Friday, April 30, 2010

Maybe LucasArts was involved.

First, a confession.

I was one of those people who actually forked over the money for a Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multi player. Aside from re-releases of old laser disc games it did have a few gems, namely arcade perfect ports of Super Street Fighter II and Samurai Showdown. When I found an adapter that let me use Super Nintendo controllers instead of daisy chaining the lumps of unusable plastic it came with, I was set. Since then I have at least messed around with all of the Samurai Shodowns, with three being the best. I was never any good at the series, but it had recognizable cast the same way Street Fighter did. Haomaru was my main, and he is who I started out with when I booted up Samurai Shodown Sen.

The translation from 2D to 3D has, to be kind, not gone well. But since I am not kind I will say that it is an abomination, a blight on the name of what had been a pretty good alternative to Capcom offerings, and if this is the kind of junk that SNK Playmore is going to let out of it doors then they should have stayed closed. It doesn't look like Samurai Showdown, it doesn't play like it, and it really shouldn't even share the same name. Take Soul Edge, remove most of the moves, make it more difficult to dodge to to side, and you have this game. Haomaru even looks like Mitsurugi after a bender (which, I suppose, he always did, so shame on you Namco). Other iconic characters are either missing (Earthquake and Gen An) or have been remodeled into unrecognizabilty. Even the blood that was a staple of the early games has been toned down. I will admit that ending a fight with a solid blow, severing an arm, head, or torso, is a fine addition, but that it about the only nice thing I have to say.

They even messed up the time period: the entire world seems to have jumped from the middle ages to the old west, with an infuriating final boss that wields a shotgun. I will say it again: in a game full of sword wielding characters the last fight in story mode is with a Young Guns refugee who can juggle you from across the screen with up to eight successive shotgun blasts. I wasted almost thirty minutes trying to beat him before giving up and trying to find a match online before mailing it away. I didn't, which means I may have been the only sucker to ever play the game. Oh well, at least I have a good game to go back to; a game that had the sense to keep the fighting on a 2D plane in spite of the new development time frame friendly models being made out of polygons. This is why Capcom still exists under the same ownership instead of having died and painfully resurrected by a toy company.

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