When we fighting game lovers need to get our game on away from home, Sony’s PSP is an excellent way to do it. This is the first in a semi-weekly series highlighting the best fighting games on PSP.
The Samurai Shodown series is a 2-D weapons-based fighting game set mainly in the feudal Japan era, although many of the games characters and locales come from places around the world. It plays at a deliberately slower, but not sluggish pace. Normal moves and specials don’t come out at hyper speeds. Each move a player makes should be calculated well for an opponent can easily counter after a block or whiffed move. This pace also adds a layer of tension. Another original feature is that the characters are able to lose their weapon through a parrying mini-game. The characters are able to pick up their lost weapon on the ground, at the risk of exposing themselves to a strike from the opponent. In later installments, characters can use special moves to destroy the opponent’s weapon temporarily.
Samurai Shodown Anthology for the PSP includes all of the games in the series, I through VI. As you can tell already, the collection has tremendous value. Not only will this last a long time as a single-player experience, players can engage in local Ad-Hoc multiplayer for each game. Each game in the anthology stands on its own as a great experience, so to multiply that by six is truly something special that you don’t see game companies do often. The media gallery contains character art, storyline art, and music from throughout the entire series.
Samurai Shodown is easily one of the most beautiful 2-D fighting games, or 2-D games in general, ever created. To see it all in action in the palm of your hand along with excellent sound and music is something fans of the series will no doubt appreciate. The detailed backgrounds, character sprites, animation, and great sounds combined with unintrusive, traditional music all come together to create a very convincing 2-D experience that makes the player feel they are in that world. Make sure to play this one with a pair of headphones.
A huge plus in this collection is the amount of modern-day gaming interface additions that you may have not expected to see. Each of the six games include a training mode, along with full character move lists and easy to follow explanations of each game’s unique mechanics. Player’s can pause the game at any time to a unified menu system where you can make changes for individual titles or across all of them. These amenities that we could take for granted today are a pleasure to see in this anthology for those of us who only experienced this series in arcades or for those just discovering it that may be wary of “an older game”.
If you’re looking for a complete fighting game package with lots of variety, much to uncover, and with longevity, Samurai Shodown Anthology is a supreme choice. Each game in the series is a classic and never feels outdated by new iterations. This PSP title, while composed of older games, is something special in that it appeals to all sorts of fighting game fans, whether a vet or novice.