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On my top ten places to visit at some point in my life, Japan definitely makes it onto my list. The plane ride would be long yes, but thanks to my psvita, I know exactly what game to play on the plane, Samurai Shodown. Also known as Samurai Spirits in Japan, Samurai Shodown is a 1993 Neogeo game developed by SNK that focuses on 2D fighting with traditional weapons based around the time the game takes place in.

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So basically it’s like a combination of Street Fighter and Soul Calibur but a little more ridiculous and a little more addicting. Most characters are from Japan and are based on several typical people found around the time the game takes place such as Ninjas, A Kabuki performer (who can breathe fire for some reason), a miko, and of course Samurai. But there are also some characters from other countries, such as France, South America, China, and Unfortunately America. Its funny how SNK, a company based in Japan, views Americans in the game. One of them is just a blond guy with no real personality that pretty much just throws on a ninja costume and calls himself an American Ninja (which really doesn’t exist by the way) and basically stole some fighting moves from the other fighters, lame. And the other American fighter is a giant fat guy who pretty much hogs half the screen. Very funny SNK I see what you did there. Everyone else is actually pretty cool.

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Each character has a unique fighting style and plays differently with their own combos and special moves. There is also a thing called a “rage meter” which I have yet failed to figure out how it works. The actual fighting plays well too, and feels pretty smooth, but the AI will also kick your ass a got part of the times which makes it feel as though you are actually playing an actual person. Also each character has his or her individual personalities and costumes which make them really stand out. I mean the amount of detail that actually went into designing some of the costumes and backgrounds are really noticeable. Different things will move in the back ground and most of the attention comes from the Japan stages which gives you a look into the past to see several areas that really puts you in the middle of an older Japan.

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And the costumes seem to reflect the cheater’s personality and there culture as a whole. What I like about the female characters, well you know how in fighting games the female characters are usually wearing offensively inappropriate costumes that serve no real purpose. Well the game hopefully ignores that trend and instead gives them something more practical. Like one of the female characters wears a blue tunic covered with a metal breast plate and shoulder pads with matching boots and gauntlets. And I think she has chainmail too.

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Lastly there is blood in the game and depending on what button you push will either knock your opponent out or deliver a fatality. But here’s the weird part, if you are playing the U.S. version of the game then the violence is censored and is instead the blood is white for some reason? So I ended up having to switch the settings on the main menu to the Japanese region in order to uncensored it. All in all the game is fun, addicting and artsy especially when it comes around to the Japanese bits. 

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