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Samurai Showdown 2 by Nightbird
Game:Samurai Showdown 2Company:SNK
Type:FightingPlayers:2

The Neo-Geo had some of the best fighting games ever seen. Even today, with all the 3D fighting titles to choose from, I often find myself looking for a Neo-Geo MVS machine in hopes of finding the legendary Samurai Shodown games.
Samurai Shodown was innovative in many ways. For one thing, it was probably the first fighting series to sport armed combat. It was also set in a Medieval setting, which added to the appeal.
Another interesting point about Samurai Shodown was that its characters sometimes fought using animals as well as weapons. While the SPCA might not like the idea much, gamers loved it. The character pictured below (Galford & Poppy at the left, Nakoruru & Mamahana at the right.) is my favorite. What she lacks in power, she makes up for in speed. Having a hawk at your command doesnít hurt either.
Samurai Shodown 2ís main weakness was the speed of the game. A fight could start off fast, but would grind to a halt as your opponent would block your attacks. Also when you did connect with a powerful strike, the game would momentarily freeze as your opponentís POW guage would rise.
Of course a game is less appealing if you donít like what you see, fortunately, Samurai Shodown 2, had great visuals. It also had excellent audio thanks to the Neo-Geoís sound processor, which at the time, could produce better quality sound than most other arcade or console games. This game has very nice and fairly detailed anime-style characters. The winning poses between matches are very nicely done and present the characters in more detail than the in-game sprites ever could. It's got a very nice selection of backdrops which show a lot of details. From the crashing waves in Haomaru's stage to Nicotine's Temple, the game shows exceptional artistic taste, something that definately helps this game. I can't really comment on the sound, it's been too long since I've played this game on an actual NG machine, and since NeoRAGE doesn't support sound yet ...
The basic control for this game is quite easy to learn, however some of the special moves are not very easy to pull off, on the up side, it is possible for a SS1 veteran to complete the game without using any of the new moves from SS2. Where the control fails is during heated battle. Sometimes when you register a good hit and your opponent's POW gauge is rising, the game will seem to pause, suffice it to say that the 2 second delay between an attack and end of the recoil can throw you off enough to miss your next move.
SS2 is very hard! The computer blatantly cheats, being able to pull off moves during the times where a human player cannot. I'm referring to the recoil times, when you're forced to wait for a swing to end, the CPU can rifle off another move without waiting. This can get extremely frustrating when going up against the boss!
To sum it all up, Samurai Shodown 2 is one of the best fighters Iíve played, it was a vast improvement from the original Samurai Shodown, and part 3 and 4 greatly improved upon it.
A note about the emulator used: These screen shots were taken with NeoRAGE v0.01. As yet, the emulator does not support sound. But I believe it will in the near future. The two authors are extremely capable programmers and I believe NeoRAGE will become one of the most accurate emulators out there.
Graphics
8
1
Sound
Play Control
7
9
Challenge
Replay Value
6
9
Performance
© 1999 EmuViews