Samurai Shodown and its cousin King of Fighters were SNK's answer to Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat in the 90s. Basically a copy cat of Street Fighter II, Samurai Shodown had bright sprites and swordplay, and even had animals that helped you out. Fast forward to 2010 and Street Fighter is still one of the top franchises in the fighting game genre. SNK’s solution to Street Fighter IV is Samurai Shodown: Sen, their own 3D styled title.
SNK Playmore should have listened to the complaints on the poorly made King of Fighters XII and tried to make Samurai Shodown: Sen better. Instead you get a generic 2D fighter with 3D elements with probably some of the worst detailed characters out of any of the modern fighters. The 3D play field isn’t one that you can openly travel about like in for example, Soul Calibur. It's more of a static plane that if you get hit a certain way the field rotates to match it. The character animations are not all bad though, as some of the heavy slash moves finish off a player with severed arms and in some cases a severed torso, sure to put a smile on your face at first. But when you end up doing the move on 20 different characters and the animation is the exact same thing each time, the gratification for winning slowly fades away.
The gameplay itself is the weakest part aside from the lack of detail in the graphics. Flat out, it’s a boring affair. There are the typical Story, VS, Survival modes that most games currently have. Story mode travels through eight battles per character you choose, for a total of 192 if you decide the game is so amazing that you need to play through with every single character. The first couple of fights are against random characters specific to the story of the fighter you choose. The last three battles are always against the same people, with the same tactics as well. There are difficulty settings from Beginner to Hard, though Hard is actually not so tough as the AI is so poor that you can trick them and heavy slash all day long.