The popular SNK fighting series hits mobile phones, and we have the complete review right here!
I remember the good ol' days in video arcades when SNK introduces a very solid competitor to the Capcom-led Street Fighter II craze with the incredible Samurai Shodown, a brawler that took old-school samurai warriors of all types, from quiet swordsmen to nature-caring warriors to freaks like Gen-An and the mighty Earthquake, and put them in full-fledged combat.
To me, this is the best SNK-produced fighting game around, and I couldn't wait to hit my local arcade of choice and play the hell out of it for hours. However, home ports of the game have really been less than successful, lacking things here and there that kept it from success. Well, chalk up another, as Digital Bridges came up way short with their cell phone conversion of Samurai Shodown.
In the game, you can go through a typical survival mode, battling enemy after enemy and honing your skills to perfection, or choose from four different characters in a story mode, walking through battles and essentially unlocking your character's fate in their destined fight with Genjuro. The problem is, the game just isn't that much fun to play.
The presentation's got no problems, as both the visuals and audio seem rather true (as they can be on a mobile phone) the original arcade game. Where the game comes up short is in playability, as the controls are muddled and pulling off special moves becames frustrating and downright impossible at times. You'll try like a dozen times to pull off Gen-An's poison cloud before it eventually goes off, by accident, and you're left open for a wide open slash by Haohmaru. Ugh.
Digital Bridges was wise to include a tutorial to try and walk you through the controls, but there's still something horribly lacking in the execution, as it feels about as agile as a crusty old chess player. The timing also seems to be questionable, as we get a slow-moving brawl instead of the intensity-filled bouts we got used to in the arcade.
I wasn't asking for a miracle. I know that the likes of a Neo-Geo arcade game would have to be sacrificed in one form or another to fit on a cell phone. But Digital Bridges went the wrong way, focusing on the general looks of the game instead of making it something playable and enjoyable. Because of this, Samurai Shodown can't even be recommended to the most avid of fans, and is best left impaled somewhere in download hell.
What's Hot: The presentation is very solid, and fans of the series will like the different touches.
What's Not: The problem is the game isn't that much fun to play.