Hello, is there anybody in there?
Last year, Samurai Shodown took me by surprise. I previewed SNK’s fighter at PAX, it instantly had its grip on me. It is one of the most approachable fighting games I have ever played, and that sentiment still rings true. It’s just so brilliant, with an awesome art style, and unique gameplay unlike anything else in the competitive scene right now.
Now, Samurai Shodown is not just the most approachable, but also the most accessible, as it is now available on PC. That means it is available on just about every major platform. But is the jump to PC worth your time? The short answer: No.
I want to say upfront, this has nothing to do with the quality of the port. In fact, it plays great. Everything I said in my review from last year is how I still feel about Samurai Shodown on PC. It is, in my eyes, one of the best modern fighting games, and anyone interested in the genre should check it out if they have the chance. If you want to read my thoughts on this incredible game, check out the review. You can also check out my thoughts on the Switch version.
Like any fighting game, much of Samurai Shodown‘s replayability relies on a stable and active online community. While that may be the case for the original console version, I cannot say the same for its PC counterpart. On the plus side, the netcode does seem good. In the matches I did get in, everything ran smoothly and felt as intended.
However, it doesn’t seem like a lot of people are playing Samurai Shodown on PC. Every time I queued up for both casual or ranked matches, it was rare for me to actually get in a match. The game ran great when I did find a match, but receiving a message stating that no one is there to play is very disheartening.
An online community makes or breaks a game like Samurai Shodown. There is only so much fun you can have playing the single-player content. Again, that content is great, but the game’s replayability relies on its multiplayer. Without an active online community, that replayability is gone.
Despite that, Samurai Shodown for PC performs incredibly well. However, there really isn’t much that differentiates it from the PS4 version. I was hitting a very consistent 60 frames per second at the highest settings. That being said, there really aren’t any graphics settings that make this version better in terms of graphics or performance.
It does seem Samurai Shodown may be able to maintain decent performance even with older hardware. So, you won’t need the latest Nvidia graphics card or tons of RAM to begin playing the game.
In a way, consistency between console and PC is great, especially for a competitive game like this. Parity between platforms for fighting games is incredibly important; everyone should be on the same playing field in any competitive game. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for some performance bumps from the PC version. It is kind of a bummer but parity across all platforms is definitely more imperative.
Samurai Shodown is really one of the best fighting games out there. It deviates from the combo-driven style of most fighters and favors a simpler approach. That doesn’t mean it lacks depth, as each character has its own unique set of skills that very distinct. However, without a thriving community, I’m not quite sure if I can recommend the PC version of the SNK fighter. If you don’t have a choice, I say go for it; there is definitely fun to be had. But its arrival on PC is a bit too late to the party.