Shodown V Special / Samurai Shodown Zero Special
It is the way that requires one to become a demon:
To slash at God and raise a weapon toward Buddha, to turn
one's back to Heaven and carve your own destiny. To
sever all ties to virtue and embrace destruction. To cut off all obligations and
plunge into mayhem. When the ordained meeting of 28
fierce warriors begins, all that will ensue are a series of duels to the death.
These individuals entrust their fates to their skill and their weapons. For
those who cannot gain mastery over technique, death is the only just desert. For
those not up to the task of seizing destiny by the throat, a cherished end in
battle is their only hope. There is no need to
pontificate over such a merciless existence. Sacrificing your life on the path
to mastery itself, this is the only way of death honored by those of all ages.
En garde! Your destiny is now to be decided!
A much improved selection
screen over SS5.
The ninth installment to the Samurai
Shodown series, Samurai Shodown 5 Special is an enhancement of
Samurai Shodown 5
featuring new character artwork, new stages, playable bosses (including Amakusa
& Mizuki), and tweaked gameplay... Not to mention, the return of fatalities, which were
sadly missing in SS5. Samurai Shodown 5 Special features
several visual alterations over the prequel. The selection & VS screen
character artwork has a "darker" look to it which reminds me a lot of Samurai
Shodown III. Of course the character sprites and voice-acting are borrowed
from the prequels, dating back to the likes of Samurai Shodown III. No doubt the
game has a dated look, but the cool new backgrounds, music and artwork give the game a
fresh vibe from the start.
Badass new stages.
The gameplay was also tweaked from
Samurai Shodown 5, and is overall a more balanced game than it's
predecessor. Special also introduces the Zetsumei Ougi or "Overkill"
move. If performed under the right conditions, a player can instantly end the
match regardless of how much life their opponent has, a concept perhaps borrowed
from the Guilty Gear X series. The character specific Overkill fatalities
are some of the goriest moves of the series to date, most of which extracting tons
of blood from the victim and leaving them in several pieces. Some of them are a
bit silly and/or poorly animated, but most don't fail to entertain at the very
New to the single experience are
new midbosses added to the mix. Sankuro and Yumeji from the prequel were taken
out and replaced with Amakusa and Zankuro! And finally, fatalities were put back
into the game (which were sadly missing in the prequel). Classic
"horizontal" fatalities make their return along with all new ones such
as being split in half vertically with the splitting victim drenching their
opponent with their blood as seen in Samurai Shodown IV. Nakoruru and
immune to fatalities (in SS4) are also now susceptible to fatalities.
While Samurai Shodown 5 Special offers
one of the largest and arguably most balanced rosters in history, one can't
argue that the sequel looks like a "mash-up" of several installments
of the series. In a way it can be a good thing, but I personally prefer the
classic titles for their clear artistic direction, presentation value, and also
gameplay. At least Special fixed many of SSV's flaws and overall
feels like a more complete game.