|I dunno why but it seemed like SNK, happily porting all their other fighting games, even the really obscure ones, waited until last to port their collection of probably their second-most-popular fighting franchise, Samurai Shodown. FINALLY (shut up, Xbox owners >_<) we have a real port of Samurai Shodown II, one of the greatest fighting games of all time. And VI is pretty darn good, too, although I already had that one. The Anthology contains Samurai Shodown I, II, III, IV, V ("Zero" in Japan), and VI.|
Like the other collections of ports in what was known in Japan as the Neo*Geo Online Collection series (the online part being some kind of proprietary match-up service only available in Japan, so they took that out in the Western versions), Anthology lets you select from rather nice arranged soundtracks, remap the buttons for all games to your liking in one handy interface, and custom-colorize your sprites, which I never bother with since it seems like a real pain in the ass.
Games I-V are launched through the same interface, and are covered with a really, really heavy anti-aliasing blur effect that you can't switch off; the manual describes an option for turning it off, but no such option exists in the game (and I don't think existed in the Japanese version, either). This is a real bummer, because the filter is so blurry that my eyes felt out of focus for a while before I got used to it, and it hides the sharp spritey goodness these old games had under a blurry cloud. I realize that there are people who hate seeing low-res 2D pixels, but most of the people buying an Anthology like this are probably going to be old-time fans of the games, and very well may prefer to see those pixels in their original, naked, unaliased glory. At least give an option to turn it off, like your well-intentioned manual writer assumed. Sheesh.
VI launches from a separate menu option, possibly because it runs in high-resolution, and *doesn't* have that icky blur filter on it, even though the character sprites (unlike the backgrounds) are OMG low-res unaliased things.
Anyway the ports all seem fine, etc, and it's nice to finally have this collection, although I really only wanted it for the heretofore un-decently-ported SamShoII, and that plays fine, but has that stupid blur over it. Le sigh.