Samurai Shodown Sen

James Batchelor

Samurai Shodown Sen

Sword-fighting game fans will be pleased to discover Rising Star is publishing the latest instalment of SNK’s classic beat em’ up series in the UK.

Samurai Shodown Sen is the newest title in the 16-year-old franchise and an exclusive to the Xbox 360. Publisher Rising Star believes it can be a success at retail and a hit with European gamers.

Marketing manager Raul Nieto Garcia says: “We are delighted to bring Samurai Shodown Sen to Europe in hand with SNK Playmore and have many reasons to be excited about it.

“As Rising Star Games’ first Xbox 360 exclusive title, as well as the Samurai Shodown series’ first on a high definition home console, we have hopes for it to become the number one sword fighting title of the year.”

The game offers players the biggest roster of selectable fighters in the history of the series with over 20 new and familiar warriors, and Xbox Live connectivity brings the whole arcade-style multiplayer experience to consoles.

Every character boasts their own unique story, stats sheet, moves and sword stances. These include Korean spear fighter Kim, Gallows the axe-wielding Viking and J, an afro samurai. Old favourites include Haohmaru, Kibagami, Nakoruru and Ukyo.

Gamers also have access to the Power Slash, a powerful vertical and horizontal weapon attack, Rage Explosion, which increases attack power and Guard Shatter moves, to weaken opponents’ defences.

THE ELEVENTH SAMURAI

The Samurai Shodown series was originally released in Japanese arcades, but this doesn’t mean Sen is without a captivating single-player story. The eleventh game takes place in Japan in the year 1791, during the twilight of the turbulent Edo period, and promises to be the most brutal and visceral chapter in the history of the series.

Samurai Shodown Sen follows a young girl named Suzu, a European princess kidnapped by Japanese officials and raised as a samurai.

She later rescues martial arts master Takechiyo from a sinking ship, but then mysteriously goes missing herself. Takechiyo pledges to find his missing rescuer and the game begins.

Despite ten previous chapters in the fighting series including three versions made in 3D, Rising Star Games is confident that Samurai Shodown Sen stands out from earlier titles.

“The Samurai Showdown series made its debut on the Neo Geo over 16 years ago and now, ten instalments later, Samurai Shodown Sen introduces new characters and fighting skills, while remaining loyal to existing favourites,” adds Nieto Garcia.

“It gracefully stays close to its roots, featuring varied sword styles, contemporary, artistic techniques, the devastating Power Slash and unstoppable Rage Explosion which will make gamers want to unsheathe their pads immediately.”

FAMOUS FIGHTERS

Samurai Shodown Sen was picked up by Rising Star Games earlier in the year, who saw a strong market for the title in Europe. It’s the publisher’s first game developed by SNK Playmore, which is well-known in the industry for specialising in fighting games. Both firms hope the game will expand their market share in the UK.

It’s no surprise that Rising Star is going after fighting game fans with Samurai Shodown Sen, and believes it can pull in interest from those who aren’t already followers of the series.

Nieto Garcia says: “A title with such highly regarded and long standing heritage can only mean great news for all fans of the fighting genre across Europe, whether they are familiar with it or not.

“Samurai Shodown Sen is the most realistic and violent sword fighting title out there and Xbox 360 owners are in for a treat.”

As the franchise’s first foray into the world of high-definition gaming in the UK, it’s set to attract fighting gamers and hardcore players alike.

Samurai Shodown Sen will be released for the Xbox 360 in April.

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