Samurai Shodown! 2: Pocket Fighting Series

STORY:  (SS2: Pocket follows the same storyline as Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage). In an unknown land an eerie disturbance disrupts the sky, leading a dark mass to the land. It is the ultimate evil-it is the reincarnation of Yuga the Destroyer. The objective of this being who once more alights to earth is the unification of this world and the Netherworld using the hermaphrodite male and female-that is, the construction of a utopia to become the foundation for the resurrection of the Dark God.

As he resumes his search for the hermaphrodites, those turned into puppets by Yuga's magic unleash their carnage to gather the sacrifices necessary for the ritual of utopian construction. These puppets then employ various means to increase the dead and provide sacrifices. Some, for example, become leaders of the Shogunate to carry out ruthless policies, some became common murderers, and still others deliberately incite revolt against the government.

Through the influence of the devilish reincarnation, outbreaks of famine and plagues further increase the dead, providing the evil with yet more strength and delight. The mountain of dead gathered by these means is subsequently heaped up on the altar of the Netherworld and fashioned into two pillars in which the hermaphroditic male and female are to be subsequently imprisoned.

At this time one man returns to the Netherworld. The name of this warrior who stands directly before these literal pillars of the dead in the darkness is Asura. Master of magic, he is the dark swordsman appearing in this realm to wreak his revenge on Yuga. Regardless, his enemy steadily proceeds with the construction of his utopia.The curtain now rises on this drama of revenge that will engulf both our world and the land of the dead.


Haohmaru VS Yuga

REVIEWThe sequel to the first "chibi style" Samurai Shodown fighting game exclusively on the Neo Geo Pocket, Samurai Shodown 2! Pocket Fighting Series is yet another intriguing handheld spin-off of SNK's famed weapon-based fighting game franchise. SS2!Pocket brings back most of the original cast and even introduces a handful of newcomers from Samurai Shodown 4... and SNK's obscure Neo Geo 64 title, Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage! That means us overseas players (who likely will never get to play the original SS64) will finally get to use cool cats like Shiki, Yuga, Gandara, and Morozumi Taizan. (Much cuter versions of them, anyway.) Fans of SS3/SS4 will also get to use Kazuki and Zankuro in this installment. 



The forest stage looks a little too peaceful doesn't it?


The graphics style is very similar to the prequel, but is now (obviously) in color! Wooooo! That's kind of a major upgrade when you think about it!  That said, it definitely feels like a true "sequel" over the first SS! Pocker. Overall, the colors of the game really do add quite lot to the visual presentation, with "serene" hand-drawn backgrounds and new character details. With the nice visual upgrades, Samurai Shodown 2! Pocket is the premiere Samurai Shodown game for NeoGeo Pocket, rivaled only by the likes of The Lade Blade: Beyond The Destiny (which released about 1 year after this title).

The game's strengths are easily the charm of the 8-bit style sprites, witty animations, and simple but pixel-perfect backgrounds. I'd say the weakest aspect of the game is the soundtrack. Those classic Japanese instruments just don't have the same effect in 8-bit... making the game's soundtrack just seem bland and sleepy. Other titles that feature more "upbeat" and recognizable character soundtracks seem work eons better with NGPC's sounds. 

Charismatic chibi sprites based on SS3-SS4 characters!


The gameplay of Samurai Shodown! 2 Pocket is straight forward and considerably solid for a handheld fighter of its time, but it is a level or two slower than some of the other fighting games on the Neo Geo Pocket. Characters have a fairly impressive amount of special & super moves for a "mini" spin-off of the arcade hit. The combo system is very basic - like the original Samurai Shodown games, but it feels like Samurai Shodown. While I strongly prefer the combo system of SNK Vs. Capcom, Match of the Millennium, SS2! Pocket has its moments of fun... but isn't quite as addicting or as wholesome as the classic Samurai Shodown games (or MOTM).

Samurai Shodown 2! Pocket
features a "Collection" mode which adds to the game's replayability. Virtual cards can be collected and traded with other NGPC owners (Fun Fact: Artwork for these cards can be found on TFG character profiles)! There are eight cards per character to collect (4 for Slash, 4 for Bust), and contain some really cool and charming chibi-style artwork for each character. Additionally, cards add "bonuses" when equipped to characters which provide them some in-game boosts, such as: Power Up, Defense Up, Special Move, and Power Up Special.

Page Updated: June 25th, 2020
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Platform(s): Neo Geo Pocket, Nintendo Switch
Release Date(s): 1999                                     NeoGeo Pocket
Dec. 12th, 2019
Feb. 25th, 2020
              /   Switch
Characters Haohmaru, Galford, Ukyo, Charlotte, Asra, Shiki, Hanzo, Nakoruru, Genjuro, Rimururu, Sogetsu, Amakusa, Jubei, Shizumaru, Kazuki, Morozumi Taizan, Gandara, Zankuro, Yuga, Kuroko

Featured Video:

Related Games: Samurai Shodown! Pocket, Samurai Shodown (2019), King of Fighters R-1, King of Fighters R-2, Fatal Fury: 1st Contact, Gals Fighters, Last Blade: Beyond The Destiny, SNK VS Capcom: Match of the Millennium, Samurai Shodown, Samurai Shodown 2, Samurai Shodown 3, Samurai Shodown 4, Samurai Shodown 5, Samurai Shodown 5 Special, Samurai Shodown 6, Samurai Shodown 64, Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage, Samurai Shodown Warriors Rage, Samurai Shodown Sen, Samurai Shodown Anthology

Gameplay Engine  6.0 / 10
Story / Theme  8.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.0 / 10
Animation  6.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  5.5 / 10
Innovation  6.5 / 10
Art Direction  8.5 / 10
Customization  4.0 / 10
Options / Extras  5.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  6.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.0 / 10
Characters  8.0 / 10

 7.0 / 10



Final Words:

Samurai Shodown! 2: Pocket is an obscure little fighting game with respectable polish in unexpected areas... and definitely a treat for any kinda of Samurai Shodown fan. Seeing many of our favorite Samurai Shodown warriors in the "cutesy" super-deformed style, and checking out their silly new animations, is worth the price of admission alone. The chibi art style and intuitive, simple gameplay are easily asmong the best aspects of the game.

SS2! Pocket is a very simple handheld fighter with only a few bells & whistles. The "Collection" mode with collectible cards might add some replayability, but other than that, there aren't a whole lot of modes or extra bonus features. That said, I'd only recommend this one to true fans of Samurai Shodown, as there are more "fun" and playable 2D fighters available on the NeoGeo Pocket Color - in my opinion.
~TFG Webmaster | @FIGHTERS_GEN