Samurai Shodown III / Samurai Spirits: Zankurou Musoken
Last Updated: 7/26/2012 Developer(s): SNK Publisher(s): SNK Artwork by: Eiji Shiroi Platform(s): Neo Geo, Playstation, Sega Saturn, PS2, PSP Release Date(s): November 15th, 1995 Characters: Haohmaru, Ukyo, Hanzo, Galford, Nakoruru, Genjuro, Kyoshiro, Shizumaru, Gaira, Rimururu, Basara, Kuroko, Amakusa, Zankuro
Related Games: Samurai Shodown, Samurai Shodown 2, Samurai Shodown 4, Samurai Shodown 5, Samurai Shodown 5 Special, Samurai Shodown 6, Samurai Shodown 64, Samurai Shodown 64 - Warriors Rage, Samurai Shodown Pocket, Samurai Shodown 2 Pocket, Samurai Shodown Warrior's Rage, Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny, Samurai Shodown Anthology, Art of Fighting, King of Fighters '95, Darkstalkers 2, Fatal Fury 3, Street Fighter Alpha, Marvel Super Heroes, Mortal Kombat 3, Killer Instinct 2
Gameplay Engine 8 / 10 Story / Theme 9 / 10 Overall Graphics 9.5 / 10 Animation 10 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 9 / 10 Innovation 8 / 10 Art Direction 9 / 10 Customization 9 / 10 Options / Extras 9 / 10 Intro / Presentation 8.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 7 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 9 / 10 Characters 8.5 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.7 / 10
Review based on Arcade version Final Words:
The gameplay system had dramatically changed, so fans of Samurai Shodown 2 (and the original) were forced to somewhat "re-learn" the game... Disappointing the purists of the series, but some gameplay elements were thankfully still intact. Even with the changes and darker setting, the series definitely retains it's cool factor and a unique appeal. SS3 was a very cool looking and fun game at the time, but Samurai Shodown 4 came out to be a lot better in the gameplay department. ~TFG Webmaster
STORY: One man became known as the "Oni" (demon). The man's name was Zankuro. He would attack many villages and would leave none alive. But one night, he left one child alive in a village. He couldn't kill that one child. No one knew why. Ever since that night, Zankuro would only attack those who challenge him. And many years later, twelve warriors set out to kill Zankuro.
Out with the old... in with the new.
REVIEW: The third installment to SNK's trademark samurai franchise was considerably darker than the first two games. To the dismay of some fans, old favorites like Charlotte, Cham Cham, Earthquake, and Gen-an were removed from the roster and replaced with newcomers like Shizumaru, Rimururu, Basara, and Gaira. The character sprites have been completely redrawn in a new style, and all of the backgrounds, animations, music, and voice-overs are brand new as well!
Basara & Gaira... two of the newcomers.
With this installment, Samurai Shodown's gameplay and "pace" has changed quite a bit from the first two games and almost feels completely original. One of the most notable gameplay changes is the ability to "charge up" your character's POW gauge (not unlike the super meter in AOF). The other new addition to the gameplay is the fact that there are now two "versions" of each fighter: Slash and Bust, each mode offering a slightly different move set per character. Air blocking was also added to the gameplay for the first time ever.
Samurai Shodown never looked better.
Many priority attacks can now be cancelled into special moves, unlike the prequel which only feature a few cancelable moves. Most of SS2's movement options were removed, in favor of Dodge Attacks which are done by pressing the A & B buttons simultaneously. When close, a character whom performs a Dodge Attack will quickly move around the opponent, allowing them to attack from behind. Like in the prequels, items were thrown onto the battlefield but this time coming from off-screen instead of from a character in the background.