Samurai Shodown

aka: NettŇć Samurai Spirits, Samurai Shodown 1, Samurai Spirits
Moby ID: 7255
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Description official descriptions

In early feudal Japan, a man named Shiro Tokisada Amakusa preaches a heretic religion. Little does anyone know that Amakusa is really a servant of the evil Ambrosia, who had possessed and taken over Amakusa's body, as Ambrosia wishes to shroud the world into eternal darkness. Now, the player must select from out of 12 fierce warriors and plus 3 bonus characters in order to fight for the honor of defeating Amakusa once and for all, while fulfilling a specific mission for each and every warrior in the game.

The Genesis version of the game does not however include the Earthquake which has been removed due to its 16-bit memory capacity and technical size limitations.


  • „āĶ„Ɇ„É©„ā§„āĻ„ÉĒ„É™„ÉÉ„ÉĄ - Japanese spelling
  • šĺćť≠ā - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Arcade version)

59 People (36 developers, 23 thanks) · View all

Jubei Yagyu
Ukyo Tachibana
  • Kazu
  • The¬∑Fool
Hanzo Hattori
  • Go-Go [Dave Bros]
  • Kenji Shintani (as K¬∑Shintani-F91)
  • The¬∑Fool
  • Ryu! [Dave Bros]
Gen-An Shiranui
[ full credits ]



Average score: 87% (based on 43 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 142 ratings with 3 reviews)

Samurai [NOW LOADING] Shodown!

The Good
The zoom feature during the fights is intact. The controls are modified, yet arcade-ish enough. Easier to execute moves. The colors are bold and crisp (especially on either the 3DO Blaster or an HDTV that accepts S-Video). The game loads pretty fast, too. Everybody's present and the stereo sound effects from the Neo-Geo original are presented in the same fashion that the Neo-Geo does. The disc label is cool, too, with blood splattering across it. Also, that's one tough disc, as I totally scratched it up and it plays without flaw.

The Bad
Like other Crystal Dynamics games, this has that weird choppiness only their 3DO games have. Why? Can't they program sprites right on the system they help build? Besides that, the controls aren't as tight as the arcade original (though not terrible like Takara's or JVC's translation, with the Game Boy and Game Gear versions exempt . . . no I've never played the version on PlayStation . . . sniff). Also missing is the cinemas (that made it into the Genesis version, even). There's a glitch at the end of the game when you think you're supposed to enter your name and nothing happens. The music stinks, frankly, as does the sound. The music sounds like 3DO's digitizer just playing back the music from a bad recording made by holding a tape recorder up to the speaker of the arcade machine. No joke. It's not the dynamic music of the Super NES or Sega CD versions. Then the sounds . . . if Galford's scene, he yells in the arcade, "Plasma blade!" but here, it sounds like, "Bless your brain!" Okay, so it's not as bad as the Genesis or Super NES versions, and the sounds are in stereo, unlike the Sega CD version . . . but on the Sega CD version, "Plasma blade!" is just that, not blessing my brain. About the graphics, but every end graphics after rounds is the same, with the bamboo rug and refs leaving with the dead body of the samurai in question. In the arcade original, unless you caused spray or cut the dude in half, the scene would show the disgraced samurai kneeling down moping. Here? Nope, everybody's dead. Then, on a normal TV, the bottom of the screen where the sarcastic remake is happens to be a different shade of black that the top! Huh? Also, this game's easy, no matter the difficulty, and nothing's hidden. It seems like a rush job from Crystal Dynamics. I think SNK should've helped, somewhat. I mean, little things that add to atmosphere, like the lire playing during the globe rotation before fights is absent, and such other nitty-picky things like that. Also, don't bother putting this game through a home theater. Lastly, there's a NOW LOADING access time before every fight! Just like Street Fighter Alpha 2 on the SNES. I think that could've been executed better, like between the end of round cinema instead, or have be identical to the Neo-Geo CD version . . . something! (But not that annoying NOW LOADING from the PlayStation version of Samurai Shodown III.)

The Bottom Line
Got a 3DO? Get this game. Despite my extreme pickiness, it's actually the best version of the game outside of the SNK originals. If you have it on Sega CD, you may pass, but I highly recommend it. If you're avoiding the optical disc revolution still, get it on the following consoles: SNES, Genesis, Master System (Europe/Brazil), Game Gaer, Game Boy, Neo-Geo Pocket Color, PlayStation (Japan), or just emulate it on NeoRAGE XP. But wait, there's more! You can import Samurai Shodown Zero (or is it 5) for the PS2! Back to this version, if plays very well, and if you want, build an arcade machine for it. It's cheap to do.

3DO · by Fake Spam (85) · 2007

A great translation of the Neo Geo original.

