Developer: K2 LLC
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), Arcade
ESRB Rating: M
In a nutshell: Slashing randomly.
0:00 I've never played a Samurai Shodown game, or had a real desire to do the same, but XSeed sent this one on over, so it deserves at least an hour out of me.
0:01 A pink petal falls through a black void. "It is bushi's nature to fight and die" says the subtitled kanji calligraphy." A white-clad warrior with big black hair sits under a tree. He opens his eyes and slashes the calligraphy with his sword. He slices the air again in slow-mo and throws his sword up in a mighty spin, catching it in its sheathe effortlessly. Somehow, two large stone lanterns near the tree have been chopped in two. The title appears with the message "Press Start or A Button." That's... oddly specific.
0:02 I know playing a fighting game in single player mode is sort of beside the point, but I'm relatively sure none of my friends have ever played a Samurai Shodown game, so it'd just be button mashing between us for the first hour anyway. And I know I should probably break out my Xbox 360 fighting stick for the hour, but frankly I can't be bothered.
0:03 Available difficulties are Beginner, Easy, Normal, Hard and Expert. I'll go with Easy rather than Beginner because I've played my fair share of other fighting games. Lets speed things up by setting it to one-round matches and a short, 30-second time limit.
0:05 Story mode lets me pick from 24 characters with odd names like Wanfo, Rimurimu, Ki Hae-Ryeong and... Walter. OK, that last one's pretty normal. I like the little four-word descriptions for each character, and the one word summary: "Tricky," "Power," "Speed," etc. I go with Haoh Maru, the "wandering strong swordman" because he was the one in the intro. video.