Samurai Shodown and Backlog Anxiety

Ever since I sold off the majority of my gaming backlog a few years back, I’ve tried my best to minimize the number of games in my possession that are left unplayed. While there is no shame in having a backlog, it became a matter of better managing my time and money. If anything, managing both has only become more important, as I’m now paying to support a mortgage and an expensive streaming hobby on top of video games. If I’m going to buy a game, I’m buying it in that moment because I plan on playing it in the very near future, if not immediately.

However, a flurry of game sales, new releases, and hoarding games for a trip that I didn’t really get a chance to play have created a bit of a logjam. With so much currently on my plate, it’s put Samurai Shodown – a game I planned on buying day one – in a weird predicament.

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Something I’m Only Noticing Now About the Samurai Shodown Franchise

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Prior to the announcement of Samurai Shodown getting a new entry in the series this year, I started getting reacquainted with the original. My nostalgia for the franchise primarily comes from playing the 3DO version at a computer store demo kiosk. Back then, I didn’t really understand how to play fighting games well.

During my time with the SNES port and more recently, the arcade port to the Switch, I noticed something odd about the game that I didn’t notice before. Unlike almost every fighting game I’ve played that was released after Street Fighter II, Samurai Shodown didn’t seem to have much in the way of combos. For the last little while, I chalked that up to this being the first game in the series, or me not knowing what I was doing.

Most recently, while watching gameplay footage coming out of PAX East of the new game, it appeared that the lack of combos carried over. What’s going on here?

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The Importance of Finding Game Reviews and Coverage from Sources You Trust and Can Connect With

At a certain point in my life, I became incredibly picky about where I get my fighting game coverage and reviews from.

Don’t get me wrong. I love sites like IGN, Gamespot, Giant Bomb, and Kotaku for their ability to provide news and reviews first. I will go to them to get a sense of what a fighting game’s broader feature set is. I love independent bloggers for being able to provide their personal insight and touch in ways that more generalist sites cannot. Will turn to them for stories about how they had fun with the game or logs of their personal progress in a fighter.

But when it comes to looking for information that will help me inform my purchase on a fighting game, these outlets are not adequate with answering the hyper-specific questions I have about a game. My most recent quests for information pertaining to Samurai Shodown and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid served as a reminder of that.

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Games I’m Excited For in 2019

Another exciting year of gaming lies ahead! With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a mature point in their lifespan, and rumors of their successors looming, this could be the last hurrah for our current gen hardware. Also, with the Nintendo Switch just having gotten Pokemon and Super Smash Bros., where does the platform go from here?

Lots of questions to be answered in the days to come. For now though, here’s a handful of games that I’m looking forward to playing this year!

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My Unusual Relationship with Samurai Shodown (Samurai Spirits)

The storied-yet-dormant Samurai Shodown franchise is back! Recently revealed at Tokyo Game Show, the news of the franchise’s return got me to jump out of my chair. Uusual for me to elicit a response to a series that I’ve barely played and am horrible at.

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Is the Nintendo Switch a Secretly Decent Console for Fighting Games?

Save for the Smash Bros. series, Nintendo hasn’t been much of a player in the fighting game scene since the SNES days. Once Nintendo alienated fighting game makers with cartridge-based systems and controller designs that didn’t lend themselves well towards the genre, they left for greener pastures.

To this day, if you want to keep up with any of the juggernauts in fighting games, the Nintendo Switch still isn’t the console for you. However, if you’re looking for some under-the-radar hits, retro titles and the inevitable release of Smash Bros., the Switch might be worth a look.

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