Samurai Shodown Sen Review (XBLA)

Samurai Shodown is a franchise of games that’s been present since the early 90’s, and this title Samurai Shodown Sen is one of the first in this popular saga that arrives at the Xbox 360. With a somewhat different format changing the 2D sprites for a 3D style that many of us know does not always have the desired effect and the transition is not always what was expected.
Even so this game has positive details and not all is bad, in this attempt by SNK Playmore that XSEED brought to America I have mixed feelings.

As in all previous versions of the game the story has some variations depending on the character you choose, the 3D animated sequences make the story look pretty good.
With the prologue and epilogue as an exeption, which only have text and a bland background that do do not have mayor content and takes away flavor from the game. And really leaves much to be desired as it does not immerse you in the history of the game as they should.

The change from 2D sprites to 3D is not that bad, really expected the character models to be less detailed but do not look so bad in their majority, taking in mind the game started to be developed around 2006 and was released in 2008 in japan, the graphics are somewhat dated but could have been worse.
Although as in many cases something is lost, as fans of the series are used to the 2D sprites of previous Samurai Shodown games.

Astounding artwork, eye candy!

The gameplay is not like previous installments of the franchise in which you use a lot of defense and counter attack, this version takes the style of Soul Calibur which take it away from the original style from the series, a good attempt by the developers but i don’t feel it’s executed as expected, so the game dont have a defined style of its own as it should.

Special moves where? gotta admit i just put the dvd on the tray and started to play without checking the manual first, and was bashed in the first rounds of the game as i expected some of the special moves to be there, they wasn’t.
Everything that made Samurai Shodown the great fighting game it was was taken away, and that truly disappointed me. You have a set of moves that can be devastating yes, but dont take much to learn and they don’t feel as unique as the moves from previous games.

Something that can be frustrating it’s the difficulty, normal feel as Hard, even in Easy Mode some characters was truly unforgiving specially the bosses, certainly bosses are supposed to be hard. But Draco can be pretty cheap with his long distance rifle attacks.
Defense is hard and some of the powerful moves are hard to be executed as enemies dont give you much room for it, sometimes is as stated befiore, frustrating.

Multiplayer is dead so i did not had the chance to try it, anyone out there want go for those achievements?

With that said it’s time to comment on some positive aspects of the game, Voice acting in japanese (thank you!), was a great asset to keep the japanese voices and not a damn english dub that ALWAYS ruin good japense games bought to america. The music scores are great and sound splendid, these are two of the best things in the game.

The japanese art is astounding and im trully in love with it, the character selection screen is fantastic displaying art for every character in the title, im glad they decided to keep this and not 3D models in the character selection screen.

Something worth praising, probably this go to XSEED for the packaging art, just like the character selection screen the packaging, manual and dvd make use of the gorgeous japanese art, giving the presentation of the game an awesome look, kudos!

Excellent artwork, great packaging presentation.

Samurai Shodown Sen is a game i had a good time with, frustrating at times but can give you some hours of fun. With a lack of classic moves and sometimes different style from the rest in the saga.
Probably with more time into development this could have been an awesome title for the current generation of consoles, i feel like a game created for a PS2 was ported in the last minute to the Xbox 360, may not be a great competitor for other fighting titles in the Xbox 360 but still worth trying for the fans of the genre.

we give the game a 6.8 out of 10!


Self proclaimed Anime Courtyard mad scientist. Cat person and anime lover. Hobbies include drawing, videogames and saving this realm from alien invaders.

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