Divisive sequel returns
Hamster continue their wave of classic Neo Geo goodness with the return of one the more controversial titles of the SamSho series, 1995’s Samurai Shodown IV, available now on PS4 and Xbox One.
After SNK made efforts to darken the tone and appearance of the series with Samurai Shodown III, they found that fans had muddled opinions on the new direction. Like all fighting game developers are apt to do when fans show even an inkling of concern, SNK immediately gave up on their new plans and hurriedly attempted to restore the series to its roots.
Samurai Shodown IV features much more colourful visuals and a higher contrast setting to its overall aesthetic. Popular characters that had been retired from the series quickly found themselves thrust back into the thick of battle. SamSho IV also plays somewhat differently from previous entries, with new features such as the C+D combo system, a time limit for single player that affects the ending, and a bizarre “Seppuku” mechanic, whereby a play can forfeit the round in exchange for full POW meter.
Various elements of the Samurai Shodown games during this era – from their aesthetics and controls, to their narrative to roster – divide much of the audience to this day. I, personally, really like SamSho IV. It might be my favourite entry in the series after SamSho II, and I think it still holds up very well.
Samurai Shodown IV is available now on Xbox One worldwide and on PS4 in Japan.