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Samurai Shodown IV
Samurai Shodown IV arcade flyer.jpg
  • TNSsoft (Windows)
Designer(s)Kiyoji Tomita
Artist(s)Y. Koyasu
Writer(s)Y. Yoshimitsu
Composer(s)Hideki Asanaka
Yasumasa Yamada
Yoshihiko Kitamura
SeriesSamurai Shodown
  • Arcade
    • WW: 25 October 1996
    Neo Geo AES
    • WW: 29 November 1996
    Neo Geo CD
    • WW: 27 December 1997
    Original release
    • JP: 25 December 1997
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS

Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusa's Revenge[a] 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. Samurai Shodown! on the Neo Geo Pocket is a monochrome adaptation of this game, and it was followed by Samurai Shodown! 2 on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which is a 2D adaptation of Samurai Shodown 64: Warriors Rage.


Gameplay screenshot showcasing a match between Rimururu and Basara Kubikiri.
Gameplay screenshot showcasing a match between Rimururu and Basara Kubikiri.

Among other series changes, aerial blocking was removed entirely. 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. 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:

Cham Cham from Samurai Shodown II also makes a playable appearance, exclusively for the PlayStation port of the game known in Japan as Samurai Spirits: Amakusa's Descent Special.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Samurai Shodown IV on their December 1, 1996 issue as being the most-popular arcade game at the time.[2] According to Famitsu, the AES version sold over 9,253 copies in its first week on the market.[3]

Reviewing the arcade version in GamePro, The Union Buster commented that Samurai Shodown IV lacks the depth of contemporaries such as Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Soul Edge, but for the same reason offers an easier pick-up-and-play experience. He was unimpressed with the two new characters but pleased with the return of those which had been dropped from the roster in Samurai Shodown III. He particularly praised the visuals, remarking that "The fighters have superb animation; several fighting stages are outright beautiful; and the special moves look awesome."[4]

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.[5]

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."[6]


  1. ^ Also known as Samurai Spirits: Amakusa's Descent (Japanese: サムライスピリッツ: 天草降臨, Hepburn: Samurai Supirittsu: Amakusa Kōrin) or TenSamu for short in Japan.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Watsuki, Nobuhiro. "Free Talk," Rurouni Kenshin Volume 14. Viz Media. 166.
  2. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - TVゲーム機ーソフトウェア (Video Game Software)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 531. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 December 1996. p. 21.
  3. ^ "Game Search". Game Data Library. Archived from the original on 2019-04-24. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  4. ^ "Hot at the Arcades: Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusa's Revenge". GamePro. No. 102. IDG. March 1997. p. 64.
  5. ^ "Samurai Shodown IV Review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 90. Ziff Davis. January 1997. p. 74.
  6. ^ Newton, James. "Samurai Showdown IV Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 21 April 2014.