Samurai Shodown III (1995)

by Nish
6 minutes read


Samurai Shodown III: A Dark and Gritty Reboot

Released in 1995, Samurai Shodown III was a bold new direction for the popular fighting game franchise. Developed by SNK, the game featured a darker aesthetic, new characters, and a host of gameplay changes.

A Darker Story and Setting

One of the most striking things about Samurai Shodown III is its dark and gritty tone. The game takes place in a war-torn Japan, and the characters are all hardened warriors fighting for survival. The story is full of violence, betrayal, and revenge.

This darker tone is reflected in the game’s visuals. The character designs are more realistic and less stylized than in previous Samurai Shodown games. The backgrounds are also more detailed and atmospheric, with a focus on dark colors and bloody battlefields.

New Characters

Samurai Shodown III introduced several new characters to the franchise, including:

  • Shizumaru Hisame: A young samurai who is searching for his missing father.
  • Zankuro Minazuki: A powerful demon who is seeking to destroy the world.
  • Rimururu: A shrine maiden who uses ice magic to fight.
  • Kyoshiro Senryo: A kabuki master who has been transformed into a grim-faced warrior.

These new characters added new depth and variety to the Samurai Shodown roster. Each character has their own unique fighting style and backstory, which helps to flesh out the game’s world.

Gameplay Changes

Samurai Shodown III also made a number of changes to the gameplay. The most significant change is the addition of the “Rage Gauge.” This gauge fills up as the player takes damage, and when it is full, the player can unleash a powerful special move.

The Rage Gauge adds a new layer of strategy to the game. Players must decide whether to use their Rage Gauge to power up their attacks or save it for a more opportune moment.

Other gameplay changes include:

  • A new “Guard Crush” system that allows players to break through their opponent’s guard.
  • A new “Just Defend” system that allows players to take less damage if they block an attack at the right time.
  • A new “Super Cancel” system that allows players to cancel special moves into other special moves.

These gameplay changes make Samurai Shodown III a more fast-paced and exciting game than its predecessors. The game is more accessible to new players, but it also offers plenty of depth for experienced fighting game fans.

Critical Reception

Samurai Shodown III was a critical and commercial success. The game was praised for its dark and gritty tone, new characters, and gameplay changes. It was also a hit with fans of the Samurai Shodown series.

Samurai Shodown III is considered to be one of the best fighting games of the 1990s. It is a must-play for fans of the genre and a great introduction to the Samurai Shodown series.


Samurai Shodown III had a significant impact on the fighting game genre. The game’s dark and gritty tone and gameplay changes helped to inspire a new generation of fighting games. The game also helped to popularize the use of the Rage Gauge, which has become a staple of many fighting games.

Samurai Shodown III is still considered to be one of the best fighting games ever made. It is a classic game that continues to be enjoyed by fans around the world.

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