Samurai Shodown 4
I'm a sucker for a good Samurai Shodown game. There's something cool about being a sword-totting guy (or girl) and slashing up opponents. Some of the special moves are very cool-1 especially like the combo slashes. The graphics are great and the character size is huge. The sound was good but really nothing special. I like the different modes of play especially considering there are so many characters to choose from. The backdrops are simply incredible--it's great the way they change as you're playing. As an arcade game, this one is a lot of fun to play (especially against a friend or foe).
I'm starling to get as tired of the 2-D fighting scene as I am the Doom-done. Outside of the Street Fighter games, everything else seems to lack that certain luster. Samurai Shodown 4, however, made me think differently. SS4 is tile best Neo-Geo fighter there is. Better than the Fatal Furies, better than the King of Fighters. SS4 looks great. The moves are clean and flashy (just like I like my women). The charaders are better animated than any other Neo-Geo game, which is a pleasant change. Plenty of techniques and a wide variety of warriors make this a truly great fighting game. Don't pass this by at the arcades!
SS4 certainly won't hurt the Neo-Geo's reputation as the premiere fighting game system. It packs the same tight control gamers have come to expect from most SNK fighters and a whopping 17 combatants. The 'slash" and 'bust' modes also return for each fighter, thus doubling the amount of moves they can perform. Unfortunately, SS4 also retains the 'Rage Explosion' system, which lets you pull off a cheap, devastating super move after you've taken enough damage. No big deal, though, since SS4 plays much better than SS3, whose small characters and shoddy control were disappointing. With SS4, the series is back on track.
Playing Samurai Shodown 4 was like going home after a long vacation. It plays very much like the previous versions, but uses larger characters than SS3, show the action is really in your face. I wasn't overly excited about this version, especially facing the dragging demise of the Neo-Geo, but every SS fan will be dying to get their hands on this one. I can't help but wonder if this series is hitting the end of the line, because the improvements are not enough to really make a difference between the various games. It's beginning to suffer the same fate of the Street Fighter series: sequelitis.