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Crystal Dynamics's first fighting game, Samurai Shodown, is a brilliant realization. Aside the NEO-GEO version from SNK Corp, makers of the arcade game, there is no other version that can be compared to what exists now on the 3DO. The developers achieved an near-arcade quality game with large characters, colorful backgrounds identical to the arcade (seashore, desert, waterfall, etc..), the same Japanese music and a good game play.
Crystal Dynamics also includes all the original characters from the arcade with their special moves, the great zoom in/out feature, and a series of options. You can choose to play with or without weapons, select four levels of difficulty from easy to arcade, select a time limit or a deathmatch and even have blood on the screen.
The 3DO controller was not specifically designed for combat games such as Samurai Shodown, but the game is still playable with the 3-buttons pad. The loading time when you meet a new adversary is around 5 seconds. During the combats, you will sometimes notice that the game seems to freeze a fraction of second, something not always perceptible, but this is really the only bad point I can write about Samurai Showdown. It is one of my favorite games for the 3DO console and I will, for sure, save a lot of money playing with the 3DO version instead of spending all my cash on the arcade version.
Crystal Dynamics demonstrated their talents with the superb Samurai Shodown and proved they are among the best developers around. We strongly hope they will get the license for Samurai Shodown 2 for the 3DO and await anxiously for it.
OVERALL RATING ****1/2
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