As a company known for its 2D devotion, SNK nonetheless has a long-running and unfortunately mediocre fascination with polygons. Although games like The King of Fighters XII and Metal Slug 7 help support the relevance of sprites in the age of gigahertz processors, 2D-to-3D revamps like Metal Slug 3D and, cough, Maximum Impact have been underwhelming to say the least.
But it's important to remember that even Capcom shovelled out Street Fighter EX and Final Fight Revenge before crafting the masterful Street Fighter IV. And so with Samurai Shodown Sen - a new 3D revamp that's based on one of SNK's most fondly remembered 2D fighting series - it's best to look at the package objectively, rather than recoiling in nostalgic revulsion purely on principle. Because whichever way you look at it, Samurai Shodown VII this certainly isn't.
Booting up the select screen for the first time shows a healthy smattering of classic characters, including wandering swordsman Haohmaru and French fencer Charlotte. But their inclusion is merely homage as, mechanically, Samurai Shodown Sen shares more with Soul Calibur than any of its 2D forbears. Indeed, those expecting flashy projectiles and an abundance of half-circle specials will be in for a shock, as Sen has forgone the traditional fireworks in favour of juggles and three-hit combo strings.