Samurai Spirits 2: Asura Zanmaden

Original Title
SAMURAI SPIRITS 2
アスラ斬魔伝
Format
Hyper Neo Geo 64
Genre
Fighting
Developer
SNK
Official Website
Here
 
The Hyper Neo Geo 64 came out in 1997 and was SNKs attempt at entering the 3D arcade game market. It would appear to have been a commercial failure, as only seven games were ever produced for the hardware even though there were three board variations (fighting, driving, and shooting). Asura Zanmaden saw release in 1998, and is a direct sequel to the very first Hyper Neo Geo 64 game Samurai Spirits.
 
Thirteen characters are selectable, each with the expected shura/rasetsu (AKA: slash/bust or chivalry/treachery) styles. Out of those thirteen only two are new – Asura and Taizan. Asura takes the central role in the story and shows up as both a playable character and a midboss. Asura and Taizan later made the jump to 2D in Samurai Spirits! 2 on the Neo Geo Pocket Colour (essentially a NGPC remake of Asura Zanmaden), with Asura also going on to appear in Neo Geo Battle Colisseum. Although the US release of Asura Zanmaden is titled "Warriors Rage", it is not the same as the Playstation game "Samurai Spirits: Warriors Rage" – that's actually the sequel.
 
In a departure from the first HNG64 Samurai Spirits this game uses infinite flat stages with no boundaries or ring outs and introduces a new "SCS" system of pre-set combos (in addition to regular combos) that are performed with AAA, BBB or AABBCCABC. The ability to freely run around your opponent was however removed and replaced with a sidestep (on D).
 
Despite the limited availability of the game itself it still created some significant merchandise – a two episode OVA, a drama CD and three soundtrack CDs all tie in with this one game.
 
An important word about the screenshots below – Hyper Neo Geo 64 emulation is still extremely basic and has a lot of flaws. However I feel that these shots do a reasonable job of representing the real thing and are still a better alternative than me taking photos of my TV. The Youtube video has been captured from actual hardware, so whatever discrepancies you spot between the screenshots and the video – go with the video :)
 
Packaging
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Screenshots
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