Gaming Reviews

Published on April 8th, 2021 | by gareth


Samurai Shodown Is Nostalgic Fun For The Xbox Series S

Review by Phe’dre Schifano

I want to preface this review by stating that I haven’t played a video game in years. In my childhood, I was the queen of button mashing and owned at Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, the “OG” fighting games back in the late ’80s. At bowling alleys and such, I excelled at Marvel vs Capcom, much to the chagrin of my “non-button mashing” opponents.

However, it’s been some years since I’ve attempted a fighting game in any capacity, let alone for my husband’s new Xbox X series. However, as my brother had asked if I wanted a chance to review a game for the new console, my husband and I gave it a shot. Why not? We both liked fighting games from our childhood – why not give it a go? Samurai Shodown is a “remix” of the original 1993 game.

Released in 2019 for multiple platforms, it’s a reimagining of the original game but with greatly improved graphics and cut scenes. The graphics are an incredible improvement from the 1993 16-bit graphics but still retain that nostalgic quality. At first glance, they appear reminiscent of Final Fantasy X’s artistic styling but that quickly elevates into stylized artwork. You begin to detect individual paint-strokes and understand that the graphics aren’t meant to compete with the new generation of games – it’s meant to be artwork that evokes the original anime spirit imbued in old fighting games like these.

As I had mentioned before, I had no knowledge of this game going into it. My only prior knowledge of this game came from recognizing Ukyo and Nakoruru from AFK Arena (don’t judge me; I’m still hip and with it). I approached it as any other fighting game and did enjoy the “side scroll” type fighting which, again, reminded me of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. You had your ultimates and some amazing cut scenes/transition scenes, but overall, it wasn’t anything overly unique or breath-taking. The game was easy enough to understand and I beat the “story mode” in less than an hour easily with Yashamaru (he quickly became my favorite character). I would assume that this game will probably appeal to those who enjoy older-style fight games or perhaps adored the original. In truth, the game probably best excels at the online option – giving you the chance to compete against players from all over. However, I know my limits as a button-smasher. I was more than happy to dominate my husband in this game but don’t need to get my butt handed to me by a 12-year old any time soon. Overall, it’s a fun game and I would anticipate this would be fun to play against other players online or with your friends.

On its own, the game is limited in its story mode and you’ll definitely beat it within an hour or so. All in all, it’s a decent game and I love the stylized approach to the graphics and that they kept the original feel of the 1993 game.

For a regular player, I would say around 2.5/5 but if you are a big fan of the OG game and like fighting games like this, then 4/5


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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