Samurai Shodown Articles RSS Feed | Samurai Shodown RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Samurai Shodown Goes Next-Gen, Launches For Xbox Series X|S in March Mon, 18 Jan 2021 13:54:28 -0500 Dylan Webb

Samurai Shodown made a welcome return in 2019. One of SNK's major fighting series, it was dormant for nearly a decade and even now, this new entry continues receiving regular support. As part of this, SNK have now confirmed a next-generation port for Xbox Series X|S, due to release on March 16.

Originally running at 60fps, the Series X edition of Samurai Shodown will go as high as 120fps, offering a smooth gameplay experience, according to SNK. Furthermore, existing Xbox One owners can upgrade to this enhanced edition for free, thanks to Microsoft's Smart Delivery service. At this time though, there's no sign of an equivalent PS5 version on the way.

There's an age-restricted trailer you can see over on YouTube

A physical edition of Samurai Shodown is planned for Europe and North America on Xbox Series X|S, which features all of the game's Season 1 content at no extra charge.

Adding to this announcement, SNK also confirmed that Season Pass 3 will launch sometime in February ahead of these next-gen editions, offering four new DLC characters. Last week, SNK revealed that two of those will be ChamCham and Hibiki Takane. 

We gave the Switch version of the reboot a strong recommendation back in early 2020, though we criticized some technical aspects such as long loading times. Considering the much higher hardware specifications for both Xbox variants, we're hopeful that these have been addressed, especially considering we had similar issues with the Xbox One version in 2019. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny as we hear anything further about Samurai Shodown.

Samurai Shodown Switch Review: Portable Swords Wed, 26 Feb 2020 11:14:32 -0500 Thomas Wilde

Samurai Shodown has arrived on the Switch, and it’s made the trip more or less intact. While the graphics have been downscaled for Nintendo's platform, it’s not as stark a difference as you might expect — unless you play in portable mode. As far as the rest goes, it’s still as fast, fluid, and unforgiving as it was last year on the PS4 and Xbox One.

If you already played and made up your mind about SamSho, the Switch version won’t change your mind. If you’re strictly a Switch player looking for something new to do with your fightstick, however, SamSho is a hallmark of the genre for several very good reasons.

Samurai Shodown Switch Review: Portable Swords

Ukyo fights Yashamaru in Samurai Shodown on the Nintendo Switch.

Specifically, it’s a very educational sort of game. The 2019 Samurai Shodown – technically the seventh mainline game in the series, but intended as a franchise reboot – is a high-risk, high-reward fighting game, where every character is no more than one or two big hits away from losing a round.

While this isn’t necessarily uncommon in fighting games, particularly at high levels of play, SamSho takes it to extremes. A single heavy slash can shave off a quarter to a third of a character’s life bar, projectiles do almost no real damage, and most of the attacks in the game leave you wide open for a crucial second if they’re blocked.

As such, SamSho places a heavy emphasis on a lot of the genre’s intangible elements, such as mind games, matchup knowledge, and tactical approaches. None of the characters have more than a handful of special moves, either, so there’s a relatively low execution requirement. Victory in SamSho is mostly about landing one or two big hits at the right time, rather than learning elaborate combo attacks.

You can definitely argue that it’s not particularly casual-friendly, but SamSho is still a really good “gateway game;" it’s a cutthroat, high-impact way to learn fundamentals that you’ll use in almost every other fighting game.

Samurai Shodown graphics on the PS4.

Samurai Shodown graphics on the Switch.Top screen: PlayStation 4; bottom: Nintendo Switch

The Switch port is a little uglier than its PS4 or Xbox One versions, but not distractingly so. I put SamSho on Switch through its paces for a couple of days, then took it online for a few ranked matches, and didn’t run into any problems with framerate drops or slowdown. It didn't quite feel like playing in my living room, but it was a perfectly acceptable online experience.

The Switch port is admittedly a little blurrier around the edges than other versions are, especially if you try to play it in portable mode, but you don’t lose any speed or frames for it.

Most of the flaws the game has are the same as the other versions. While its early problems with character balance (read: Genjuro being head and shoulders above everyone else) have been patched out at this point, the boss at the end of arcade mode is the same kind of frustrating brick wall that SNK loves to put at the end of all its arcade modes.

The Switch version also lacks cross-play with other platforms, which feels borderline ridiculous in 2020, and four out of the five season-one DLC characters still have to be bought off the eShop.

