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The perfect showdown

Osaka-based game company SNK is famous for its fighting games, populated with cool-looking characters who unleash a flurry of punches and kicks. Samurai Shodown (known as Samurai Spirits in Japan) follows in the tradition of great SNK fighting games, but with a twist. The characters aren’t brawlers: Instead, they’re katana-equipped samurai, and the games are set during the Edo Period (1603-1868).

The first Samurai Shodown was released in Japanese arcades back in 1993. It was also released on SNK’s Neo Geo home console system, which was the most advanced video game console available at the time. The new Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection contains all six original Samurai Shodown games, so if you’ve never played them before, here’s your chance to get up to speed. Each game has an English-language online battle mode, and the collection is filled with bonus digital art, interviews, music and history about the franchise.

The collection also includes the never-before-released Samurai Shodown V Perfect, a rebalanced version of Samurai Shodown V Special with a brand-new story and ending. Thought to have been lost, Samurai Shodown V Perfect was supposed to be the final Neo Geo title, and its addition to this collection makes this release quite special, no, perfect.

Priced at ¥4,980 (after tax), Samurai Shodown Neo Geo Collection was released June 12 on the Epic Games Store and June 19 on Steam. It will be out on the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch on July 30.

bit.ly/shodowncollection-jp (Japanese), bit.ly/shodowncollection-en (English)

 | ©SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT LLC.
| ©SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT LLC.

Fallen samurai

Thirteenth-century Japan comes to life in the Ghost of Tsushima. Set in 1274, the game tells the story of Jin Sakai, a samurai on the island of Tsushima during the first Mongol invasion of Japan.

The game is a stealth title, and Jin must sneak around the lush open-world island, battling foes with his blade and other weapons as he abandons the samurai tradition and learns a new style of close-quarters combat called “the way of the ghost.”

Initially, Washington-based developers Sucker Punch Productions thought about using real, historical figures, but decided that doing so could cause offense in Japan, and instead created fictional heroes influenced by iconic Japanese samurai films. The developers, however, did make the in-game landscape, as well as its flora and fauna, incredibly realistic, bringing the island of Tsushima to life in a stylized and stunning way.

Priced at ¥7,590 (after tax), the Ghost of Tsushima will be released on July 17 on the PS4. It also holds a CERO-Z rating in Japan, and is only available to those 18 and older.

bit.ly/ghostoftsushima-jp (Japanese), bit.ly/ghostoftsushima-en (English)

 | © 2020 MARVEL
| © 2020 MARVEL

I am Iron Man

One of Marvel’s most successful superheroes, Iron Man, is getting his own virtual reality game for PS4. Dubbed Marvel’s Iron Man VR, it puts players right inside the Iron Man suit, letting them fly and blast their way through the game, thanks to the PlayStation VR headset, PlayStation Move motion controllers and the PlayStation Camera.

Iron Man VR is being developed by Camouflaj, a Washington-based game studio founded in 2011 by game producer Ryan Payton. Previously, Payton got his start in Japan, working at Konami for Hideo Kojima, earning producer credits on Metal Gear Solid 4 before leaving to work on Halo 4. Camouflaj went on to raise $555,000 (about ¥59 million) on Kickstarter for its debut title, Republique. Development on Iron Man VR began in fall 2017, and is Camouflaj’s biggest title to date.

Priced at ¥5,390 (after tax), Marvel’s Iron Man VR will be released on the PS4 on July 3.

bit.ly/ironmanvr-jp (Japanese), bit.ly/ironmanvr-en (English)

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