Samurai Shodown has been missing in action for quite some time, but the good news for fans of brutal sword fighting action is that it's finally back and as punishing as ever.
Like previous entries in the series, this is a side scrolling beat 'em up with a focus on swordplay. Unlike most other side scrolling fighters, however, ther's a huge focus on single strikes with massive potential damage to be dealt when you land a hit. If you're unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of a hit, say goodbye to 25 per cent of your life force on a single heavy attack, 50 per cent for a super move or, if you're really down on your luck, a whopping 80 per cent for an ultra attack.
With the strong emphasis on single strikes and counter-moves, this is a game that does away with 2D fighters' traditional emphasis on combos in favour of a more stripped down control system. You have light, medium and heavy attacks alongside a kick and that's basically your lot. Light attacks are quick and low-reward, but a good way to stop a slower attack. Medium do a little more damage while a heavy will do a lot but are vulnerable to blocks. A kick, meanwhile, tends to offer utility in the form of something like added range. The upshot is a game that moves quite differently to a lot of other sidescrolling fighters, offering something pretty different to the likes of Street Fighter and BlazBlue.One cool new feature here is the ability to create your own AI clown. As you play the game will study your moves, and you'll be able to fight your own ghost or, if you prefer, the ghosts of some of the greatest players on the planet!