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Samurai Spirits: Kenkaku Shinan Pack
  opened by paleface at 22:02:14 08/31/03  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Fighting; reg=JPN]
Ports of SamSho and SamSho II on a single disc. They look great and sound great, the only problems are very long load times (a PS2 with Fast Loading enabled is almost a requirement) and slowdown, particularly in the first game. For the second game the port team lowered the detail of some graphic effects, particularly those seen during special moves, so they look super-chunky but you get less slowdown and fewer hitches during gameplay. Obviously the port team wanted to maintain very high fidelity to the MVS versions, even if it cost a little performance. I guess I can't fault them in that but even so the load times are pretty inexcusable.
You can't freely map the controls (boo!) but at least the "Arcade" setting maps them halfway-decently (along the bottom row L2 X 0 R2; my preference is for the top row L1 Square Triangle R1). There's a training mode and you can even get the computer to demonstrate some short (this is SS, after all) combos for you, and there's the odd "Crossmatch" mode that is kind of a survival thing where you're ranked based on number of consecutive victories and total time--kind of odd, but I guess one shouldn't complain too much when getting unexpected extras.
It isn't the perfect arcade port of SS2 for which all boys and girls pray fervently to this day, but it's pretty good so long as you have the aforementioned Japanese PS2 and enable Fast Loading. I've also heard this called the "Fencing Pack," dunno if that's what "Kenkaku Yubinan" means.
  paleface 21:09:00 08/20/22
Okay so a lot of web pages call this "Samurai Spirits: Kenkaku Yubinan Pack." But looking at this now, the Japanese text title (from for instance, which gives the title in English as "Samurai Spirits: Fencing Pack") when popped into Google Translate yields "Samuraisupirittsu kenkaku shinan pakku" which it translates as "Samurai Spirits Swordsman Instructor Pack." Four kanji make up the "kenkaku shinan" part; separately, they read as "ken, kyaku, yubi, minami" ("sword, guest, finger, south").
So "yubinan" must have come from a different translation of the last two kanji; but maybe "shinan" is more correct? Google translates the two kanji as "instruction," and when I ask it what "shinan" means, it comes up with various hits saying "instruction," "teaching," or "pointing south"; the meaning derives apparently from Chinese "south pointing chariots," which were mechanisms with gearing to keep a rotating pointer pointing in a fixed direction while the rest of the unit turned.
Interestingly, the Japanese word "shihan," spelled with two DIFFERENT kanji, is an honorific "in many Japanese martial arts" meaning "master instructor."
On the other hand, when I ask Google what "yubinan" means, it comes up with nothing. So maybe yubinan was an early mistranslation of the title that got copied a lot?
· Samurai Shodown Anthology (PS2)
· Samurai Shodown II (PC)
· Samurai Shodown III: Blades of Blood (PS1)
· Samurai Shodown V (PCB)
· Samurai Spirits IV: Amakusa Kourin Special (PS1)
· Samurai Spirits: Tenkaichi Kenkakuden (PS2)
· Samurai Spirits Zero (PS2)
· Shin Samurai Spirits: Haohmaru Jigokuhen (PCB)

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