointment responded to the launch of FighterZ or Mortal. Don't think that due to the clarity of the rules and the uniqueness of the clashes, Samurai Shodown is a game for Sunday players. Nothing could be more wrong; the title broke into the pantheon of fighting games played during the elite EVO2020 tournament.

Stands out from its genre. Samurai Shodown has grown into my second favorite fighting game for Switch


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