“I want to get into traditional fighting games, but I don’t want to put all the time into learning one…”
On June 25, SNK released Samurai Shodown, the seventh title in the historic Samurai Shodown fighting game series. This ends a 14-year spell since Samurai Shodown VI’s Japanese and North American arcade releases in 2005 and 2006. In week one, we’ve already seen a large amount of praise come forth from the FGC and review outlets alike, citing a simple game with a large skill ceiling. Easy to learn, but hard to master.
Samurai Shodown is unique in that cancel-based combos are almost nonexistent. The game places a strong focus on neutral: footsies, spacing, and punishment. You can count on opening up training mode and understanding the mechanics and execution in a short amount of time. Upon playing another person, you visualize the high skill ceiling as you dive into the mind games.
What range do I want to fight at? How can I take space in neutral? What button do I punish with when I block that attack? What have I learned about my opponent's habits this match? Samurai Shodown rewards thoughtful button presses and punishes mindless mashing. You will certainly find yourself applying these guided concepts into Smash and other fighting games. Pattern recognition, micro-spacing, and being patient but reactive are a few of the many concepts brought up to snuff.
Some recent Samurai Shodown tournaments:
- Next Level Battle Circuit 172 (NYC): Primary Stream / Secondary Stream
- CEO 2019: Top 8
SNK has received large community support for offering a free season pass up to June 30th, for the next 6 months of DLC. This offer was redeemable through the console store (PS4 / XB1), even if you didn’t own the game at the time. Downloading the season pass allows you to receive a free retro Nakoruru skin, where she gets the Mario 64 polygon treatment!
Samurai Shodown Season 1 DLC
If you've been on the cusp, this is the best time to get your feet wet with a traditional fighter to play alongside Smash. Learn about the basics of the game with this quick tutorial by Frame Advantage.
Join the Samurai Shodown Discord here! As of July 1, the game is currently ranked 4th among entrants for Evo 2019! Samurai Shodown is set to come out on Switch and PC in Q4 2019. You might have a local near you that would love to see new players! Find your local FGC scene and #EmbraceDeath!