Samurai Shodown Switch Review — The Bottom Line

Haohmaru fights Genjuro in Samurai Showdown Switch.

  • Best stop for getting serious about fighting games in 2020
  • Excellent port of one of last year’s solid releases
  • Low execution barrier
  • Four out of the five Season One characters still have to be purchased separately
  • It’s been 41 years and SNK is still making “SNK Bosses”
  • The load times are still pretty bad, especially since the animated icons love to stop working

Samurai Shodown has managed to make the trip to the Switch without sacrificing more than a little bit of graphical fidelity. If you pick it up, you’ll end up with a game that feels strangely foundational for 2D fighting as a whole, where every round is a tense game of rocket tag even if you have what you think is an insurmountable lead. If you’re looking for something flashy and crazy to play on the couch, it really doesn’t fill that particular bill, but as a fighting game, it’s got a lot of what keeps the genre relevant.

[Note: SNK’s PR department provided a Switch download code for the purpose of this review.]

GameSkinny Weekend Download: Console Tariffs, Canceled WoW Successor, New PUBG, More Sat, 29 Jun 2019 09:00:01 -0400 GS_Staff

This week, Nintendo teamed up with Sony and Microsoft in a rebuttal against the Trump Administration's proposed console tariffs, and PUBG Corp confirmed a new game in the franchise is in development. 

We also published a few fantastic reviews on games such as Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Samurai Shodown, Steel Division 2, The Sinking City, and Crash Team Racing. Of course, we've got a handful of guides on many of the latest releases. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy. It's the weekend. What else are you gonna do? Play video games? 


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Samurai Shodown 2019 Full Character Move List Mon, 24 Jun 2019 13:44:31 -0400 Jordan Baranowski

Looking to brush up on your commands for SNK's revitalization of Samurai Shodown? Look no further! Here is the list for every fighter's special moves in the 2019 revival.

Before we move onto the full move list, here's the key so you don't get lost among the inputs:


  • B: Back
  • Db: Down back
  • D: Down
  • Df: Down forward
  • F: Front
  • U: Up
  • Ub: Up back
  • Uf: Up forward


  • L: Light attack
  • M: Medium slash
  • H: Heavy slash
  • K: Kick
  • S: Any Striking Attack (The chosen attack usually changes the move's properties)

Multi-press single inputs are shown in parenthesis like so: (Ub+K)

Keep in mind that there are a few techniques that are always executed the same way between characters.

  • Weapon Flipping is always executed with D, Df, F, (M+H)
  • Super Special Moves are always executed with F, B, Db ,D ,Df, F, (H+K)

Characters are listed alphabetically.


  • Power Gradation: F, D, (Df+S)
  • Splash Fount: (F+S) (tap S repeatedly)
  • Tri-Slash: D, Df, (F+S) (can be charged, stronger during rage)
  • Bayonet Lunge: D, Db, (B+S)
  • Lance De Lion: D, Df, (F+K) (usable unarmed)

Darli Dagger

  • Blade Surf: D, Df, (F+S) (stronger during rage)
  • Serpentine Breaker: D, Db, (B+S) (can be charged)
  • High Tide: D, Df, (F+K)
  • Riptide Pierce: D, Db, (B+K) (close range)
  • Point Break: D, Df, (F+S) (usable unarmed)


  • Wall Jump: Uf (midair near edge of screen)
  • Fat Breath: D, Db, (B+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Fat Bound: (D+S) (midair, usable unarmed)
  • Fat Chainsaw: (F+S) (tap S repeatedly, stronger during rage)
  • Fat Replica Attack: F, Df, D, Db, (B+K) (usable unarmed)
  • Fat Bomber: D, Df, (F+K) (close range, usable unarmed)


  • Stardust Drop: F+K (usable unarmed)
  • Wall Jump: Uf (midair near edge of screen)
  • Strike Heads:  F, D, (Df+S) (close range, usable unarmed)
  • Plasma Blade: D, Df, (F+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Replica Attack, Head: F, Df, D, Db, (B+L+K) (usable unarmed)
  • Replica Attack, Rear: F, Df, D, Db, (B+M+K) (usable unarmed)
  • Rush Dog: D, Db, (B+L) (usable unarmed, stronger during rage)
  • Machine Gun Dog: D, Db, (B+M) (usable unarmed)
  • Replica Dog: D, Db, (B+H) (usable unarmed)
  • Overhead Crash: D, Db, (B+K) (usable unarmed)
  • Imitate Replica, Head: F, Df, D, Db, B, F, Df, D, Db, (B+L+K) (knocked back, usable unarmed)
  • Imitate Replica, Rear: F, Df, D, Db, B, F, Df, D, Db, (B+M+K) (knocked back, usable unarmed)

