front cover

Platform: Arcade

Region: NTSC-J

Country: Japan

Developer(s): Yuki Enterprise

Publishers(s): SNK Playmore

ReleaseDate: 2004-04-22

Players: 2

Co-op: No

Samurai Spirits Zero Special

Also know as: Samurai Spirits V Special MVS | Samurai Shodown V Special MVS

Samurai Shodown V Special[a] is the ninth entry in SNK's Samurai Shodown series of fighting games. It is an upgraded version of the game Samurai Shodown V and is the last official game for the Neo Geo platform. An ordained meeting of 28 fierce warriors begins, to precede a series of duels to the death. These individuals entrust their fates to their skill and their weapons. For those not up to the task, a cherished end in battle is their only hope. The twenty-eight Samurai characters clash in one epic title. The essential mechanics remained largely unchanged from previous games, with the update being directed towards graphical and audio changes. The updated visuals include portraits by artist Satoshi Ito, which convey a dark atmosphere similar to that of Samurai Shodown III. A significant number of changes exist between Samurai Shodown V and Samurai Shodown V Special. Among them, the characters Sankuro and Yumeji were replaced with Samurai Shodown boss, Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, and Samurai Shodown III boss, Zankuro Minazuki. Also, the hidden character Poppy was replaced with Samurai Shodown II boss, Mizuki Rashojin, and was playable without the need of a hidden code. In addition to the roster change, many graphics and sound changes were made to give the game a fresh feel, even though most of the returning characters used their old voices, dating from Samurai Shodown IV. Existing Samurai Shodown V character stages were modified, and new stages were made for the arrival of Amakusa, Zankuro, and Mizuki. This game also received many gameplay tweaks, making this version much more balanced than its predecessor. However, the biggest gameplay change was the introduction of the Zetsumei Ougi, or the Overkill Move. When performed correctly, it instantly ends the match for its victim, regardless of how much life he/she has remaining. This concept is similar to that of the Guilty Gear series, except that the conditions for the move are much stricter. The character must be in a rage, and the opponent's life must be below the point where they could have entered Concentration One, introduced in Samurai Shodown V as a special slow-motion mode powered up by meditating (holding D while standing still). The start-up motion is the same for each character, but if it hits the attacking character, it can finish off their victim in their own unique fashion. In addition to the overkill moves, generic fatality effects from Samurai Shodown IV were brought back for this game, such as being slashed in half horizontally. New fatality effects were also added, such as being split in half vertically with the victim drenching their opponent in blood. In addition, Nakoruru and Rimururu, who were both made "immune" to fatal effects in Samurai Shodown III and Samurai Shodown IV, are able to experience these fatal effects at the end of the match, and in some situations, they scream violently. This combination of violent acts in Samurai Shodown V Special generated much controversy and resulted in SNKP censoring the Neo Geo AES cartridge shortly after the Sasebo slashing.

ESRB Rating: AO - Adult Only 18+

Genre(s): Fighting

Other Graphic(s)