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

Samurai's Review
Neo Geo Pocket Color SS!2

Reviewed by C.K. Gan

Have you ever dream of playing Samurai Shodown anywhere anytime? Well, SNK has created this special something for those of you who are yearning for this dream. It is of course the Neo Geo Pocket Color and Samurai Shodown !2. The Neo Geo Pocket Color portable handheld is a powerful handheld machine that is capable to make this SS game true to its' own spirits.

The characters in the game does not look that colorful, but the rest of it, like backgrounds and menu, are very vivid and colorful. The animation for each character almost seems like 30 frames/sec animation to me, which is very nice. And every character has a really cool super. You can choose from 15 characters, and as usual, you can choose between 'Slash' or 'Bust' in this installment of SS. The gameplay is also a lot better than I expect, I was amazed by how a 2 button Samurai Shodown game can still be this good. Even it is a 2 button game(light tap A for light slash, hold down A for hard slash, B button is used for various command, like kick, dodge, combo), I personnally find the game very playable. It has a very good fighting game engine for a non-arcade game. The sounds and BGM in the game are midi-ish. Well, what do you expect from a handheld. But the good thing is the game has BG themes for the characters, all 15 character has their own themes. And of course many of the characters' themes are the good old classics that I love so much.

Collecting cards are also part of the fun and replayablity of this game. After you defeat a character with super-finished, you will get a card. With the card, you can equip it. The card will either 'power up' or 'defense up' your character, some cards will let you do special moves. Other than that, in every card, there are little description of the characters or special moves, which is one of the things I like most about collecting cards.

My only complain is their translation is kind of 'messy'. I mean it has a few spelling and grammar mistakes. And for a few characters, their names are inconsistent. For instance, in the manual, Haohmaru's name is Haomal, and in the game his name is Haohmaru.

If you are a fan of the SS series, this is a game you must have. If you are the type of person who is not too interested in playing handheld games, I can't convince you how great the game is. But try to think of it this way, the Gameboy system is not really designed for fighting games, and the fighting games on it are not that good. On the other hand, we have this NGPC system that is designed for fighting games, this is a totally new and innovative aspect for handheld gaming. Of course I like the old SS arcade games more than this game, but hey, this game is fun too. It has its own playablity. On the scale of 1 to 10, I give this an 8.

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