’90s Fighting Series ‘Samurai Shodown’ Returns This June

Fighting game publisher and developer SNK is reviving the 1990s franchise “Samurai Shodown,” it announced on Monday.

The weapon-based fighting game returns to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June. It’s also coming to Nintendo Switch in Q4 2019, and to PC at a later date. The reboot gives the 2D classic a 3D facelift, maintaining the game’s fantasy Samurai manga aesthetic while updating its graphics for the modern day.

“Samurai Shodown” first released on the Neo Geo console and arcade in 1993. It was known for its fast pace and its focus on powerful strikes over combos. It spawned a number of sequels over the years. The last one, “Samurai Shodown V,” launched in 2003.

Like its predecessors, the reboot is set in the late 18th century. It takes place prior to the events of the original game but after the events of “Samurai Shodown V.” Thirteen classic characters are returning, including Haohmaru, Earthquake and Galford. They’ll be joined by three brand new characters, with more added later in post-launch downloadable content.

“Samurai Shodown” features a number of modes, including a Story campaign, Practice mode, Online Battle mode, and multiple offline battle modes. It will also debut what SNK is calling Dojo, an asynchronous online mode that uses deep machine learning to create a CPU-avatar that learns from players’ actions during offline modes. Players can upload this Ghost A.I. character to the leaderboards and download Ghost data from others. They can then fight Ghosts in 1v1 battles or try to defeat 100 Ghosts in an Ironman Challenge.

“Samurai Shodown” will be playable during PAX East, which takes place Mar. 28-31 in Boston. There will also be a panel discussion about the game called “Samurai Shodown – Resurrecting a Legend” on Saturday, Mar. 30 at 4:30 p.m. EST. The panel will be moderated by Team Spooky’s Giby and feature SNK’s Yasuyuki Oda (Producer), Nobuyuki Kuroki (Game Director) and the Director of the original Samurai Shodown, Yasushi Adachi, as well as several others from SNK.