The original Samurai Shodown was a breakthrough for SNK in the war against other fighting games. No longer were they considered a maker of Street Fighter clones -- the game finally gave the company an identity of its' own.

So, of course, when a sequel was announced, it became one of the most hotly aniticipated titles of the day. And thankfully, it didn't disappoint. In fact, Samurai Shodown II was, and still is, one of the best 2D fighting games ever created.

SS2 doesn't vary too much from the original, and that's not a bad thing. It just takes what made the first game great and adds to the mix, most notably via several new fighters. Unlike a lot of fighting game sequels that add in "new" combatants that basically end up being pallete swaps of older ones, the new fighters in SS2 are solid and add even more to what was already a deep fighting game.

Also, those who say that "old school" games can't compete with their more modern bretheren needs to have their glasses adjusted. Some bad "engrish" translations aside, SS2 is a treat for the eyes and ears. When you combine that with one of the best control systems featured in a fighting game, this turns into a mandatory download for the fans of virtual fisticuffs.

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