The Good
Between the Genesis version and the SNES version of the game, the Sega CD version is the one to get. The game features the original intro with speech as well as ALL cinematics. The zooming camera is missing, but like the Genesis version, and unlike the SNES version, the camera is zoomed in, providing the player with huge, detailed characters. 12 of 13 characters are present for this version, just like the Genesis version. The missing character is Earthquake. The reason he is not present is do to his large sprite size. The Sega CD maximum sprite size is 32 x 32 pixels. Earthquake's sprite size run around 16 x 512 pixels, that is huge, and would not fit on the Sega CD memory. Is true that the SNES version has him, but that's because the camera is always zoomed out, providing players with much smaller characters. Anyway, the character sprites look 99% identical to the Neo Geo original game. Most of there animations are present, but some are missing. The game features more animations then the Genesis version, but a bit less then the SNES version. Also, the blood is present as well as 1 out of 2 fatalities. The first fatality is one where blood gushes out of the character that lost, while the second is when a character gets cut in half. The latter one is missing. The backgrounds are beautiful and are not compressed like the Genesis version. There are lots of detail in the backgrounds as will as being quite colorful. Is not to say that all colors are present however. Both the Genesis and Sega CD only have 512 available colors. Versus 32,768 for the SNES and 65,536 for the Neo Geo. Of those colors, both the Genesis and Sega CD could only do 64 on screen, versus the SNES at 256 colors and Neo Geo at 4,096 colors on screen. However, the Sega CD uses a feature called color compression scheme, which allows it to display over 128 colors on-screen. It's still less then the other consoles, but it's enough to make the game look vibrant. Almost all background character sprites are present as well with most of there animations, but the referee is missing for some reason. The music in the game is arcade perfect. A direct port of the original. Even the background sound fx made it faithfully. The controls are perfect if using the 6 botton control pad. It plays identical to the Genesis version, which is to say, awsome. Control is smooth and the action is fast.

The Bad
The thing I did not like about this version was the voices and sounds. All character dialogs are present. However, the announcer dialogs are missing. The only time he announces something is when he calls on the character names, that's it. All the sound fx are there but with one major issue that also plagues the voices. The quality is awful. It's as if they were sampled in a really low frequency. The voices sound a little better then the Genesis version but no where near as good as the SNES version. And the sound FX quality is bad. Both the Genesis and SNES has better sound fx quality. The background sound fx are great, but that's because they are streaming right of the CD. It's still pretty bad considering that this is a CD platform and that Sega CD has more audio memory then both Genesis and SNES combined. Another cool feature missing is the interactive backgrounds, and Earthquake. Although it is understandable of why he's missing. The loading time is kind of long, but it's still not to bad.

The Bottom Line
The only negative things about this version is the sound, missing interactive backgrounds, and Earthquake not being present. Other then that, it is the better version of the three (Genesis, SNES, Sega CD). Get it!

SEGA CD · by Luis Arocho (2) · 2003

The original, and not a bad one at that.

The Good
The artwork for the cutscenes is very nice, if confusing at times. There are a lot of special moves to pull off ( Though projectile moves are a little overused). The characters are interesting, and the storyline is very well thought out. However, probably the best thing in the game is the music. If you play without music, you're missing out. I have never heard such good Game Boy tunes.

The Bad
The storylines are great, but get confusing at the end. The characters move very slowly in game. There are only two attacks ( punch and kick). There's no save option, so if you have to quit, all your fighting has been wasted.

The Bottom Line
This is a great fighting game that should please role playing fans too. Ignore the small defects and you've got yourself a great game here. Just remember to try SS2.

Game Boy · by Zorgob (25) · 2002


Subject By Date
Yasushi Adachi Freeman (63075) Dec 3rd, 2017


Japanese release

Strangely enough, when the 3DO version was released in Japan, it was under the overseas name instead of the original Japanese title.

Hattori Hanzo

Either coincidence or not, the ninja Hattori Hanzo is actually a real samurai in medieval Japan. The "real" Hattori Hanzo served under the daimyo Tokugawa Ieyasu. Fans of Nobunaga's Ambition will recognize this.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #99 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (Neo Geo version)
  • GamePro
    • Vol.6, Issue 2 - Fighting Game of the Year 1993 (Editors' Choice)

Information also contributed by Big John WV and M4R14N0

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Zorgob.

PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0. Neo Geo CD added by Corn Popper. PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch added by mars_rulez. PSP added by Lain Crowley. Arcade added by 666gonzo666. SEGA CD, Genesis, SNES added by fooziex. Android, iPad, iPhone, Xbox One added by Rik Hideto. Game Gear added by chirinea. Windows Apps added by Foxhack. Wii added by gamewarrior. Neo Geo added by Terok Nor. FM Towns added by Unicorn Lynx. 3DO added by Indra was here.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, chirinea, Foxhack, Alaka, Evil Ryu, Patrick Bregger.

Game added February 19th, 2020. Last modified September 19th, 2023.