Samurai Shodown! 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Az Elias 29.09.2020

Review for Samurai Shodown! 2 on Nintendo Switch

A freebie bonus that came with purchases of the Samurai Shodown reboot that arrived on Nintendo Switch earlier this year, the super-deformed Neo Geo Pocket Color title Samurai Shodown! 2 has now officially popped up on the eShop for everyone to buy. Much like other SNK ports of classics from the oft-overlooked portable console of the late 90s, this rerelease comes with a few additions that fighting game fans should be pleased to hear about.

Anyone familiar with the other retro SNK fighters that have been reviewed here at Cubed3 - SNK Gals' Fighters and King of Fighters R-2 - will know exactly what to expect with Samurai Shodown! 2. The main console series has undergone a chibified transformation and condensed itself into portable format. As such, the same rules apply in that button commands are simpler, although weaker and stronger attacks are confined to the same buttons due to the Neo Geo Pocket Color having had less than a console controller. Therefore, the same issues carry over in having to hold buttons to perform stronger moves. It's something that quickly is gotten used to, but begs the question why separate weak and strong moves cannot be customised onto any of the unused buttons of the Switch controller, whether it be Joy-Con or Pro Controller.

Regardless, the transition from console and arcade fighter to being a portable one is better than expected, with each of the many characters available having two different styles to choose from. Perform staple moves with diagonal inputs and pull off special attacks once enough meter has been built up. It will all be very familiar to fans of the series or genre, yet can be picked up easily by newcomers. The simplified nature of this title may even entice people to dip their hands into the reboot that has been out since February.

Screenshot for Samurai Shodown! 2 on Nintendo Switch

As an added touch to make this handheld rendition of the series a little more attractive, unlockable cards that can be assigned to characters prior to battle offer advantages and stat boosts. It isn't anything exciting, but just adds some necessary depth to proceedings, however minor. There are tons to collect, if that piques the interest, but the ability to trade with friends wirelessly is not an option in this rendition, meaning it might just take a while longer to unlock them all.

Mode-wise, there are the standard arcade and survival modes, plus the two-player versus that brings with it the excellent ability to play on a single Switch if laying the system down vertically on a table, splitting the screen in half to give both players their own view of the match entirely, broadening the range of options available when it comes to playing with others. Smart stuff, and just as mentioned previously, it would be fantastic to see more classic games from other developers receive this kind of treatment.

Options to reassign buttons, a rewind feature, different Neo Geo Pocket Color console background skins, and a viewable replica of the original manual are all nifty extras that enhance the package. Again, it would be nice if more ports received this kind of attention from other companies. As suggested in the King of Fighters R-2 review, though, a compilation pack of these SNK titles could go a long way. As it is, the asking price is a little steep for a sole game of this age.

Screenshot for Samurai Shodown! 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


A commendable attempt to bring Samurai Shodown to an old portable format, even though the limited nature of the Neo Geo Pocket Color at the time does hinder Samurai Shodown! 2's chances of being able to hold much attention today. One for the diehard fans that will appreciate the effort of what was achieved with the hardware.


Code Mystics







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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