Samurai Riot Definitive Edition PC Review

Samurai Riot promises a unique experience combining a fighting game with choices that truly matter.

By Yagmur, Posted 28 Jun 2022

Fighting games are always quite a catch. Even if you are not a hardcore gamer, there is a high probability that you know some of them, like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Gameplay-wise, Samurai Riot resembles these two classics, but Samurai Riot puts its little twist in there. The game focuses on decisions and storytelling. Thus, it promises a unique experience. But does the game deliver this promise?

In Samurai Riot, the player can control one of the two characters: Sukane and Tsurumaru. They both have intriguing backstories and are different enough for the player to choose one they like. Tsurumaru is the Great Master’s Art of War Adviser; he is described to have fought “every single clan that opposed the Clan of True Honor.” Sukane, on the other hand, is quite a mystery. “No one knows her origins for certain,” the game tells the player from the very beginning. Due to their different backstories, they both have various weaknesses and strengths. You can play either as one of them or with a friend who can choose the other character. Samurai Riot supports local co-op, which is always great!

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition, PC, Review, Beat'em-Up, 2D Side-Scrolling, Gameplay, Screenshots

In Samurai Riot, choices matter. Choices have an impact on the ending. There are eight different endings. This means that you have to make difficult decisions along with the way, and the fact that your choices matter makes the game all the more intriguing. If, while playing with a friend, you both choose different options- You get to have a PvP match to find out whose decision is being made. This is the only incredibly cool aspect of the gameplay. The rest of the game, however, flows like an arcade game.

For a game that emphasizes choices, the story has to be great Because the player has to care about it. The story of Samurai Riot is, however, nothing exceptional. The two characters, Sukane and Tsurumaru, are sent to stop the rebellion from happening in the setting of a feudal Japan. The choices shape the fate of the characters: The player can either join the rebellion or side with the government. As the story progresses, the player can learn from 14 different fighting schools to spice up their fighting style, which also adds to the replayability.

As the title indicates, this is the definitive edition for a game that has been out for a while. Samurai Riot was initially released in 2017. Five years might seem too short of a time to change anything, but that is far from the truth. This enhanced edition includes 60 fps animation, new dialogue, more stability, improved combos, and an overall shinier look for the game's art.

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition, PC, Review, Beat'em-Up, 2D Side-Scrolling, Missions

The replay value is a very crucial part of arcade-like games. In games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, there are different characters and move sets, as well as different combos and finishers that help one replay the game repeatedly. In Samurai Riot, the characters, the combos, and the figures are almost identical, so the replay value depends primarily on different endings. This is not to say that there have to be diverse characters and move sets; this is to say that for a game that defines itself as an arcade game, Samurai Riot does a great job in setting a replay value for the game.

The visuals are simple, almost reminiscent of the 2D flash games from my childhood. Nothing is striking about any animation, whether it is when the characters are still or moving. I am not sure whether or not this is a good thing because one hand, it felt obvious that the team behind Samurai Riot is aiming for that nostalgic look, but on the other hand, the graphics do not sell the game. They do not make you want to play it immediately because this is nothing new. Games from our childhood (like The Binding of Isaac) use a similar style, and it fits them because they are actually from our childhood.

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition, PC, Review, Beat'em-Up, 2D Side-Scrolling, Wako Factory, Hound Picked Games, NoobFeed

Replay value is, indeed, a part of this experience, but regardless of this, the game very much repeats itself. There is nothing much to do except mash buttons and block. You can use special attacks, but they are also very limited. For a game that lasts for an hour, it tires out fast. Samurai Riot could be a lot more exciting gameplay-wise, but it sadly falls short on this end. The game becomes monotonous quickly, and the only thing that saves it from being a “bad” game is the intrigue of different endings.

At the end of every level, there is a boss that the player has to face to progress further. Each run lasts about an hour, so players frequently see the bosses. They are essentially hit-or-miss; while some are more on the easier side with attacks that the player can quickly block and attack immediately after, some are fast and harder to enjoy. It would be better for such a short game if the bosses were more interesting.

Let me also add that I have had quite a few problems running this game in my playthrough. It did not run properly, fps constantly dropped (even though I ran the game on GTX165 while it recommends Intel HD Graphics Card), and it crashed a few times before I could progress past the first scene. Needless to say, it was not a good first impression. I took the liberty to look at a few Steam reviews and saw that many other people ran into the same problems I did, especially the game crashing. So right off the bat, we have to say that Samurai Riot has a rough start, and we would be happier if all these game-breaking bugs were fixed.

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition, PC, Review, Beat'em-Up, 2D Side-Scrolling, Multiplayer

Although Samurai Riot could be a lot better, like I mentioned, it is not a bad game per se. It is an interesting concept to begin with: An arcade-like beat ‘em-up game that focuses primarily on decisions and storytelling. This is not something we have seen many times before, so the game does promise a unique experience. Samurai Riot may be a mediocre game in many aspects, but no one can deny that it is different and successful in what it promises.

Samurai Riot is Wako Factory’s first game. For a first game, Samurai Riot seems promising. Apart from some frustrating bugs and crashes, the game introduces exciting gameplay and a great replay value. If you are into beat ‘em-up games, you might want to check it out on the Steam sale.

Yagmur Sevinc (@yagmursevvinc)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): Wako Factory, Hound Picked Games
Developer(s): Wako Factory
Genres: Beat-'Em-Up
Themes: 2D Side-Scrolling, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2022-06-01

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