Samurai Shodown Talk


Greetings all from a long time lurker. I’ve been a FG player since before Ryu wore shoes, and am also the lead developer/site owner for the OpenBOR community (a universal engine that specializes in Streets of Rage/Final Fight style beat-em-ups).

I noticed there doesn’t seem to be much about for Samurai Shodown here. That’s really surprising considering this sort of community. The last discussion I could find dried up more than two years ago, and the wiki could REALLY use some love. Thought maybe I could jump start things a little. Any SamSho 2 players left out there? Not that 3+ were bad games - but they lost me with that idiotic, lazy universal push throw crap. Sen could have been something special and has a few OK touches, but obviously nobody on that development team really gave a spit.

The mechanics of SamSho 2 were in my opinion absolutely sublime. A huge subsystem with tons and tons of options, fast movement, heavy damage but risk in going for it, creative moves, a different kind of strategy needed but old school tactics are not useless, character deisgns that managed to perfectly straddle the line between unique and cool, lots of secrets…

I’d love to hear opinions on matchups, tiers, heck anything. :open_mouth:

I’ve also whipped up a pretty extensive wiki entry for Galford - the others could use some TLC as well. Oh how I miss putting cocky Ukyo players in their place back at the arcade. “Go Poppy!” sigh



SNK talk seems pretty thin on the net these days (even over on Dream Cancel!), which sucks overall (mostly SNK’s fault for being less then prolific these days). I picked up Sam Shodown Anthology on Wii a few months ago and put in some time on the various incarnations. More SSVI then the others (that sprite blurring shudder), but I did play a bit of II and III. Interesting and unique games. But I have to say, I prefer Last Blade 2 for my SNK weapon fighter.


Samurai Shodown 2 may not the best fighting game (but is among the best), but is the fighting game I had the best experience, was my favorite fighting game (together with KOF 95) at that time. The art and sound is amazing. The only thing I don’t like too much about it, and I discovered it only recently, is the story. Amakusa is inspired on a historical figure and don’t like that he is portrayed as the villain. Any way I think Samurai Shodown 2 is the best in the series and among the 5 best FGs of all time. I’m actually creating a FG with swords ( My new game: Way of the Flying Sword ) and Samurai Shodown 2 is an inspiration for me.


I’m personally a samurai shodown 4 guy. I forgot why i didnt like 3 much, and 5 is cool. 1&2 are more nostalgia goggles for me, rather than me enjoying playing them. There was an article not to long ago about samurai shodown 5 that made it to the front page

Deep Cuts – Why Samurai Shodown V Special is the Best Fighting Game You’ve Never Played

You wont get much of a discussion about samurai shodown around here, but you wont get much discussion of many fighting games around here to be honest. The community is mostly young now in the sense of how long alot of the competitive players have been around, so theyre not interested, and the old heads just have an opinion on old games that theyre not good at, and dont play. If you leave it up to many of them, ST is the pinnacle of heavy footsie based fighters, and everything else is forgotten, even though st is just as cheap and stupid as the other games.

Samurai shodown until i would say killer instinct, and the recent new killer instinct, stood in the top 3 of best character and stage designs ever for a franchise.

I dont like ss4’s brokeness, although you can soft ban infinites with friends or for a tournament. The pace of the game is delicious, and the simplicity of its mechanics and combo system are something modern developers should take a look at.

My preferred footsie based fighter is actually the samurai shodown series. If i was stuck with the sf series on an island for 5 years as my footsie based fighter, id throw it in the fucking ocean, and wait until i got home to play samurai shodown.

The rooms in ggpo were never really that active. Mostly it was just people in there playing with a friend like myself. Not just like 10 people sitting in the lobby waiting, and on fightcade ive always seen it dead, but maybe it comes alive during a certain hour of the day.

If i could just find a solid 10 people i could cycle through with in playing samurai shodown 4/5 online (who have good connects) on a weekly basis, id be fine with that. I dont even need hundreds of shitty mcshitheads playing.

Its funny that fightcade offers fighting game players a mecca to play og games on awesome netcode for free, but its not taken advantage of at all, and those og games are still fun as fuck to this day. I’d gladly play mvc1 and xvsf over umvc3 any day of the week, but im bias on that.

There are a lot of disgusting sins of the fighting game community, but no love for samurai shodown has to be one of its worst for sure.


