Samurai Shodown has experienced a resurgence in recent times, with the release of 2019’s Samurai Shodown serving as a soft reboot for the fighting game series. Now, the Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection offers an in-depth look at the games’ unique and influential past. Brought together by Digital Eclipse, the same team that mastered the art of repackaging classic fighting games with the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection is almost perfect in some ways, but could also fall short if compared to other games of the same type.
For the purposes of this review, Today Technology was provided with a Steam copy of Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection for PC. We played with an arcade-style fight stick, running through a portion of the singleplayer mode and trying PvP combat in each of the seven games included.
The way these seven games have been preserved and recreated is absolutely unparalleled in gaming, except perhaps for the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection put together by the same team. However, the SamSho NeoGeo Collection goes further, including new features such as video recordings of pro matches in each game with complete written breakdowns. NeoGeo Collection also unearthed the long-lost, almost mythical Samurai Shodown V Perfect, a final upgrade for Samurai Shodown V whose existence was debated by even the most hardcore fans.
For those who don’t know how long Digital Eclipse goes into preserving these games, the accuracy is astounding. The scan lines can be turned on to replicate the original arcade machine, and even the slowdown caused by the characters moving in the background of the stages is brought back to experience it as it actually came out. There is concept art from each game available through the menus, and full text summaries of each game and its impact at the time.
All of this comes together to paint a full picture of the legacy of the Samurai Shodown series as a unique and influential fighting game series that never reached the popularity of some of its contemporaries, but nevertheless had a unique feel. and introduced novel concepts to the fighting game. space. In terms of preserving a part of gaming history, Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection will be a masterwork even if it has not gone the extra mile to unearth previously unknown secrets and release a completely new version of one of the games.
For gamers who love to delve into the fascinating history of retro titles, and for those who want to understand the influential moments in the gradual development of fighting games as a genre, the NeoGeo Collection is well worth it . From a gameplay standpoint, however, the collection can’t hold up compared to its closest peer, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. The new features are incredible and the work put into the care is unparalleled, but the number, and frankly the quality of games, is less.
It’s unfair to judge games of the past by modern standards, but some games from the Street Fighter Collection hold up very well even in a vacuum where their past influence is ignored. For the SamSho NeoGeo Collection, the games feel their age, and while they have very unique and interesting mechanics, there will be little reason for a player who isn’t a hardcore fighting game fan or a series loyalist to play them.
Samurai Shodown games emphasize caution, as damage taken on characters will increase their own strength and special power meter. One mistake can leave an opening for a player on the brink of defeat to punish with a strong move and snatch a victory. That can be a lot of fun and engaging, but outside of high-level play, it means that many Samurai Shodown moves are overpowered, spammed, and can be cheap, especially in older games that lack the spirit of their new counterparts.
For its commitment to accuracy, success in diving into gaming history and unearthing new stories, and celebrating everything that made the classic Samurai Shodown fun and unique, Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection deserves a perfect score. The games themselves, however, may not be as appealing to those who aren’t already part of the small but loyal fanbase. This contradiction makes the SamSho NeoGeo bundle difficult, but it is definitely worth checking out, if only for the wealth of features and art, the ups and downs in the story of the creation of the series, and the novelty of providing Some of the classic fighting games have a chance to shine.
Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Today Technology was provided a PC code for this review.