Genjuro Kibagami

  • Triple Death Hack: Fang: D, Df, (F+S)
    • Triple Death Hack: Horn: D, Df, (F+S) (during TDH: Fang)
    • Triple Death Hack: Element: D, Df, (F+S) (during TDH: Horn)
  • Lightning Wings: F, D, (Df+S) (stronger during rage)
  • Zen Blade: F, D, (Df+K) (close range, usable unarmed)
  • Cherry Blossom Slice: D, Db, (B+S)
  • Cherry Blossom Slice: D, Db, (B+S) (hold S) (changes when opponent guards)
  • Slash of a Hundred Demons: B, D, (Db+S)

Hanzo Hattori

  • Rolling Aerial Attack: (F+K) (close range, usable unarmed)
  • Wall Jump: Uf (midair, near edge of screen)
  • Ninja Exploding Dragon Blast: D, Db, (B+S) (usable unarmed, stronger during rage)
  • Ninja Shrike Dash: F, D, (Df+S) (close range, usable unarmed)
  • Whistling Shrike Drop: F, D, (Df+S) (close range, step forward, usable unarmed)
  • Ninja Silencer: D, (D+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Ninja Mon Dance: B, D, (Db+S or K) (usable unarmed)
  • Falling Ninja Cicada Larva: F, Df, D, Db, (B+L+K) (usable unarmed)
  • Gashing Ninja Cicada Larva: F, Df, D, Db, (B+M+K) (usable unarmed)
  • Self-Sacrifice Stratagem of Buddha: F, Df, D, Db, B, F, Df, D, Db, (B+L+K) (knocked back, usable unarmed)
  • Demonic Self-Sacrifice Stratagem: F, Df, D, Db, B, F, Df, D, Db, (B+M+K) (knocked back, usable unarmed)
  • Ninja Windsplitter: D, Df, (F+S) (midair, usable unarmed)


  • Crescent Moon Slash: F, D, (Df+S) (stronger during rage)
  • Renting Tremor Slash: F, D, (Df+S) (step forward, stronger during rage)
  • Cyclone Slash: D, Df, (F+S)
  • Fake Cyclone Slash: D, Df, (F+K)
  • Earthquake Slice: B, D, (Db+S)
  • Rice Wine Whack: D, Db, (B+K) (usable unarmed)

Jubei Yagyu

  • Geyser Thrust: D, Df, (F+S)
  • Tsunami Sabre: F, D, (Df+S) (stronger during rage)
  • Sabre Thrash: F+S (tap S repeatedly)
  • Reflecting Mind's Eye Sabre: D, Db, (B+L)
  • Mind's Eye Sabre of Mutual: D, Db, (B+M)
  • Raging Heaven's Mind's Eye Sabre: D, Db, (B+H)

Kyoshiro Senryo

  • Crouch Walk: Db or Df (while crouching)
  • Tsunami Crunch:  D, Df, (F+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Dance of Fire: B, D, (Db+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Lion's Tail Blast: D, Db, (B+L or M)
  • Ragion Lion's Tail Blast: D, Db, (B+H) (stronger during rage)
  • Twisting Heavens: F,D,Df+S
  • Smoldering Blood Pounce: (D+S) (at apex of jump)
  • Toad Plague: D, Db, (B+K) (usable unarmed)


  • Kamuyhum Kesupu: (D+K) (midair, usable unarmed)
  • Rera Kishima Tek: (F+K) (close range, usable unarmed)
  • Wall Jump: Uf (midair, near edge of screen)
  • Annu Mutsube: B, Db, (D+S) (stronger during rage)
  • Rera Mutsube: D, Df, (F+S) (stronger during rage)
  • Kamui Rimuse: B, D, (Db+S) (usable unarmed)
    • Kamui Rimuse Return: S or K (during Kamui Rimuse) 
  • Amube Yatoro: D, Db, (B+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Cling to Mamahaha: D, Db, (B+K) (usable unarmed)
    • Mamahaha Attack: S (during Cling to Mamahaha)
    • Drop from Mamahaha: K or (B+K) or (F+K) (during Cling to Mamahaha)
    • Kamui Mutsube:  (M+H) (during Cling to Mamahaha, stronger during rage)
    • Makuyhum Kesupu: (D+K) (during Cling to Mamahaha)


