US Title:

Samurai Shodown

JPN Title:

Samurai Spirits






Super Nintendo

Other Versions?

Neo Geo: AES, MVS, CD; 3DO; GameBoy; Game Gear; Genesis; Sega CD


Background Info:

Samurai Showdown started the weapon fighter genre and was one of the best SNK games ever produced. The SS at the local arcade introduced many people, including myself, to SNK. Without this gem no other companies would realize for a while how fun a weapon-based fighting game could be. 


The whole Samurai Showdown series has been known for its luscious animations and serene backgrounds, yet the SNES version is an exception. First off the scrolling in-and-out when you move closer or farther away from your opponent is gone. All of the characters are a lot smaller than Neo-Geo or Genesis version, except Earthquake who is still a little smaller than normal. In my personal opinion the graphics of the backgrounds arenít even close; but some people say that they are close to the MVS version. In addition to the problems of porting a game to a system that has nowhere near the RAM of Neo-Geo, this game was ported during the ĎStop the Videogame Violenceí era. This means that there are no finishing moves, no blood, and at the end of a fight the loosing character comes to a crouching position as if it was just a sparring match! In my opinion this is a disgrace to the SS community because it doesnít keep the realism that is portrayed in the arcade and the almighty Neo-Geo. 

Overall graphics deserve a 3/10.


Pretty Impressive. With Dolby Surround Sound support and that traditional Japanese music it is almost perfect. From the sound of the sword slicing through the air and the little melody played when you win a match itís satisfying. In addition every fighterís music has a change of pace, for example Jubeiís quiet forest theme to Galfordís fast paced arena type theme. 

Overall Sound/SFX deserves a 4.5/10.

Game Play:

All the moves, the comebacks with well devised attacks, and the newbies being slaughtered when attacking like itís another add-on of Street Fighter 2. While people who havenít played this series before will have to get used to the defensive playing style I think its worth it and is fun after a while. The only little grudge is the fact that the slowdown can sometimes affect the gameplay. 

Overall Gameplay deserves a 5/10.

The Final Verdict:

Definitely rent this game first, and if you have a Neo-Geo or an arcade close by just play it there! But if you have a Genesis then you might consider buying it for that instead because the characters are slightly larger and the graphics are better, yet the Genesis cannot have the sound quality that the SNES has for Samurai Showdown.

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