Samurai Shodown Review

Developer: SNK Corporation

Platforms: Xbox Series X (Reviewed)|S

Genre: Versus Fighting Game

Publisher: SNK Corporation / Koch Media


Samurai Shodown is a reboot of the 1993 SNK beat ’em up classic. This outing is the updated version using the Unreal Engine and bringing the game to current generation consoles. 


If you have played the original or any incarnation since the original, you will be well accustomed to the original set of characters and the gameplay. It has that unique SNK beat ’em up style. Three new additional characters added to the roster. For the newcomers, this is a classic 1 versus 1 beat ’em up. You pit your skills against a singular for multiple rounds. It is a brutal action-filled game with lots of sword action. This SNK classic has the addition of weapons which made it stand out when it was originally released. Each character possesses an array of special moves that can take some time to perfect.


There is a training mode where you can hone your skills before you battle for real. The staple of a versus mode is available for quick local play (against CPU players or friends). The main game has a story mode where you battle through rounds of opponents to face the final boss at the end while jet setting from country to country to find other foes to beat. While the story mode follows a generic well-trodden path of single-player beat em up story modes it’s fun in fairness, I usually play this mode first. 

An online mode for playing anyone from around the world adds a huge replay value to the game. There is a battle mode where you try to beat as many players in a row. The game has a unique AI system that will learn the player’s moves and allows for this AI to be created as “Ghost characters” that can be shared to play against too. There is in the inclusion of gore and finishing moves which can be turned off for those not a fan of bloody violence, think Mortal Kombat gore but without the over the top finishing moves. The game sees the return of 13 classic characters and the addition of 3 new characters that have enough diverse fighting styles to keep the hardened beat em up fan happy. Additional characters are available via Season passes too.


The Series X version runs at a smooth 120 FPS. Owners of the previous-gen version can play on the Series X|S without any additional costs via Smart Delivery, any purchased DLCs is also transferable.

Samurai Showdown has that unique SNK fighting gameplay style brought to modern consoles. The superb art style combined with 120 FPS brings a lush gaming experience. A wide variety of characters with the new AI system and online play will mean this game is a must-buy for beat em up fans. 

Overall: 7.5/10

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