  • Exodus Stream: D, Df, (F+S) (stronger during rage)
    • Cloudburst: D, Df, (F+S) (during Exodus Stream, stronger during rage)
  • Elysium Halo: F, D, (Df+S)
  • Tartarus Drop: F, D, (Df+K) (close range, usable unarmed)
  • Setsuna: D, (D+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Lotus Dance of Sublimation: D, Db, (B+S)
  • Lotus Dance of Oblivion: B, D, (Db+S)

Tam Tam

  • Paguna Paguna: (F+S) (tap S repeatedly)
  • Ahaooh Gaboora: F, D, (Df+S) (usable unarmed, stronger during rage)
  • Gaboora Gaboora: D, Df, (F+K) (close range, usable unarmed)
  • Pagoona Dios: B, D, (Db+S) (usable unarmed)
  • Mula Mula: D, Df, (F+L or M) (usable unarmed, can be done 3x in a row)

Ukyo Tachibana

  • Concealed Sabre Snowfall Slash: D, Db, (B+S)
  • Swordless Sabre Snowfall Slash: D, Db, (B+K) (usable unarmed)
  • Concealed Sabre Swallow Swipe: Db, D ,Df, (F+S) (midair, stronger during rage)
  • Concealed Sabre Phantom Strike: D, Df, (F+S)


  • Black Tortoise Torrent: D, Df, (F+S)
  • Vermilion Bird Blaze: D, Db, (B+S) (stronger during rage)
  • White Tiger Fangs: F, D, (Df+S)
  • Azure Dragon Thunderstrike: D, (D+S)
  • Kirin Earthen Rampage: B, D, (Db+K)

Yashamaru Kurama

  • Double Jump: Ub or U or Uf (at apex of jump)
  • Wintry Gust: D, Db, (B+S) (midair, stronger during rage)
  • Azure Gale: D, Df, (F+S) (midair, stronger during rage)
  • Arctic Tempest: F, D, (Df+S) (stronger during rage)

Yoshitora Tokugawa

  • Pink Blossoms: D, Df, (F+S) (stronger during rage)
  • White Lilies: F, D, (Df+S)
  • Tree Peonies: D, Df, (F+S) (midair)
  • Camellias: B, D, (Db+S)
  • Morning Glory: D, Db, (B+S)
  • Moonflower: F, D, (Df+K) (close range)
  • Fluttering Butterfly Blossom: F, Df, D, Db, B, (F+L+M) (only usable after all over special moves have connected)

Samurai Shodown had seemed to be dead for so long, this brand new entry to the series is a major surprise. Check out our full review of the game here, and good luck with your off and online matches in SNK's return to this classic franchise.

Samurai Shodown Review: Unapologetically Old School Mon, 24 Jun 2019 09:02:50 -0400 Jordan Baranowski

The first Samurai Shodown game first hit arcades in 1993, hot on the heels of Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat. Made by veteran fighting game developers SNK, Samurai Shodown's central draw was big, anime-inspired fighters wielding swords and other weapons.

Despite this hook, the Samurai Shodown series never quite took hold like the other titans of the genre. The series has been on hiatus since 2008 and, like the newest entries in the Mortal Kombat series, this latest edition of the brawler serves as a bit of soft reboot and reintroduction to the story.

It is an unapologetic throwback to fighting games of old; it seeks to stand on its unique presentation and fighting mechanics alone. Those elements need to be razor-sharp to make Samurai Shodown worthwhile, so let's dive in and see how it holds up.

En Garde!

The first thing that will immediately strike you in Samurai Shodown is the unique style and presentation. Minimalist koto music plays over the background of menus and fights, splashes of color blast across the screen, and an announcer straight from schlocky kung fu films introduces everything. It does a great job of setting itself apart from other fighting games on the market through its presentation.

As you start to dive into fights, more of the game's style shines through. Fighters feature gravity defying hair at almost every turn, while super moves and "lightning blades" fill the screen with over the top spectacle. The game's style most resembles 2008's Street Fighter IV, with elements of Dragon Ball FighterZ  characters are 3D but carry elements of pixel art and stylized cell shading.