Charging rage meter? Huge overall damage output? Dominating top tiers? Haha, just trying to help you.

And that Samsho5sp’s article is the best article on frontpage SRK that nobody read. No joke. Man, Shizumaru is sooo fun to play! And so is Rasetsumaru in Tenka.

Yo, Samsho guys, I got some questions: I just saw a SSTenka tier list and it says that EX Galford is broken. What makes him broken? And is their a way to reliably do Kusaregedo’s command throw (wtf are those inputs, really)? And I read somewhere that Shizumaru has a “hard-to-escape” issen setup, can anyone shed a light on this?


I’ll help you with with SS3 and why you didn’t like it

  1. ridiculous damage, but really it’s not the games fault it was 1995, find me another game in 1995 where you didnt do a truck load of damage, lol 1995 damage, but yeah some things did so much damage like amakusa down lk, you link 3 of those and say goodbye to half a bar, granted is was hard as fuck to do, but at the end of the day it’s just a down LK it should not do 15% damage.
    Most command grabs off the top of my head slash galford bust gaira genjuros bust hanzos do incredible damage, and with throws being so poor it made command throws super good (i’ll try to elaborate in a bit)
    But on the other extreme you had certain moves like basaras command grab, kyshiros DP that did almost no damage, it just didnt make any logical sense.

  2. Broken characters, bust gaira has the kof 95 guard break glitch at ANY time, bust haoahmaru can land infinents multiple ways, even if he does not he still is a really decent character, his shoulder ram is glitchy as fuck forcing you to eat restand combos which do a truckload of damage, but for me while yes it’s a problem it’s not the be all and end all, i mean how many games have imbalance? lots but the gap between say bust hoahmaru and bust basara are massive i think it’s probably the biggest gap i’ve ever seen between in a fighter, i mean here you have bust haohmaru, can do anything he wants, VS a character who is completely useless, rubbish normals rubbish specials no combos, no damage, rubbish normal hitboxes, just shitty

  3. infinents and i’ll throw in back turn state, there really is so many, many braindead easy, and if you manage to get behind your foe which you will because it’s so fast it’s game over

  4. now for me this is the biggest gripe i have, it has the worst hitbox detection of any fighter ever, you’ll whiff and whiff again you’ll gasp in amazement as you standing middle slash with haohmaru up close completely whiffs through your opponent for no reason, it’s horrible.
    Some characters are just so hard to win with because of there wonky arse striking hitboxes, kyoshiro amakusa basara, ukyo, but really everybody has it, i dunno what they were thinking letting this out in such i mean if it wasn’t for the bad collision i could actually like this game, but it’s so bad, everybody points to snk v capcom as the being the worst ever, they’ve never played ss3

  5. rubbish throws, now forgive me i’m not a frame expert but your normal throw in ss 3 while is a game winner game changer no doubt, it’s also the slowest normal throw i’ve ever seen ever, granted i’ve not played every fighting game on the planet, but how many throws can you avoid almost on reaction?
    It makes opening up character so hard especially if you are using a character with no command throw, granted bust haohmaru and genjuro dont have them and do ok, thats because they use other retarded bullshit, if you whiff a normal throw which will happen, because they have ZERO range and a ton or start up it’s basically goodbye 30% or worse depending who you are playing

When you put them all together you have a train wreck


Yeah Samsho is such an underrated series. It really is the only fighting series that has got weapons based fighting right. Many games just have weapons for show, as slightly extended hitboxes…in Samsho there is disarming, clashes, and you are mostly dependent on your weapon to do damage.

Samsho5sp is one of my favorite fighting games ever…however also by far the least played of my favorites. Hardly anyone on GGPO or fightcade.

I don’t understand what happened with Samsho. Samsho1 when it came out in the arcades, was super popular…tons of people playing all the time. It was by far the most played SNK game I’ve ever seen. Samsho 2 was played too, but you didn’t see it in as many arcades. Then it just dropped off the face of the earth.


Wow, nice to see some response. Thanks all, I was beginning to worry.

SSIII lost me in the first thirty seconds. I didn’t even have time to notice the lack of play-testing and shoddy collision.

