Samurai Shodown
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Samurai's Review
Sony Playstation
Samurai Shodown Warriors Rage

Reviewed by C.K. Gan

Rating: 9.0
The story mode in Samurai Shodown Warriors Rage is probably the highlight of the game. The overall story lines and plot in the game is very interesting. Each character has his/her own past and unique story. It's hard to describe why the overall story is so good. But I just feel that it's good. I remember why I was so drawn into SS in the first place. When I first played SS1, I like the game mainly because it is just too cool to play a sword fighting game that is set in the ancient Samurai period. I think it is because I like the settings and story of SS, that's why I like SS so much. And I feel the same about SS WR, it captures the same feeling of old SS, even SS WR has a totally brand new story. The ending theme and its credits picture are just so nice, it basically makes me feel that this game has the SS story and settings I've always wanted. Every characters have their own ending(they are not FMV, classic SNK stilled-pic ending), but I like every single ending. Well, other than the story is cool, I think if you play through the game, some of the pre-fight characters conversation are very funny too.

Rating: 5.5
I hate to say this, but the gameplay seems to be the worst thing for this game. The game is just too plain and simple, there is nothing much new about this game, you get the same old 'rage explosion' and fatal slash. You basically use 4 buttons to play this game, weak slash, hard slash, kick and a dodge button. I don't really get why you need that dodge button, the game plays basically like a 2D game, kind of like Tekken, except in Tekken, you can side step. You can't even side step in this game, and it plays just like a 2D game. But the thing is it doesn't play as good as real 2D game. It is a very dull game and it is not really that fun to play. I don't really think there is much replayability to this game. But it's always nice to watch the ending again . I'm not very good at describing the game engine, but to sum it up in a word, 'dull'. And it's hard to figure out combos in the game, there is just not much combo in the game I guess. The game is also very easy if you play it at difficulty level 4(default). But weird thing is if you play the game at level 6, the game will still be easy if you are fighting 1 on 1 matches, but sometimes, you have to fight 5 of the Oboro's Amazon and you only have one life bar, this could get really hard and frustrating.

Rating: 7.0
My first impression of this game, in terms of its graphics, I think it is a very sharp looking game. I mean if you ignore the blocky characters in the game, everything else is nice. The only very bad thing in the game is the blocky characters, they look worse than first SS64 game(well, very close), it's quite blocky polygon character. If you compare to some old 3D game like Toshinden, Toshinden has more round and smooth polygon characters than this game, but Toshinden's character is also much smaller, and the polygons is 'dirtier'and pixilated sometimes. On the other hand, the color in this game looks sharper(regardless blocky character), maybe higher resolution. Nevertheless, compare to other 3D fighting games(Tekken 3, Soul Blade, DOA) on the playstation, I have to admit that this game is indeed inferior. But one really nice thing about this game is its' background, I actually think this is the best looking pre-rendered background I've ever seen in fighting games.

The Full Motion Video in the game is generally very nice, but in most of the FMV, you still see those blocky character in it. They are still very good FMV to watch. The intro is nice. But I was really surprise when I see the FMV that has Asra and Yuga in it. When I first see that FMV, I was like 'did I change my CD to FF8?', that FMV is certainly Squaresoft quality. I'm serious, that FMV is as well rendered as those FMV you see in Squaresoft and Capcom games, and very cool too. But it's just too bad there is just one FMV that is like that. I guess SNK can do the rendered FMV stuff too, just that it will be better if they would spend time to do all the FMV like that.

Rating: 8.5
The music in this game is by far one of the best in SS series. Even without all the good old characters theme like Galford's theme and Nakoruru's theme, it still has a very good soundtrack. The musics in the game matches the atmosphere and the settings. I espescially the ending theme(who doesn't?) sung by Harumi Ikoma(Nakoruru) and Kamitani Keiko(Rimururu).

Rating: 7.0
Well, the only big extra in the game is the gallery mode, you get all the characters' portraits from all the SS games. (What more do you want?) If you have the pocketstation, I'm sure you can play the Nako mini game(I don't have pocketstation, so I don't really know about the details).

Rating: 7.4
I have played SS all my life(okay, quarter of my life), this SS game dissapoints me the most. No, it's not because the game is bad, it is because it could have been much better. It is just so sad for me to see that "the bad gameplay" and "blocky characters" that totally destroy the game. If it has better gameplay(in other words, 2D), this game would easily be my favorite SS game of all time. When I first play SS64, it dissapoints me to see that it's no longer the 2D SS anymore. But it was fine with me. Now, I see this game that could have been much better, seeing the nice character design and good story, but it's because of 3D again that makes the whole game seem bad. Overall, I think the game is well presented, the loading is fast(with nice looking loading screen), and I like the characters, story and the music. Anyways, I still like SS Warriors Rage very much, there is a lot of good thing about this game. And I still have a lot of faith in SNK, they are the best in creating a good story and characters.(I hope the next SS game will be in 2D again). If you are a fan, you'll probably find things to like about the game. Some people who are new to SS say they like this game too, but I think most people won't like it as much. Well, if you have doubts before buying the game, rent the game first.

Frankly, I would really want to see more people buy this game, in order to revive the popularity of SS again. But I have to write this honest review....

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