extarbags, you mind telling me where you played this? I’m not going to bite your head off if its through emulation (I have all my NeoGeo games backed up with emulation just in case it ever konks out, I’m not paying for them all over again!), but my perception was that this game is in extremely short distribution throughout the US and its really hard to come upon it. It’d be nice to know what’s going on outside of Japan.
Right now I’m all hot and bothered for The King of Fighters 2003, but I did like Samurai Shodown quite a bit. I think its done the best job of making a good Samurai Shodown game since maybe Samurai Shodown II. I’m not usually who will claim the older game is the better and something of an untouchable classic, but in this case, 3 and 4, while not bad games just couldn’t measure up in the end. I’m unconvinced so far that its better than SSII, but the game will have to be around a lot longer for that measure of worth to come out anyway, so meh.
I will say this game’s personality is just gold and spot on. Not too extreme, but not too sedate either. Unlike a lot of other players, I really think the new additions to the gameplay make for a very fresh fighting experience, relative to the genre’s state right now and I really don’t care if some of the new fighters are just recolored old sprites, they feel pretty new in play and use, it might be lazy, but hell, that’s not why you play this genre. Also, what’s with all the comments about its unbalanced play? Have people forgotten the reason SSII was so well-loved in the first place? Say it was because of the balance and I’ll be tempted to call that person a liar. All you really need is enough balance to make sure the game isn’t ridiculously unfair and SSV more than acheives that. The number of fighting games that are perfectly balanced I can’t count on only one hand, and even those are quite debateable.
For some reason, this game reminds me a lot of Mark of the Wolves and I don’t know why that is. Maybe its because Mark of the Wolves was the first Garou game in quite a while, and this game has a similar difference in years, but it feels like a very new coat of paint onto a very old series. Then again, so did Matrimelee to Power Instinct. Its been a good year for SNK, if you ask me.
Oh and Kusare Gedou is indeed fantastic, but I’m surprised after all these years, Ukyo is still the man. Usually that type of sheen wears off after a couple of years of the character’s introduction, but he still rocketh mucheth.