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
Series Samurai Shodown
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PlayStation Network, Virtual Console
Release date(s) Arcade
  • JP: October 25, 1996
  • NA: 1996
Neo Geo
  • WW: November 29, 1996
Neo-Geo CD
  • WW: December 27, 1996
  • JP: December 25, 1997
Sega Saturn
  • JP: October 2, 1997
PlayStation Network
  • JP: June 27, 2007
Wii Virtual Console
  • JP: February 14, 2012
  • NA: March 15, 2012
  • PAL: March 8, 2012
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 Shodown 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 Shodown series of fighting games. Chronologically, it is the second and final chapter of a story between Samurai Shodown and Samurai Shodown II, with Samurai Shodown III being the first chapter.


Among other series changes, aerial blocking was removed entirely, as well as the switch-around move (which enabled a player to shift quickly behind the other's back), and the dodges (evade, side-step; in which the move virtually brings a semi-3D environment to the defense in attempt to use each sword more effectively).

One can also no longer charge one's own "pow" gauge. The off-screen delivery man was omitted entirely from the game. The "CD combo" was added, 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, wherein one's character forfeits the round. The bonus to this is that the one committing suicide will start the next round with a full "POW" gauge.[citation needed] 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 four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Neo Geo home version a unanimous score of 8 out of 10, praising the high number of characters and the size of the character sprites.[2]

In a review of the Virtual Console release, Nintendo Life also gave the game an 8 out of 10, but their praise focused more on the animations, heavy challenge, and the thrilling pacing of battles, commenting, "a single slash [is] capable of turning the tide against any opponent."[3]


  1. ^ Watsuki, Nobuhiro. "Free Talk," Rurouni Kenshin Volume 14. Viz Media. 166.
  2. ^ "Samurai Shodown IV Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly (90). EGM Media, LLC. January 1997. p. 74. 
  3. ^ Newton, James. "Samurai Showdown IV Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

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