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20 Mar 2021

REVIEW: Samurai Shodown on Xbox One

Review By Jon Donnis
Although I have never been the biggest beat em up fan, I did grow up in the era of Streetfighter 2, and the seemingly never ending roll out of beat em up games on the Neo Geo. Samurai Shodown was one of the most popular games on the Neo Geo back in the early 1990s. So fast forward nearly 30 years and the kings of the Beat em up "SNK" have released Samurai Shodown, this time on Xbox, but it is not just a port of an old game, no, it is a new game with all the flashy graphics you could ever want, but still retaining the feel of a classic 90s beat em up.

Ok lets not worry about the story. Because lets be realistic here, who cares. It is a beat em up, one on one action.

There is a feature called ghost characters, whereby the game learns your style of play and then creates a CPU controlled ghost of you. This ghost can then played by other players around the world. It is almost like online play but without you actually having to be online, if that makes sense. It is an interesting feature, although I have no idea how accurate it is, or if it is really any different to regular AI controlled opponents. I played a few ghosts of other players, but if you had not told me, I would not have noticed anything different.

For some reason I couldn't seem to get the online mode to work, I am guessing not enough people have the game yet? Or I am playing at a time when no one else is, so I cant comment on the online modes.

The game plays in 2D, and there are some pretty cool execution-style finishing moves like slicing your opponent in half. They are pretty satisfying.

There are various modes, including the usual story mode, time trial, survival and so on. I did find however that pretty much all of the modes are basically the same, you just fight one character after the other. There is no real difference between them. But I'd rather they be there than not.

Games like this however are best played against your friends, but since we are in a global pandemic, I cant even try that, so with the online mode not working for me, and no friends to play, I am stuck with the story mode.

The Good

The graphics are pretty, everything is what it should be in a game of this time, you have your usual moves, nothing groundbreaking, but there is nothing really wrong with the gameplay itself. It is all very good.

The Bad

Some of the menu options are tiny, you will really struggle to see unless you are right up against the screen, most people play Xbox while sat 6 foot away from the screen. My TV is 42" and I struggled to read some menus despite having 20/20 vision. There are also some issues with slow loading times, as well as the fact this is a 40gb download, but I cant for the life of me see where that 40gb has gone to.


This is one of those games that ticks all the boxes you could want, but also doesn't really offer anything new or original. Flashy graphics can only take a game so far.

If you do not have any beat em ups in your collection and want one, then this is a great pick. You will enjoy it. If however you already have a fair few, then I am not sure what this would offer that you don't already have.

I enjoyed Samurai Shodown, it's a good game, but it is nothing special.

I score Samurai Shodown a solid 7/10 and it is available now on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis

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