Background stages are what you typically see in fighting games: a sailing ship, several outdoor scenes, and a few dojos and arenas. Generally, everything looks good, but a few elements lack polish.

Characters frequently have bits that clip through other bits with the giant swords and huge hair, you'll often see things sticking through things that should not be. One stage full of little animals is so jarringly bizarre looking clearly the same effort was not put into the bear standing in the background as the game's characters that I'm honestly surprised it made it into the final game.

Crossed Swords

All the presentation in the world doesn't mean a thing if Samurai Shodown plays terribly, and it certainly takes a different approach than other major fighting game franchises. 

Samurai Shodown is slow and deliberate in its approach to deadly battles; it has four buttons (light attack, medium attack, heavy attack, and kick), and each fighter has a variety of special moves. Cooldown times on whiffed attacks, especially heavy attacks, are massive. They do a ton of damage about three will finish a fight but missing or having them blocked will lead you wide open to a counterattack.

On top of that, each fighter has two extremely powerful, once-per-match attacks that will take off between 50% to 75% of your opponent's life. Samurai Showdown does not feature massive, screen stretching combos full of cancels and meter-management shenanigans; it rewards you for proper spacing and understanding matchups. Play defense, watch your opponent's tendencies, and strike when they are vulnerable.

It makes sense, considering this is a game where every fighter hits with a deadly weapon. Fights should feel like they can be over with one careless, sloppy mistake. Because of that, fights feel very deliberate and methodical as the fighters try to feel each other out and look for openings.

That said, Samurai Shodown is not a game that is friendly to beginners. Button mashing will get you whipped into submission by anyone who is passingly familiar with the game. There are a lot of defensive options available to fighters as well disarming your opponent, dodging attacks, flipping sides and stances that are buried within the game's tutorial. 

Samurai Shodown is not going to work for those of you who want a casual, couch beat-em-up to play with your friends. This is a game that rewards you for being a student; learn each character, matchup, and ability, then go online and exploit those who haven't done their homework.

Famine in Japan

Samurai Shodown is loosely based in 18th century Japan, and each character has a story mode wherein they try to discover the cause of the supernatural sickness that plagues the country. Characters come from a wide variety of fairly stereotypical fighting game backgrounds: pirates, ninjas, noble warriors. There are a few oddballs, as you'd expect a Kabuki actor who hops around on a single foot, a feng shui expert who conjures the elements to fight for her, a massive fighter who literally takes up twice as much space as any other character.

The characters look good, and certain aspects of their presentation work, but most of the voicework is... questionable.

Galford, a blonde American ninja pirate with a pet husky named Poppy, delivers a stuttering performance of Shatner-esque skill. Nearly every character sounds like they are shouting all their lines in surprise. They certainly aren't sleepwalking through their delivery, but it seems a bit out of place in a world full of famine and death battles for everyone to be so excited.

Besides story mode, it's got what you'd expect as far as ways to play the game. Online and offline versus mode, training mode, and a gallery to listen to music and look at concept art. The only out of the ordinary mode involves fighting "CPU Ghosts." 

Samurai Shodown includes a feature that analyzes how you play specific characters, creating an AI for each character based off your play style. You can then upload these ghosts to a special mode and let other players take them on.

In theory, this is a great idea. If a certain character gives you trouble or, even better, a certain player's piloting of that character, you could go online and practice against that style. It will only be as good as the game's audience, however; one of the ghosts I fought while reviewing spent our entire fight backdashing into the corner. There's room for improvement, basically.

And, while this is a nice idea, it is still just a slightly different "You vs. CPU" mode. If Samurai Shodown takes off, this mode could lead to some exciting and heartbreaking moments on live streams. Otherwise, if players want to practice against good competition, it seems like taking to ranked battles will be the best way to go.

Kabuki Theater

  • Unique, polished style
  • Fighting mechanics are different than competitors
  • Interesting ideas
  • Execution is a bit lackluster
  • Not many options or modes
  • Loading times are very long
  • Not very beginner-friendly

Samurai Shodown is a solid re-entry into the arena for the long-dormant series. It takes some getting used to if you're into the rushdown, combo-heavy style of many other fighters, but it is very rewarding for those who put the time in to learn the systems.

It lacks the polish or variety of the big hitters on the market like Street FighterMortal Kombat, or Smash Bros., however, but it has the niche appeal that could carve out a small space for itself in the fighting game landscape.

[Note: A copy of Samurai Shodown was provided by SNK for the purpose of this review.]