Back in December last year, Japanese arcade game veteran SNK Playmore announced that it would be shifting its focus from making pachinko machines to expanding upon its classic titles. Among the franchise revivals they have planned is the fighting game series Samurai Shodown (known as Samurai Spirits in Japan), which hasn’t received a traditional 2D fighting game installment since 2005’s Samurai Shodown VI. Sure enough, fighting game news outlet Hadoken.net claimed earlier this week that SNKP has already begun developing a new Samurai Shodown game, which is set to release in 2017.
According to Hadoken.net’s unnamed sources, the new Samurai Shodown will use 3D models, but will be played in its traditional 2D perspective, much like the upcoming King of Fighters XIV. Evidently, the series is also planned to receive an accompanying anime adaptation, which in itself rings of the early-to-mid 1990s, an era when almost anything and everything that could be licensed got turned into some kind of anime series in Japan.
This is not the first time Samurai Shodown has entered the realm of animation. Samurai Shodown: The Motion Picture (Samurai Spirits: Haten Gōma no Shō) released in 1994, just a year after the release of the first game. The film was followed by a Japan-only, two-episode series called Samurai Spirits 2: Asura Zanmaden.
Fan reception has so far been mixed. While many SamSho veterans are happy to see the series return (especially after 2008’s Samurai Shodown Sen, which is infamous for its shoddy gameplay), others lament the loss of the series’ traditional 2D sprites. Many of these players cite King of Fighters XIII as being a prime example of a contemporary game that made full use of beautiful 2D spritework, despite the fact that sprites are costly and require long periods of time to make when compared to 3D models. Still others wonder if – or how – Samurai Shodown’s fatalities will be implemented.
Little else is known about the future of Samurai Shodown, but provided Hadoken.net’s information is accurate, fans of the series can expect to hear official news in the coming months.