Samurai Shodown III

System: Playstation (Japanese)


Game Type: 2D Fighting
A traditional Street Fighter-style game. The only added twist is that all characters use weapons, which can be lost over the course of battle.

Gameplay: 10/100
I can say without doubt that this is the worst arcade conversion ever to infest the Playstation, or in fact any system (yes, I include even Cyber Sled in that sweeping generalization). This game runs SLOW on the PS. Moves that are intended to confuse the opponent like Galford's multiple images have no effect because the player has time to see the ruse and react. There is no risk whatsoever of being caught off guard by a projectile because they can take as much as three seconds to cross the screen. Gameplay is not mediocre, it is nonexistent.
Let me make a couple things clear right now. First, I'm not slamming SS3 in general. Anyone who knows me knows I would sooner ridicule myself than my all-time favorite game. I attack the PS conversion here, not SS3. Second, this might raise the question of whether I'm being a perfectionist here, dismissing the conversion because the fireballs are the wrong color or the timing of my favorite combo is off. If only it had so few faults. As far as I can tell Street Fighter Alpha for PS was arcade perfect, so I don't consider myself a nitpicker.

Graphics: 40/100
As far as graphic quality, the Neo game is intact on the PS. Nothing's missing that I can tell. The pre- and post-match character art, the scenes from the dark world, the size of the charcters, the scaling during the fight, it all seems to be intact. The shortfall here (and boy, is it a doozy) is in the number of frames. The characters have three or four frames per move at a maximum. The beautiful animation of the Neo version is, like gameplay, nonexistent in the PS.

Sound: 80/100
Ah, at least there's one area in which the PS version is tolerable. The remixes of the arcade music are excellent (and yes, the music is swap trick-friendly). Voice samples are adequate but not great. None of the effects seem to be missing.

Overall: 20/100
If I still haven't dissuaded you die-hard SS3 fans from importing this "game" let me say this: I was once in your shoes. I had read all the complaints of how slow the game was, and though I was wary I ordered it anyway. My love for Samurai Shodown is so great I was willing to ignore a few problems with the PS port. But the reviews I read failed to convey how awful it truly is, and I may even have failed to here. If you want a sampler of SNK art and music, order it. But you're looking for Samurai Shodown 3, keep looking, 'cause you won't find that game on this CD.


Copyright © 1997/1998 Jay McGavren. All Rights Reserved.