Slicing and Dicing: Samurai Shodown is Around the Corner

The year is 1787. The location is Japan. The game is Samurai Shodown.


The year 1787 falls in the Tenmei era when the Tokugawa Shogunate, a feudal military government, is in power. The country is recuperating from the ills of the Great Tenmei Famine (1782-83). The task of rebuilding and bettering the nation falls to Matsudaira Sadanobu, the chief advisor of Tokugawa Ienari.


Haohmaru, one of the playable characters

Haohmaru, Nakoruru, Genjuro Kibagami, Yoshitora Tokugawa, Ukyo Tachibana, Jubei Yagyu, Hanzo Hattori, Galford, Charlotte, Earthquake, Shiki, Kyoshiro Senryo and Tam Tam, all familiar faces, return as playable characters. Besides these thirteen, there are three newbies: Yashamaru Kurama, Darli Dagger, and Wu-Ruixiang.


The game is comprised of twelve stages across a variety of settings that span different seasons and times of the day. The locations integrate Japanese flora, fauna, relief features, structures and aesthetics such as bonsai trees, shrines, temple plazas, dojos, kanji symbols, and Mount Fuji.


Yasuyuki Oda and Nobuyuki Kuroki demonstrated the salient features of the game: the exciting inventory of weapons: épées, hooks, and katanas; a Super Special Move (one per match) and a sophisticated blow called the Lightning Strike which yields high damage to the opponent. As with all the previous games, Samurai Shodown’s gameplay will be in a 2D format, but with attractive visuals and sensational action. The most mind-boggling feature is the ghost feature that uses deep-learning technology that assesses a player’s style and creates a “ghost,” an opponent that reflects his style. He can choose to fight this ghost to take stock of his strong and weak points.


Samurai Shodown will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox 1 on June 25 and in Winter for Nintendo Switch and PC, eleven years after Samurai Shodown Sen. The present game serves as a prequel to the events of the first game released in 1993.