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Samurai Shodown Sen Review
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2010 is a year full of exclusive games for she isMicrosoft’s Xbox 360. however there are some games that you may have missed from the schedule. One of these games is from SNK of which the series originally started out on the Neo-Geo. Some memories may begin to flood back for those that had the opportunity to play one of the most expensive games consoles all-time. It’s with the delight to some very hard-core fighting fans that I can announce that in my hands is a copy of Samurai Shodown Sen. Believe it or not this is actually the 11th game that this Japanese fighter has graced the video game world. It’s sadly in recent years struggled to find form in 3D. So how will this year’s Xbox 360 exclusive weigh up?

Firstly it goes without saying that this game is not for those looking to get into a fighting game whom have never had experience of playing fighters at all. Samurai Shodown Sen is brutal when it comes to the learning process of this game and you will have to spend several hours in the practice arena getting used to its unique control style. Whilst many of the combat is situated to the face buttons like most fighting games, it’s the discipline involved that will either make or break your experience. As you will find through just jumping into this game in order to win any type of match it is a case of deflecting your opponent shots and taking advantage of them offguard. For those who are very much hard-core into this game series this may well appeal to you but for those who have not played years of fighting games Samurai Shodown Sen is without doubt one of the most difficult and inaccessible games you will find in the genre.

As stated in the opening paragraph of this review, the Samurai Shodown series has not had the smoothest ride transitioning into 3D. Previous iterations of the game have been pretty dreadful. If there is anything that has stayed the same throughout the game series it’s the characters. Thirteen classic characters return like Haohmaru and of course Hanzo Hattori who happens to have been in every of the games to date. The current developer for Samurai Shodown Sen is a company named K2 and I really believe that they have looked into the history of this game and tried to make it as authentic as possible to its original roots. Where they gain proves to be a little difficult and frustrating is where the developer has trying to transition this game into a modern 3-D fighter was also retaining combat elements from Samurai Warrior games. What does that mean exactly? Well, a lot of characters moves are extremely powerful resulting in short battles in the very defensive strategy. This will no doubt put some people off as they like the excitement of creating combo attacks and going on a very attacking strategy when they play these types of games.

Each character has its own unique back story along with the statistics sheet and all characters have their own personalised sword style where contemporary, axe wielding and spear fighting elements come into play. There are also three different special attack moves in Samurai Shodown Sen one of them is the familiar, Power Slash whereby you can choose vertical or horizontal attacks on your enemies, Rage Explosion which increases the attack power and also Guard Shatter which renders your opponents completely defenceless. The game features an interesting replay option whereby you can save replays of your best battles and there are also a variety of multiplayer elements that will allow you to play the game off-line and online against other sword wielding fans. The online mode isn’t really anything new, it is your standard versus affair and providing you can find players to play with, it all works fine.

While Samurai Shodown Sen may offer comfort for those that are fans of the series, to go 11 years on and not seriously progress back to its original legendary status will really stop this game series from ever becoming iconic once more. K2 had the perfect chance to push the graphics to its limits but instead the visuals feel understated, and powerful and if we’re honest little wishy-washy. The arenas themselves look like someone the most uninventive we’ve seen in recent years and for this game to come outa three-year to its closest comparison Soul Calibur IV we find it difficult to recommend as a game unless you are of course already a massive fan of the series. Arguably Samurai Shodown Sen didn’t have to go 3D at all, just taking one look at another fighter we’re reviewing at the moment Blaz Blue really drives home just how far behind Samurai Shodown Sen is as a fighting game as per other alternatives in the marketplace right now. Was the game mechanics feel adequate you never really feel that you are having a lot of fun with this game. Even the back stories your characters have are presented in a very basic and nostalgic way. With more effort in the storyline department, with more effort to make the game more accessible for others and more iconic characters Samurai Shodown possibly does have a future. Currently though its sales will be restricted to those that are fans of the gameand this ultimately could be their downfall for the series if it carries on with the same tone. I know that there will be people that love this game as fans of this series are very passionate much like people that a brand loyal to Apple. However for what you get for what you pay even for those that are fans of the series we’d struggle to recommend it there simply isn’t enough content on the whole to get your teeth stuck into regardless of the amount of characters many other fighting games on the market offer an array of alternative game modes are simply not found here. I’m about to put my sword away and hope that any more additions to the series takes Samurai Shodown away from safety and comfort and push itself into new areas.

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Samurai Shodown Sen Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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