‘Samurai Shodown III ACA NEOGEO’ Review – The last, but is it the least? – TouchArcade

When SNK and Hamster started bringing the Arcade Archives line of NEOGEO ports to mobile platforms, it wasn’t particularly surprising to see the Samurai Shodown series represented among the initial salvo of titles. Historically, it has been one of SNK’s most popular IPs, second only to the king of fighters It is metal slug. With Samurai Shodown II ported by Dotemu a decade ago, SNK chose to open with Samurai Shodown IV. Gradually, it filled in the rest of the series. Samurai Shodown III ($3.99) is the latest mainline NEOGEO entry in the franchise to make the leap. Do you do justice to your brothers? Is there any compelling reason to pick it up if you took one of the others? Is Shaun really doing that thing where the opening paragraph of the review ends with a question?

More or less, yes, and absolutely. I don’t like to leave issues unresolved for too long. When I wrote my review about Samurai Shodown IV ACA NEOGEOdid I mention that it’s rare to find someone who loves every entry on Samurai Shodown due to the games’ inconsistency in their mechanics and aesthetics. I think if you did a survey of the masses, you’d see a lot of people quoting Samurai Shodown II as your favorite, followed by an almost equal number of votes for 4 It is v special. As far as NEOGEO entries go, you’ll probably see the fewest people rooting for the original game and Samurai Shodown III.

However, I think if you were to ask these same people what second-favorite game in the series is, you would see a lot more support for Samurai Shodown III. It’s a strange game by the standards of the series, which its sequels set out to take a step back from. This oddity, however, is precisely what makes it stand out among its peers. Samurai Shodown III has many ideas. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, and some of them are good but poorly implemented. But have something for that. An enchanting flavor reminiscent of the tastes of Bushido’s Bladecutting the essence of samurai pop media. Samurai Shodown has always been characterized by how fast and brutal rounds can be, but Samurai Shodown III is perhaps the epitome of that ethos. It is entirely possible for matches to end in two or three strikes.

Character casting is one of the reasons why many fans tend to avoid Samurai Shodown III. The roster is smaller than in the previous game, with only twelve characters to choose from. It introduces some new characters, but cuts out tons of fan favorites like Charlotte, Cham Cham, and Earthquake. Some of these new characters are a lot of fun to use and better fit the game’s more realistic and down-to-earth aesthetic in some respects. It’s a little difficult to blend it all in with the larger timeline of the series, and the game doesn’t seem particularly interested in storytelling compared to other entries. In fact, one of the things I’m not interested in Samurai Shodown III it’s down to how little chance the characters have to show their personalities compared to the other games. Story isn’t the most important thing in fighting games, but in these ACA NEOGEO releases, we’re largely relegated to a single player, so it takes on a bit more importance.

There are many gameplay changes here from Samurai Shodown II, and some of them ended up staying in the series. There are more buttons dedicated to your weapon attacks, with only one serving as a kick. Throws are in favor of shoves that leave the enemy open to a good hit or two. After choosing your character, you can choose a note that roughly determines the balance of your attack and defense. Choose the advanced grade and you won’t even be able to keep it, with a permanently full Rage Gauge as a consolation prize. Notably, this game features the Bust and Slash system that offers light and dark versions of each character, with slight differences in movement between them.

As I mentioned before, matches in Samurai Shodown III it can be quick and nasty. You can dodge attacks, counterattack, and pull off unblockable blows. Your Rage Gauge fills like a cup under a Slurpee spout. You can block in mid-air now, which provides more incentive to take to the skies fearlessly. Some of these elements didn’t return for the next round, and it’s not hard to see why. Even a pair of level-headed savvy players can feel ripped off by how quickly things end, and if you go head to head with the CPU, your coins can disappear so fast you’d think your wallet was the dimensional space all the uncles in the world were from. they pull the coins they take out from behind the children’s ears. And in true SNK fashion, the final boss is a complete and utter… Holy shit, it’s that Dick Van Dyke?! Sorry, I thought I saw something there.

That said, we don’t have to worry about blowing up all of our rooms, do we? Through the magic of arcade files line, we only have to worry about the sixteen rooms required to purchase the app itself. After that, we can help ourselves to an endless supply of credits. Even better, we have access to those coveted difficulty settings. Turn it all the way down and the CPU is only mildly rude. It’s okay, Shaun said you could do it. Go learn the ropes this way, then step up again as needed. ACA NEOGEO options are lovely things, and you have the full set of them here, as usual. Not just difficulty, but all sorts of other things as well. Adjust as you like.

Also similar to others ACA NEOGEO games, you can play with an external controller if you wish. I highly recommend it as the moves you have to make in this game can be a real bear with the touch controls. You can still have fun with virtual button pressing without a controller, but there are probably better games to play if that’s all you’ve got. External controllers are also the only way to play multiplayer in this version, and that’s a shame, because I think the particular charms of Samurai Shodown III are best presented with infinite credits and another human. I know I keep beating this drum, but I wish some other option could be discovered for multiplayer in these releases. Most players will have to make do with their CPU opponent, and I just don’t know that I would consider that to be very fun in this game.

Samurai Shodown III probably shouldn’t be anyone’s first Samurai Shodown game, especially in ACA NEOGEO mobile lineup with its limited multiplayer options. But its peculiar qualities make it an interesting choice for a Second Samurai Shodown game. Because of how much it divided the fandom, Samurai Shodown III saw many of its edges sanded down or completely cut off in successive entries in the series. That makes it quite unique, and I think there’s something to be said for that. Make sure you bring some kind of external controller and a lot of patience if you decide to choose this one.

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