Guide: Samurai Shodown 5

Last Update: July 11 2018 11:07:30





At certain times during the battle, both fighters will swing their weapons at the same time, resulting in a collision. Once this occurs, a sword clash is initiated. This momentuous exchange of force can be decided by rapidly tapping the A button. In a versus play, the player who taps the button more wins the sword clash and disarms his opponent, disabling his offensive capabilities and maybe even special moves. In a single-player game, the CPU also has a high chance of winning a sword clash or even meet a tie, disarming both warriors at once. Press the A button over the weapon to pick it up. Turn the tide by unarming your opponent!


The newest tweak in Samurai Shodown V is the addition of the Sword Gauge, located below your character's Life Gauge. As your weapon attacks hit the enemy, misses or is blocked (depending on the move), your character's Sword Gauge depletes, lessening the damage output of subsequent blows. This behooves players to rest their characters for a while to recover their Sword Gauge, thus strategically maximizing the damage of their attacks. As a tip, all characters' Strong Slash attacks are the most effective when the Sword Gauge is at its fullest, at the cost of a huge fraction of the gauge.

As your character takes damage, the Rage Gauge fills up. Once the gauge bumps to the maximum, it flashes POW and for a limited time, all the character's attacks inflict critical damage. This is an aspect which should be taken advantage of during the battle. Once the rage subsides, the gauge empties and attack power reverts to normal.

 + CD for the POW Special!

In addition, when your Rage Gauge is maxed out, the character's unique POW Special technique becomes available! The command for the move is shown beside your character's name during this empowered state. Once this technique successfully connects, it inflicts a considerable amount of damage and disarms your opponent, making him utterly helpless! Without his weapon, your opponent cannot perform most of his special moves! If you do lose your weapon, quickly recover it and retaliate!

A returning feature is the Rage Explosion. By pressing the ABC buttons together, maxing out your Sword Gauge and your Rage Gauge is converted into a Rage timer. The length of the timer is inversely proportional to the amount of remaining life your character has for the round. Aside from the enormous offensive boost, you can perform your character's extra-empowered POW Special during the Rage Explosion but prematurely ends it no matter how much time you have left. After the rampage subsides, the character will be fully spent, and the Rage Gauge is disabled for the rest of the match. So use this at the very direst of moments!

Press ABC together to unleash the Rage Explosion!


Press BCD together to activate The Way of Nothingness!
Another new feature is the Concentration Gauge. When your character takes damage, you can convert stored Rage Gauge energy to increase your critical threat life by pressing the D button. This way, your character meditates, moving the marker above your life gauge outward. If your character has already lost one round and your life reaches the point within the critical threat range, it's time to initiate The Way of Nothingness.

Perform destructive combos until the mode ends!

Press BCD again to execute the Flash Finale!

During the Way of Nothingness, your Rage Gauge becomes a depleting blue timer, much like during a Rage Explosion. In this state, your opponent is drastically slowed down for the duration of the mode, depending on how far you have moved the marker on your life gauge away from the center of the screen. You can then perform a variety of heavily punishing combos on your opponent (normal and special moves, with the exception of POW specials) until the blue timer runs out. And finally, you can effectively end your massive combo into the Issen also known as the Flash Finale by pressing the BCD buttons together. Your character then swipes his weapon across the screen, injuring your opponent for critical damage. Much like the Rage Explosion, using the Flash Finale ends the timer immediately, and you will lose access to the Rage gauge for the rest of the match.


Don't want to give the opponent the killing blow on your character? Retained from the previous game is the Honorable Death or Suicide move that forfeits the round for your character in favor of a full Rage Gauge for the next round... if there would be a next one. Again, use this to have a round's head start, but never use this if your opponent needs only one more victory to win the match!

A returning feature from the fourth game is the ability to execute your opponent in particularly gruesome ways, unique to each character. The Overkill Technique, also known as the Zetsumei Ougi is the prerequisite antithesis of the Way of Nothingness. You must have already won a round and your opponent should be within his Life Gauge's critical threat range. Initiate the Rage Explosion after which enter the Overkill command. Each character has different ways on mutilating the defeated fighter. Whether it hits or not, the Rage timer ends and the Rage Gauge is void for the rest of the match, so use this very cautiously.

From Bad To Worse

Kusaregedo throws out damage but he's a massive target...

