In 2019, Samurai Shodown made a comeback. The game roped me in with its rooted visual design and strategical combat mechanics. I don’t see myself dominating the leaderboards any time soon, no matter how much I’ve played, but I do often return to relieve some stress.
I’ve never considered Samurai Shodown to be lacking in the graphics department since its initial release, but over the years, we’ve seen it come to PC and now next-gen consoles with the Xbox Series X version. With this being the most iteration of the game, I thought I’d share my thoughts after playing it since launch.
Samurai Shodown on Xbox Series X is an interesting beast. This version ultimately mirrors the PC release in optimization, offering the option of playing in 120 fps. Still, the PC version can also run 144fps on certain setups and monitors. I will say that playing a fighting game in 120fps took a little getting used to on my part as you grow accustomed to input speeds and hitbox recognition. I’d hope this becomes more of the norm in future fighting games if only to have a blanketed standard of the genre.
The animations are smooth as you chain together attacks and utilize the unique mechanics this series is known for. The visuals are also at the top of their game, allowing this game to look even more beautiful years after release. I must hand it to the developers who utilized this cell-shaded 3D design direction as it holds up exceptionally well.
In terms of where to play, Samurai Shodown in a competitive space. I’d say the PC still has the most benefits if you have the monitor and tower to get the most out of what the game offers. However, the Xbox Series X version might see a rise in popularity once the console becomes more available. I’m interested in seeing where the fighting space goes; with SNK being a significant fighter in the genre, I’m curious to know why they went with Series X before even mentioning a PS5 version.
As for the newest character added with the launch of Samurai Shodown on Xbox Series X, Cham Cham, let’s just say, I love this character. The newest batch of DLC characters in the game does a great job of diversifying this roster since the base characters can feel oddly similar.
Samurai Shodown borders on offerings strategic fights with flashy visuals, but up until recently, content has been rather dry. I’m glad the developer is focused on bringing more diverse characters to the line-up. This is pretty much the icing on the cake in terms of enjoying the Xbox Series X version at launch since the online modes are so lively.
I really hope this upwards trajectory keeps up for Samurai Shodown. The game shows so much promise in this next-gen version that I’m excited to see the bar be raised for fighting games in terms of optimization and additional characters. If you have the Xbox One version already, you can upgrade to the Xbox Series X|S version for free.
Here’s to the future of Samurai Shodown and the growing community of players supporting the game as it supports newer platforms with continued optimization.
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