[] Attack Commands: Four attack commands to SSII’s six. Kicks went from being a unique part of every character’s arsenal to a limited, boring, and universal set of the exact same five moves for everyone in the cast.
] Throws: The push/pull is an interesting idea, but it was handled horribly. It should have been a unique and thematic mechanic for certain characters, like say making it a second throw for Charlotte (oh wait… no Charlotte :expressionless: ). Barring that, add it to the subsystem. Replacing what was at the time the most distinctive and brutal throw animations seen in a fighting game with this crap was unadulterated stupidity. Icing on the cake, it was a broken mechanic anyway that led to so many exploits they finally gave up and reworked it into an auto strike for SSV.
[] Subsystem: So instead of lighting quick movement with dashing, lying down, hopping, parrying, and rolling - all mapped logically and accessible but not abusive, we get underwater speed and a pseudo 3D side switch that can be spammed till the end of time. Brilliant.
] Unarmed Fighting: Lose your weapon in SSII and you’re playing Street Fighter. Really. SSII has a whole new game hidden under the first to master. Even though you were usually in big trouble without a weapon, everyone in the cast has a complete set of unarmed normals and some even get new cancels, combos, throws, and such. It kept things fun and showed how SNK was paying exquisite attention to detail at the time. SSIII, not so much. You get a single punch animation shoehorned into all of your possible states, full stop. It’s not just lazy, but horribly unbalanced too (hello Bust Galford infinity).
[] Slash/Bust: I know some people liked this, but I could not stand it. None of the characters felt complete any more. Some of them were nerfed out of existence by their move sets being split off, and some were just overpowered beyond belief.
] Balance: See above. SSII had Ukyo at the top and Nak at the bottom, but anybody could win when played right. In SSIII, fights were decided at the selection screen.
[*] Graphics: OK, the huge sprites were nice, but the animation was terrible and they had nowhere near the personality of SSII. You can play SSII for years and not see all it has to offer. Multiple taunts, commands displayed as the CPU used moves, little character touches like Nak’s hidden victory animation where she calls in Poppy… the list goes on. SSIII had none of this.

TL;DR: From SSIII on the series just felt dumbed down, standardized, and over simplified to me. Last Blade fixed a few of those things, but is IMO still too homogenized and limited compared to all the things you could do in SSI and II.

I’ve more to say about other things, but let’s leave that for other posts. :slight_smile:


Edit: Typo Fix.


You all can thank me for having SSII on ggpo


Gedos grab is alot easier in tenka than it is in 5 sp or at least i find it to be. in tenka it’s easy to do it in a dash because gedo hops, it’s not like 5 sp where he’d roll and you’d end up jumping fucking it up, but in tenka depending on your system you got alot ways to hide it, i mean in 5 sp you could, but i found id dont it alot more.
Also it’s hard to do on a pad although you’re probably using a stick, it’s just timing and practice, i mean most people will do it in recoiled state like they block your up close middle slash in fact even on hit (wont combo though) and bang, it’s not a move you’re gonna be nailing every 5 minutes,you gotta be crafty

That motion is proper oldskool i think it started in 93/94 big bears command grab, in special OR 2 dont remember, and again you had to hide ways of doing it, like behind blocked shoulders or drop kicks, or ticks


SamSho is near and dear to my heart. I played the hell out of SS1 when it was in arcades but around the time 2 came out I was kind of getting out of fighting games, I eventually caught up via emulation. Even the entries in the series that I don’t like as much still have fantastic visual and character direction. The stages are among my favorites in ANY fighting game, especially the one (I believe it’s in 4) where you’re fighting on a boat moving through a river at night. Amazing stuff! SNK really pulled out the big guns for this series.

After playing them all I’d say 5sp is my favorite, but I like 2 a lot as well. 5sp is one of those games you can tell they put a lot of time and love into, much like in Guilty Gear. The atmosphere in that game is just so fucking good and it’s a blast to play! My brother and I started playing a lot of 5sp before we got serious into Guilty Gear.

Say what you want about KoF or any of SNK’s other series, in my mind, SamSho will always be the crown jewel of their catalog, it’s just a shame more people don’t play them. If anyone’s interested maybe we could have a night where we jump on Fightcade and play a few matches.


the boat is ukyo ss3.
Yeah it’s safe to say it’s a series with the best characters the best stages the best music.
I hope we see another real good ss game in my life time, i really wish they had scraped last blade and updated SS, i mean ss5sp is alright but you’re running a game on an engine you made in 1996, it’s not really acceptable


Ah that’s right it is SS3.