But even the basic task of finding out which of the twenty-six faces takes your fancy is a time-consuming process. New characters vary from lumbering demon Kusaregedo with his sickening range to cheap-as-chips Sankuro (who relies almost exclusively on off-screen assistance for his special attacks despite the fact that he has a bloody great hammer), but they're pretty much all terrible. Going back to Sankuro, the worst part of his laziness comes from the fact that one special can hold a foe in place while another allows him to regenerate practically all of his health. Filth. There's plenty of variety among fighters but that's not really the problem with the game - if you want to fork out twenty notes to see how differently 26 misfits can fight, you could do a lot worse than this. And you're a bit odd.

No, a better selection of characters would not help Samurai Shodown V's cause at all because the core engine is just so retardedly broken. The usual hierarchy of normal, special and super moves goes out of the window when a single heavy slash can do upwards of 75 per cent damage and even with the Sword Gauge acting like a stamina bar that affects attack power, you can still do better just using heavy slashes and turtling to recover stamina than you can by playing the game like a proper fighting game. Which, obviously, it isn't.

Samurai Hodown, More Like

Rasetsumaru is an undead Haohmaru. And a sprite from SSIV. Nice.

We'll not bemoan the game's pace as it's never been the world's quickest fighter (and has always worked well for it, in fact) but here are two woefully misjudged words for you. Concentration One. This bizarre new element can be used if you should ever be left with a slither of life and allows you to slow down your foe and strike with an obscenely powerful strike for no reply. Because obviously you're most focused when staring death in the face. Disgusting. Broken. Cheap. There are plenty of words for this feature but these are probably the most suitable.

Combine these fundamental flaws with pitiful AI, gaudy backdrops and sprites (in harsh contrast with the darker feel of the previous games) and muddled gameplay mechanics that try to draw elements from the series' wonderful history and you've got not just a recipe for disaster but a free oven full of the stuff. And it's burning.

Slash and burn

KO. You've spent the last thirty seconds pummelling the life out of your opponent, be it with your fists in more traditional fighters or a sword the size of Wales in Soul Calibur and, apparently, your hapless victim is simply 'knocked out'. It's amazing how many games skirt around the actual lasting effects of such punishment and it's here - if anywhere - that you have to take your hat off to games like Mortal Kombat. Don't worry - it's just this once. Being able to actually finish your opponent brings closure to proceedings so when your foe explodes in a shower of blood, there can be little doubt whether they'll be getting up again.

Samurai Shodown has never been part of the KO Club either (unless you class being slashed in two as being knocked out) but if we were to say that this is among the highlights of the game, you'd probably worry a little, yes? And with due cause. Samurai Shodown V is disgraceful from start to finish.

Before we get onto what's wrong with the game itself, it's probably wise to attack the quality of the port. Aside from implementing online play, it's as though nothing has been done to give any semblance of extended value to the package. A practically naked title screen offers simply Arcade, Versus and Practice modes - the misleading Score option is nothing but the best arcade times, something most games leave to the attract screen but up front here to fill the emptiness of the game's front end. Practice mode is a fair attempt but is all handled from a single menu, which doesn't sound so bad until you weigh it up against a few other factors. The character-select screen is devoid of names, leaving you to pick one of the ugly portraits and - if you find time mid-brawl - glance up at the energy bar and try to remember which Maru or Raru you picked. So when you come to practice, you better be damn sure you know what your character is called or you'll be sitting through a hell of a lot of loading.


