Samurai Shodown IV

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Samurai Shodown IV
Screenshot from Samurai Shodown IV
Neo-Geo CD cover for Samurai Shodown IV.
Developer(s) SNK
Publisher(s) SNK
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PlayStation Network, Virtual Console
Release date(s) October 25, 1996
  • JP June 27, 2007 (PSN)
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Neo-Geo (378 Mbit cartridge)
Display Raster, 304 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 4096 colors

Samurai Showdown IV: Amakusa's Revenge, also known as Samurai Spirits: Amakusa's Descent (サムライスピリッツ天草降臨 Samurai Supirittsu Amakusa Kōrin?, TenSamu in short[1]) in Japan, is the fourth in SNK's flagship Samurai Showdown series of fighting games. Chronologically, it is the second and final chapter of a story between Samurai Showdown and Samurai Showdown II, with Samurai Showdown III being the first chapter.


After Samurai Shodown III received mostly negative reviews by the fighting game community, SNK went back to address the complaints, and tried to deliver a follow-up which they hoped would regain some of the popularity that had made Samurai Showdown II such a hit.

The most obvious change is visual, with dramatically adjusted colour palettes for the individual characters, generally brightening them up and reducing contrast, in the attempt to make the game more cartoonish). Aerial blocking was removed entirely, and the switch-around move, which enabled a player to shift quickly behind the other's back, as well as the dodge (evade, side-step), in which the move virtually brings a semi-3D environment to the defense in attempt to use each sword more effectively.

Overall, the game plays like SS3, but the overall feel is different. Controls are loosened and more accurately modified, controller motions are improved, overall damage has been reduced and one can no longer charge one's own "pow" gauge. The off-screen delivery man was omitted entirely from the game. The biggest addition is probably the "CD combo", wherein a player can press the C and D buttons together, triggering a strike that can be followed up by a sequence of button taps.

SNK also added a "suicide" move (known in English-speaking fan circles as the "honourable death"), wherein one's character sacrifices their own life, thus forfeiting the round. The bonus to this is that the one committing suicide will start the next round with a full "POW" gauge.[2] Certain finishes also enable a "fatality" move in the vein of Mortal Kombat.


Some of the older characters were restored, such as Charlotte, Tam Tam and Jubei Yagyu. The entire cast of the previous game also returns, though some have been retouched to further enhance the cartoonish look.

Joining the cast are the two ninja brothers:

  • Kazuki Kazama - member of the Kazama ninja clan specializing in fire jutsu, he deserts to rescue his younger sister, Hazuki, from Amakusa's clutches.
  • Sogetsu Kazama - older brother to Kazuki and Hazuki who uses water jutsu; unlike Kazuki, he stays with the clan and is ordered to assassinate his brother for leaving.



The game was widely regarded as an improvement from Samurai Showdown III,[3] and was generally well rated.[4][5]


  1. ^ Watsuki, Nobuhiro. "Free Talk," Rurouni Kenshin Volume 14. Viz Media. 166.
  2. ^ Boombada INC. "Samurai Showdown IV Review". - A SNK Fan Site. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  3. ^ Kazuya UK. "Samurai Shodown IV Review". - A SNK Fan Site. Retrieved December 21, 2007. 
  4. ^ Corbie. "Samurai Showdown IV". Neo-Geo. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Newton, James. "Samurai Showdown IV Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

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