Nakoruru Samurai Shodown
--The website dedicated to all Samurai Spirits fans--~ver5.0~

April Editorial

Note of a proud fan of Samurai Spirits
by The Neurochild

I couldn't hold my wishes to make something important for this site; and since the American version of the latest chapter of the game has become the crap de la crap (in the best Quentin Tarantino style), I needed to write about this. Now at my 21, I still remember the best moments of the most influential game of the world and still I'm in love of it: Samurai Spirits.

Amongst all the likenesses I have, videogames became my personal passion, with just a detail: for every platform, there's a different kind of game I'd like to play. For PC, I play FPS (First Person Shooters), and for any console and arcade, I prefer fighting games, when Samurai Spirits first appeared, I became interested at first sight and though I didn't dominated it the first time I played, I liked it. It became innovator at its time, and unlike many fighting game (even Mortal Kombat, admit that!), it was violent and extreme… extremely good at the time. Since Neo Geo playing system consists in a 4-button system, it had the typical kinds of attack of any fighting game (I mean 6-button gameplay). Maybe it was challenging, but still it was the crème de la crème in the video game world!

I don't remember clearly which character I chose that first time, but when I knew about the release of that game in the SNES and I saw the characters, I reminded me the anime from my childhood, and honestly, I began to love it. But I got to confess that since I first watched anime series I loved the female characters; you guessed again… I was in love with Nakoruru. Everything related with her, moves, character design, fighting style and background, were the factor to make her my #1 favorite. And I always tried to select her in the arcades, though I was afraid of doing that daredevil act! Even in my SNES console, she was the ONLY ONE who I could finish with in the extreme "Hard" level without continues! (Trust me, I tried with everyone else! But I have to try on my Neo Geo emulator one day!) Ha hah!

From all the 5 games that exist in the world, my favorites are part 2 and 3. Even my Nako-chan and her background got more interesting when at then of part 2 she sacrificed her life to save the world (for the disgrace of Galford D. Weiler, her love), but somehow she returned on part 3. I'm still wondering how she made that comeback… though that reminded me Soul Hunter (Senkaiden Hoshin Engi) background too.

Maybe the flaws began with the 3-D incarnations of Samurai Spirits; nevertheless they left us a good legacy of unforgettable characters like those creepy looking one: Shiki and Asura (Asra for a few people.) I have to say most people wanted more oldies plus those two instead all those "POS" new characters (Guys, I dare you to guess what POS means!) Don't tell me about the Warrior's Rage game, since it doesn't cut, just like it happened to Enter The Matrix.

Some versions are the best, some of them the worst; most of the games have arrived everywhere, and some interesting stuff like the SS 64 2 OVAs and the Nakoruru series only exists in Japan. But guess now. Good news: the SS new game had arrived the Americas (but my country); bad news: it doesn't have the features of the Japanese version. What the hell was SNK in America thinking? Playing like Tekken? If it doesn't cover each character's background like the Japanese version, one thing is clear: THAT US VERSION SUCKS! Story is the main attractive of all Samurai Spirits. I know some people will agree with me since I have the Rom and I had to play it in Japanese to get the full of it (though I won't doubt about sending captures of it to someone to translate it. I don't know Japanese but it's not a problem since I have friend who knows the language.) But far from it, the new game has brought new ideas as always, like an easier POW move for everyone or that thing I love from The Matrix and The One: bullet time! I was familiarized with the Fatal Slash move after the Rage Explosion, but when I played first time Rage Explosion changed its purpose: just to do the POW move whenever you want, and the bullet time move known as Meditation is used not only to take advantage of you enemy, but to make the Fatal Slash. Although I didn't like the switch (I preferred it would've been added there just as another option to do it), it gives a more dramatic touch that made me remind Trinity!

Well, I am writing these thoughts because I am a big fan of the games, action movies and anime. All I want is to let know everyone that Samurai Spirits is like a cult for me. It always has been from the first moment, and after The Matrix, I loved it much more. SNK is not as it used to be, I admit, but as I got so many likenesses that are influential for others, I will say something that many people say I'm loco: a modern "remix" of Samurai Spirits can be done!

"Remix" is my way to say version.

After watching that impressive Volume 1 of that outstanding movie of Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill, it brought me all the best moments I lived playing the best sword fighting game ever. It would be hard to imagine how some old favorites would be in the present, like making that modern "remix" on the movie Romeo + Juliet. But in my opinion, if an old one must stay as the main one, my choice is Nakoruru; honestly after Haohmaru, she is the most emblematic character of the series and her background is one which involves more mysteries, and makes it more interesting, if not, ask yourself about the origin of Rera (that creepy character of the Nakoruru series [game and OVA], who makes also her appearance on the 5th game.)

What I can imagine is a 3D games like no other, bringing the best of the best. If the SS 64 series was a fraud, this one would put all others to SHAME! One big mistake SNK made in the 3D intent is not to show their characters on 3D (I'm not saying it's bad, but some friend of mine said they didn't liked it.) For this new intent, a premise must be done: FORGET ALL YOU KNOW ABOUT SAMURAI SPIRITS!