  • Training mode?
Setting Samurai Spirits Zero Special (Set 3, Less Censored) to console (AES) mode will let you access its built-in training mode. This does have some slight issues, such as the character's life scaling not applying.
  • Tiers?
While there is no concrete matchup chart available, there are a few different tier lists around and they generally agree. However, tiers in this game are not far apart, largely due to the game's overall high damage, and it's still pretty much anyone's game.Order within a tier is not relevant.
  • Japanese tier list
A: Kusaregedo, Shizumaru, UkyoB: Kyoshiro, Genjuro, Yunfei, Hanzo, Charlotte, KazukiC: Rera, Haohmaru, Galford, Rimururu, Basara, YoshitoraD: Tam Tam, Sogetsu, Mina, Suija, Gaoh, Amakusa, Jubei, RasetsumaruE: Gaira, Enja, Mizuki, Nakoruru, Zankuro
  • mauve's tier list
A: Kusaregedo, Shizumaru, Ukyo, GenjuroB: Charlotte, Haohmaru, Yunfei, Kyoshiro, Yoshitora, HanzoC: Amakusa, Basara, Jubei, Rera, Kazuki, Galford, Rimururu, SuijaD: Enja, Sogetsu, Tam Tam, Zankuro, Gaoh, Gaira, Rasetsumaru, MinaE: Nakoruru, Mizuki
  • Nakoruru sucks?
Nakoruru has very little that is safe and hitconfirmable, making her reliant on mixups which leave her wide open to counterattack, most of which will do more damage to her than she would have done to the opponent.
  • Enja sucks?
While it is true that Enja has high damage and one of the fastest jumps in the game, he has some of the weakest mobility in the game with very short range hitboxes. If you can zone out his jump arc, he has a very difficult time getting in.
  • Isn't Mina really cheap?
Nope. If anything, she's actually a bit underpowered. Whatever you do, don't dash at her. Just walk in. You can react to her ground sliding arrow (2B) with either a crouch block or a hop. Everything else is easy to react to, just block if she flinches at all. Once you're about two character widths away, watch out for her flip move. If she does a jumping attack and you can't catch her in the air, run up and throw her. She has a small recovery period when landing from one where she can block but can't do anything about being thrown.


  • Where did all these numbers come from?
Nearly all the numerical and frame data came from the Japanese frame data site. It was all parsed and made easier to read, particularly for English speaking players.Some of this information is not accurate, particularly about recoil cancel, so if you see any errors go ahead and fix them.
  • What do the data numbers mean?
  • Damage taken: How much more or less damage the character takes. (e.g.: 110% means he takes 1.1x damage.) This has no effect on fixed damage, such as throws and Issens.
  • Rage duration: This is how long the character spends raged.
  • Amount to rage: How many times the character needs to get hit by Haohmaru n.5A in order to rage. An arbitrary gauge, for sure.
  • Walk speed / Backwalk speed / Dash speed: All values are how many pixels are crossed over the course of 256 frames, or 4.267 seconds.
  • Jump duration: The full length of a jump.
  • Width: This is how fat the character is.
  • Throw range: This is how far you can throw beyond your width.
All characters' data are summarized on the Tables page.
  • What does the frame data mean?
Frame data describes the full sequence of animation for an attack.
  • Damage: This is how much damage the attack will do, given no Kenki Gauge modification. (So 12x2 does less damage than 24, because the first hit will reduce your Kenki Gauge.) The unit is the number of pixels removed from the life bar.
  • Startup: States the first frame in which the attack will hit.
  • Active: How many frames the attack can hit for.
  • Total: The full duration of the move, from start to end.
  • Cancel: If the attack has cancelable regions, they are described here, in the form: Start~End(Count), where Start and End are frames, and Count is the number of frames in total it is cancelable for.
  • Recoil cancel: If the attack has a recoil animation when blocked and there are cancel regions, they are described here in the same format as the Cancel field.
  • Hit advantage: How many frames you can move before the opponent after hitting the opponent from the front. +5 means you recover 5 frames before the opponent, -3 means he recovers 3 frames before you.
  • Backhit advantage: Same as hit advantage, except when hitting from behind.
  • Block advantage: Like the other advantages, except when the move is blocked. Since there are recoil animations, this will often be very different from the others.
  • Guard: Whether the attack has to be blocked mid, low, or high.
  • Notes: States miscellaneous move properties, like attack strength or invincibility periods.
  • What's it good for?
Frame data is mostly for tuning your game and understanding how/why things happen. You don't need it to be able to play, but it helps iron out the wrinkles.A simple example is that you can look at the block disadvantage of a move, such as -21, and know that any attack with 21f or faster startup can punish it guaranteed.
  • What's with the move names?
For the most part, they're checked manually and compared with Kao Megura's FAQ, usually matching up for consistency. There's not many disagreements for names, though no translations are given.

Samurai Shodown 5

This is a guide app for Samurai Shodown 5. Samurai Shodown 5 is the eighth game in SNK's Samurai Shodown series of fighting games. Samurai Shodown 5 is a Cross-Buy and Cross-Play game, meaning you can play it both at home on your PS4 and then take it on the road with your Vita. Download this Samurai Shodown 5 guide and you will get all what you need to play Samurai Shodown V.

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