A few years back, a feudal Japan-themed beat 'em up called Samurai Riot from indie developer Wako Factory debuted on Steam. The game has now launched on Switch, and the Steam version has been retitled as Samurai Riot Definitive Edition. A story-heavy co-op beat 'em up, this game follows a pair of samurai as they choose whether to support a rebellion against their cruel master or put it down for good.
Samurai Riot features:
A Unique Cooperative System
- The co-op system evaluates and rewards you based on how well you are working together.
- Coordinate your attacks with your partner and fill up the central gauge to unleash the most powerful attack in Samurai Riot: The Co-op Special Move!
8 different endings
- Difficult moral choices: would you rather burn an entire village to the ground or maintain your conscience at risk of losing the war? Any decision you make will greatly impact your story.
- Follow the same path as a team or disagree and battle it out in a PvP fight!
Strong replay value
- Branching Storyline: explore multiple playthroughs to unlock the whole story of Samurai Riot!
- Fighting Schools: the more you play, the more fighting schools you can unlock. Each new school unlocks new gameplay options and greater specialization.
Fight with style
- Characters: discover two strong and highly skilled heroes that offer unique gameplay and deadly attacks, plus a bunch of vicious enemies to fight against.
- Controls: staying true to arcade games history, we created very intuitive controls, enjoyable with any controller or joystick. We want the gameplay to be completely flexible, suitable for any player.
- On Your Marks, Get Set, Go! Find all the tools you need for a perfect speed-run, including time ranking and score ranking.
If co-op players disagree on a story decision, they'll have to fight each other to determine which action to take.
After a quick playthrough of the first level, the strengths that I observed in Samurai Riot include the two wildly different characters, the unlockable "fighting schools" that allow a degree of character customization, the branching story paths, smooth controls and combos, and beautiful backgrounds. Weaknesses include the character art, lack of enemy variety, and repetitive music. Overall, it seems to be a fairly robust and enjoyable beat 'em up for the money.
As for Steam-specific impressions, we can confirm that Samurai Riot is Steam Deck-compatible. When playing on my regular, beefier machine, I noticed some screen tearing problems resulting from a lack of Vsync. Perhaps that feature can be added in a future update, but it's worrisome for such an issue to persist after 5 years of release.
Samurai Riot supports 2-player local co-op. The game sells for $9.90 on Switch and $11.99 on Steam. The Switch version should really be titled Samurai Riot Definitive Edition as well; that would make life simpler for everybody.
A Steam review copy was provided by the publisher.