A 3D game should have a 3D gameplay. One of the strengths on game like Tekken and Soul Calibur is their gameplay. Imagine a fusion of these two (What about vertical and horizontal slashes? / left and right kicks?) Man, it would be awesome! It's not only sword fighting, more than action! And don't mention about the movements of the your character (even sidestepping and much more.) Wouldn't it be more ice cold!? Well, I forgot something else: sound. I mean FX, music, character voices. All of them would kick butt. With a good choice of music (from something orchestrated to modern music like Linkin Park or BT, just to say one thing or two about it) and the best voice selection for Japanese (like Harumi Ikoma, Sakura Tomoe, Motoko Kumai, or Hiro Yuuki) and even for English (my suggestions are Uma Thurman, Jennifer Gardner and even Staind's Aaron Lewis), it wouldn't nothing better than this!

But I'm forgetting something important: the characters. Well, I said Nakoruru would be the main character of the old ones, but there are some that I would like to see too: The Kazamas (come out and play!); the maidens from Kamui-Kotan, Rimururu and Rera (with her own moves, of course!); Ukyo, Haohmaru, Genjuro (the bad one we love!), Galford (perfect pick a LAPD SWAT member or even a splinter cell, at the best Tom Clancy style!), Hanzo, Shizumaru, Charlotte, Shiki and Asura (a perfect come back, you two are welcome!), and Yumeji (from the latest SS game, I love her too!). Ok this is my list, for those I forgot to mention, I'm very sorry, I can't name and remember them all!

As always, new blood is welcome, just imagine how they would be: someone like Li Syaoran (Card Captor Sakura) would be nice since he uses both magic and sword fighting, a character looking like Legolas (The Lord of the Rings) that uses arrow like Mina but fight more with the sword, a woman that resembles Basara and Go-go (Kill Bill Vol. 1), a man who uses more hand-to-hand fight like Neo (The Matrix) but also uses a baton like Kilik (Soul Calibur) just in case, and a big tug with an axe like Astaroth (Soul Calibur.) If we talk about imports besides Syaoran, I would choose these other two: Hitomi (Dead or Alive 3), not only fighting in her karate style but also going Electra! Yeah, with two sai daggers! And it would be interesting to see "The Bride" (Kill Bill) background and fighting (well, it's my muse [as Tarantino does], my major inspiration on this 3D second intent.) But the one who would represent this new line-up would be a young guy, aged like Nakoruru (18), with a katana, that fight wells as armed as unarmed like Blade. Someone Japanese… with blue eyes. From all the character, he would represent the new generation… or at least my idea of new main character.

All other things, like combos, the powers, Rage Explosion, Bullet Time, Fatal Slash, even fatalities and a tag "remix", would be joined together into one game and would be welcome. But some of you guys would think first I'm nuts when you read this; I could be that nuts, but the most of my words have sense! I'm not only imagining the way Samurai Spirits should be in the future, but it could be done… as a mod. Yeah, man, a mod of another famous PC game!

5 years ago, a gamed named Half-Life has allowed all their users to something very innovative: to modify its game. From that point forward, due to the games popularity, lots of mods (modifications) has invaded the Internet and created a big community. But it was just the beginning. Now with the expected release of sequels like Half-Life 2, a world of possibilities has been created for future, as Gabe Newell, from Valve, the company who created the game and its sequel, said once on an interview with PC Gamer magazine: "…Part of what makes the mod community interesting is its ability to experiment. Source (the Half-Life 2 game engine) gives them a much broader and more capable mod platform than they've ever had before. When we ship, a mod author working in Source will be able to build games that very few professional development organizations will be able to match. It will be interesting to see how far they go."

I've watched the game's preview images and, with this news, I'm can assure you anything is possible. If not, ask the team who created the world phenomena Counter-Strike, they were modders when they created it! I had the opportunity to see the projects of many modders for Half-Life 2, even one of Dragon Ball Z, and let me say I am impressed.

But guys, you would think I'm going out of context when talking about this. Well, I'm also a Half-Life fan, but that doesn't mean I left the main theme I'm talking about. I know there are games better and Half-Life, but it's an example. Others games like Max Payne are able to modify itself to make some interesting mod incarnations like one called Kung-Fu; to me, it kinda rocked for a game that included bullet time ability. But the important fact is that a Samurai Spirits mod could exists as well, no matter if it's a mod for Max Payne 2, Doom 3 or Half-Life 2 (my favorite since it has some of the necessary abilities I look for the mod.)

What I'm trying to say is just to free your mind and be opens to new possibilities, since what I'm proposing is a challenge for any of you who dares to dream and revive Samurai Spirits as one of the most influential games of the world. I would do that!

Samurai Spirits will ROCK forever!

The Neurochild.

P.S.: Hey guys, what's cooler than being cool? Ice cold!

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