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HotRod FAQ

Samurai Showdown 2 - November 7, 1999 by Nightbird
Game:Samurai Showdown 2Company:SNK
Type:FightingPlayers:1/2

A long time ago I reviewed Samurai Shodown II. That review was done when the NeoGeo emulators still didn't have sound emulation. Now that the NeoGeo is almost perfectly emulated, I figured it would be a good time to re-reView this title.
First off, SNK has built a reputation off of incrementally improving their fighting games like the Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury series, so it's no surprise that Samurai Shodown 2 would at least be as good if not better than its predecessor. And in fact, it surpasses the original in many ways.
The first thing that you'll notice is the much improved graphics. The backdrops are all well drawn and ooze with atmosphere, from a big bubbling cauldron to a wintery mountain cabin, the detail is superb. The characters themselves are nicely drawn in the Anime style, which I'm a fan of. If I had to gripe about the graphics though, I'd have to nitpick about the way the characters move. The moves are pretty choppy. All in all though, the visual presentation is excellent.
Now, the control, the original suffered from somewhat sluggish controls, but SS2 cleans it up a bit. Special moves are relatively easy to pull off, it may take a couple of fights to get your timing down, but once you do, you won't have a problem. On the downside though, power strokes such as high uppercut slashes negate control inputs. So if you're in the middle of say, Haomaru's crouching slash you have to wait until the animation has completed before your controls will respond again. This gets frustrating during the later battles, where you want to get your moves out as fast as possible, but instead get pasted by your opponent who has no such limitation.
That is another gripe about this game: The AI. The computer can do moves way too readily. Even throwing moves out where a human player just is not capable of. This of course leads to you getting put down quite often.
Now, the sound! Here is where this game simply shines! Each character has his/her own taunts/sayings as well as their own distinct grunts. Everything in the game comes out clear, the sword clangs, the scraping of weapon on weapon, and the ambiant chanting or rustling of leaves or howling of wind. Truly, this game's sound really heightens the enjoyment of playing it. THe music is very well done also. Some stages have a simple string playing, while others like Sieger's stage have full blown orchestral scores!
To sum up, Samurai Shodown II is a truly worthy sequel. SNK improved greatly over the first one, but left a few rough edges. No fighting fan should pass up at least a look at this game.
Graphics
8
9
Sound
Play Control
7
8
Challenge
Replay Value
7
10
Performance

Screen Shots

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1999 EmuViews