Maybe using the old engine was a way to try to get old heads back into it rather than overhauling it and potentially alienating everyone. I never got the sense that SS had the mass appeal that KoF does and they were probably just trying to play to the core audience they knew they had. I always kind of saw 5sp as something of a “best of SS so far” type of game. I’ve never played SS6 or Tenka, but weren’t those pretty big departures?


Me too started with SS1 in the arcades. Then I had lost contact with the game but went to SS4 through emulation. Probably my most played game on emulator. Didnt play game for years and now I settled for SS2. Main Nakoruru, dont have time for anyone else.

I actually prefer that type of fighter without the need to be ultra fast and learn various combos.

SNK messed up during the 3D transition era. SS 64 on Neo Geo Hyper 64 was never exported outside Japan and it didnt see a console release either. Even today it lacks proper emulation.
Other contenders like Battle Arena Toshinden and Mace: the Dark Age werent that good to gain a steady fanbase. So this left the Souls series as the only quality contender for 3D weapons based fighters. SS Sen came too late and wasnt that good either

So this left SNK with going back to 2D SS games which had turned less popular, leading to the series obscurity.


Thx petran, SS 64, yeah that never made it here. I thought it had already died out a lot by the time SS3 released though, at least in the US.

Doctamario…I am in full agreement, Samurai Shodown is the crown jewel in SNK’s fighting game catalogue.


The closet where going to get as modern samurai showdown influenced game is shin kohime fighter.


We had SS64 for a little while in the local arcade. The game play is rough round the edges and certainly not competition worthy, but pretty fun to mess around with. I would even call it balanced, but only because damage is is absurd and everyone is overpowered. This is where the sword gauge made its debut. Here it’s an endurance meter. Attacks don’t drain it much, but depending on the fighter certain specials and maneuvering will empty it pretty quick. Run it dry and your fighter stops to catch their breath. Not a great idea really, but thankfully it’s forgiving enough not to interfere too much and its presence allows for some character abilities that without it would be completely unworkable balance wise (See Galford).

It also took some interesting move and design choices. Here’s a few I recall off the top of my head:

[] Hanzo got a huge set of linkable CQC moves that make King’s and Nina’s look like amateur hour.
] Kazuki now relies more on his fists than anything else, and he hits like a truck. Basically he’s what would happen if you combined Heihachi and Paul Phoenix, then gave it a sword.
[*] Galford also uses more punching and kicking in general. His Slash form lost Plasma Blade, but gained Strike Dog as a normal command. Bust Galford got the Plasma blade, and can stop it mid flight with a small explosion. Plasma break is a DP command and acts as a quick counter attack. Plasma Factor is the most interesting - it now works like an alternate fighting style you can turn on and off. He summons a huge lighting bolt on himself, and all of his attacks are electrified for ~2 damage, but it drains your sword gauge like crazy while active.
] Sogetsu is interesting too. His sword is now a crescent shaped blade about as long as he is tall, and he’s got a ton of lunging moves that take advantage of the range.

The graphics are a mixed bag. Models are pretty meh for the time, but particle effects are nice and the stages are very cool - several have multiple tiers and pay homage to previous games. Animation is obviously hand sequenced but still serviceable. Production value is off the charts - all the in game art is just beautiful, and there are loads of gorgeous mid fight cut scenes for fatalities, supers, victories, etc.

It’s too bad this was on such crappy hardware and didn’t get some more production time to polish up the mechanics. It could have been a contender.



I laugh.
I think I had the most awesome memories with SSIV. Why? When it was at the arcade, there was for a little while, a mini scene for it. But as to how it was done with the group of guys…

Player 1: Genjuro
Player 2: Haohmaru

Everyone else = irrelevant. Beginner grade, Slash mode, and just chop the fuck out of another until someone loses.
Yeah, and it was hype.

sighs So long ago…


I have always admired the Samurai Showdown series but it plays so different from other fighters. I don’t think I have the basics and “rhythm” of the game down pack let alone the advance techniques.

Played a guy on fightcade and i was like “is this how its played”.

He played a great Rimururu. I tried to find tutorial videos and character breakdown videos but no luck. I’m still willing to learn tho’.


SS1 Wan Fu could beat everyone in 3 or 4 hits. His super meter is cheap as fuck. He builds meter faster than anyone and his meter is activated longer than anyone. The crossup flaming scimitar throw is cheap as well