As has been the case with the previous SNK compilations, Samurai Shodown Anthology has suffered under an extremely limited distribution and received very little attention when it officially shipped. The game lets players explore their affinity for 2D sprites by offering the original Samurai Shodown all the way up to Samurai Shodown VI. Although there were other games in the Samurai Shodown franchise, the six classic fighters are all present here and will certainly stir up the memories of fighting game fans. It’s unfortunate that Samurai Shodown Anthology slips by so many people unnoticed, as it represents a sizable chunk of the classic 2D fighting scene. It’s even more unfortunate that the PSP version is vastly inferior to its PS2 counterpart, despite having cleaner menus and better localization.
The Samurai Shodown series was started in Japan decades ago thanks to the efforts of what is now SNK Playmore. A 2D fighter on the Neo Geo platform, Samurai Shodown was special in that it offered fighting of a much different variety than its peers — fighting that was far slower in pace and sometimes felt more like a traditional battle from old samurai flicks. You cautiously move around the screen and you can often finish the battle with just a few precisely executed attacks. It was a different type of experience.