Samurai Riot: Definitive Edition Review – Nintendo Switch

Samurai Riot: Definitive Edition is a new and improved version of the original 2017 2D beat ‘em up game from Hound Picked Games and Wako Factory. Here’s what I thought of the Nintendo Switch version.

If you’ve played Samurai Riot before and just want to know what’s new this Definitive Edition brings new dialog, new animations at 60FPS, slicker and improved combos, newly updated backgrounds and ambiance, and pixel perfect stability and optimization. If you’re like me though and never played Samurai Riot here is the lowdown on it. It’s a 2D side-scrolling beat ‘em up much in the same vain as a Streets of Rage or Final Vendetta. The game is playable solo or in local co-op and a typical playthrough will probably clock in at under two hours. The game has quite a few endings that you can reach through making branching decisions while playing so the replayability factor is here.

Upon starting the game, you can choose from one of four difficulties to play on and then you’ll pick your character. There are two characters you can choose to play as in the game with those being a Kunoichi named Sukane and a skilled samurai named Tsurumaru. Both of them have their own backstory along with their own unique fighting style. Sukane is more of a hand-to-hand fighter but can also attack with her fox companion. Tsurumaru on the other hand uses his sword to slay his foes which is only natural as a samurai. After choosing who you want to be, you’ll then choose one of five schools to align yourself with. Each school has four stats with those being health, strength, agility, and fury and depending on which school you choose some stats will be higher or lower. Frog has more agility while having less fury and health while also letting you double jump. Phoenix has low fury stat but grants you an extra life. As you accumulate points while playing you can unlock more schools giving you more choices in how you want to play.

The gameplay is much like other games in this genre as you’ll move across the screen and fight enemies that approach from in front and behind you. It didn’t take long for me to see though that this game feels a bit off in the gameplay department. Something about how your character moves just feels a bit too slow. The levels also start to feel very repetitive as you mostly always are just moving forward fighting one group of enemies after the next, breaking objects for health, or fighting a boss. At times you will have to make some moral choices and these are what ultimately decide which of the eight endings that you’ll get.

On top of the gameplay not being as enjoyable as I hoped, I also ran into quite a few issues while playing. These include crashes that kicked me out of the game forcing me to have to replay the level I was on as well as not being able to pick up things and enemies glitching into spots where I couldn’t hit them which again forced a restart. Issues that force me to waste time replaying sections that I already beat are what bother me about a game more than anything else and I hope some patches arrive to iron these bugs out.

I personally love a good side-scrolling beat ‘em up game but Samurai Riot: Definitive Edition is just not one of them. While the different schools and branching paths are some cool ideas the actual gameplay and technical issues left me feeling disappointed. There are a lot of other recently released titles in this genre that are just flat out better so you are better off spending your money on those.

Samurai Riot: Definitive Edition is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC. Nintendo Switch version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.

Samurai Riot: Definitive Edition





  • Easy to play beat 'em up with local co-op
  • Comic book art style is appealing


  • Gameplay feels too slow and repetitive
  • Numerous bugs that can cause crashes or enemies and items to get stuck
Written by
Editor/Writer/Reviewer here on I've been playing games for almost 30 years now and play everything from AAA blockbusters to Indie games.

Have your say!

0 0

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.