SNK Asian Tour---Samurai Shodown 64
by Christine Lay
I craned my neck eagerly, searching for it. Aha! I saw it across the
exhibition hall and strained eagerly towards it, nearly pulling my friend's
hand off as I grasped his hand and walked towards the object of my desire.
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"Free Game Play - Samurai Shodown 64" was written on the board above the row
of machines. There was a whole crowd of people looking on. I pushed and
shoved a bit, and finally managed to catch a glimpse of the game.
It was the SNK Asian Tour in Singapore, and I have come to check out the
newest addition to the Samurai Shodown series. The tour introduces new
games like SS64, Roads Edge and another driving game whose name I couldn't
be bothered to notice coz I was too busy noticing SS64. Incidently, the
King Of Fighters 97 competition was being held here.
Looking at the game, I must say that I wasn't too excited. Now I'm sure the
good people of SNK have spent a lot of time working their butts off to bring
this game to us, but.....Samurai Shodown in 3-D just doesn't seem to be as
fun playing as its predecessors.
There were five machines in all. And everyone was trying them
out...challenging each other one after the other. Of course, the winner
gets to play the longest. Finally, a chance came for me to play. I hung
back a little, coz I was afraid of looking like a total fool. Gameplay is
totally different in this game. Although I've been looking discreetly at
the hands of those playing before me, trying to get a picture of how the
game is played, I still didn't wanna challenge a total stranger. He's
probably gonna think "What's this GIRL doing here?" and then proceed to
whack the shit outta me. So, I let my friend play, even though he does not
play Samurai Shodown (he's more of a Street Fighter/ Capcom games player)
My friend managed to win so I challenged him. I looked at the panel. There
was Haohmaru, Genjuro, Ukyo, Galford, Rimiruru, Nakoruru, Hanzo, Kazuki,
Sogetsu and two new characters - a tall, slim short-haired girl with one
blue eye and one red eye,with a tattoo on her back and legs called Shiki (or
something like that)who fights with two swords and a big man (he's as big as
Gaira) with a weapon that looks a bit like Sieger's.
I picked Galford. And while we were playing I was like "Ye Gods! What did
they do to him?!" I was unable to use Poppy nor could I throw his lightning
bolts for some reason although the commands are still the same. Needless to
say, my friend, using Haohmaru whacked me up nice and neat.
Everything has changed. Now, in order to block, you have to push the A
button. B and C are for weak and heavy attacks respectively. As for D - it
allows you to run all over the place or around your opponent if you like.
And gameplay is extremely S-L-O-W. As slow as Street Fighter EX, which
probably explains why my friend managed to beat me...coz he's used to it.
I used Shiki next. At that moment, the finals for the KOF 97 was being held
on stage so everybody's attention was fixed there. I was able to hog the
machine for awhile. Shiki's a pretty neat gal. She's pretty easy to use.
I was getting the hang of the game and actually managed to beat 4
challengers before I lost.
All in all, I guess SS64 is pretty OK...once you get over the initial
culture shock and get the hang of all the new nifty effects (like kicking
your opponent through the wall of a straw hut and then chasing after him
down a flight of stairs). However, I do hope SNK brings back Samurai
Shodown in 2-D soon...with Charlotte in it too, if they don't find it too
much of a bother.