Samurai Riot Definitive Edition Review

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition Header

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition has quite a few things going for it on paper. A side scrolling brawler set in a post apocalyptic world where society has reforged and both samurai and clans have risen once more. It almost feels like the setting was inspired by the now cancelled show Into The Badlands, albeit with fewer bombastic characters. Samurai Riot could have been a really fun game but, at least on Switch, there are a number of technical issues that detract from the experience.

In Samurai Riot you can take control of two characters, Sukane or Tsurumaru, who each have their own styles. Sukane uses her fists and feet to deal damage along with her spirit fox, while Tsurumaru is the more traditionalist Samurai using his sword to cut down enemies. Both have a couple of special abilities like speed combos and bombs.

There are different enemy types that have various styles to counteract, including those armed with spears, guns, and giant shields. The enemies will come in groups towards you, so you will have to be ready to take on all-comers from all sides at times. The combat itself is fine, though does not feel as smooth as it could be. Personally, I preferred using Sukane over Tsurumaru – maybe it was having the spirit fox?

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition Combat

As you progress through the story you will be met with choices that will lead to one of eight endings. It could include switching sides in the story, but even if you do the enemy models remain the same.

While the game could be fun, there are a number of issues that I came across while playing on Switch. One of the worst was when I ran out of lives and pressed the continue button. Instead of taking me back to the level, Samurai Riot crashed back to the Switch home screen, losing my progress in the process. I thought it would be a one off, but when I hit a continue screen again the exact same issue happened. Then there were enemies getting stuck on the scenery and becoming impossible to hit, blocking progress, and enemies getting similarly stuck off screen – I only made progress here because I was able to use a special attack to get them. Another issue was more to do with the level environment of Sky City. There were a few moments where I would hit enemies off what looked like ledges, only to see enemies laying on the “air”, getting up and coming back to fight again.

It is a shame that Samurai Riot Definitive Edition has such numerous technical issues, because they impact what would be a decent side scrolling brawler. Without the issues, the game would be a decent thing to play. One run through the game takes approximately two hours, but in its current state Samurai Riot is just frustrating.

  • Good looking artwork
  • Decent side-scrolling combat
  • Game crashes on continues, wiping all progress
  • Enemies getting stuck in the environment
  • Environment issues
Written by
From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.