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Samurai Shodown: Sen, known as Samurai Spirits: Flash (サムライスピリッツ閃 Samurai Supirittsu Sen ) in Japan, is the fourth 3D game in SNK's popular Samurai Shodown series of fighting games and the eleventh overall title in the series. It is the first game in the series to be rated Mature. The main artist for the Samurai Shodown 64 series and Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage, Senri Kita, returns for official illustrations.
The game was first announced in development to the public at the All Nippon Amusement Machine Operator's Union (AOU) 2006 event where it was given a tentative release date of sometime by the end of 2007. However, at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, the date was pushed back, but was mentioned to be nearly ready for future release in Japanese arcades. Since late October 2007, the game has been undergoing severe beta testing around arcades in Japan. On December 13, 2007, the official website to the game was created, along with a bulletin of four locations sites which are in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, and Chiba. Testing began on December 20 and ended on December 24. The official site also confirms an eventual release in 2008. The first overseas testing location took place in Hong Kong during December 20~21. Along with this announcement came the game's international title. Aoi Nanase, character designer to the series' first OVA, has reported in her personal blog that the official staff intend to take a great departure from the Makai and are going for a sengoku-jidai effect.
On February 9, 2008 the third location testing ad was listed on the Japanese official site at four different locations. Testing begins February 14 and ends on February 19. The ad also says that this is meant to be the final round of testing. Also at this time, a tentative release date listed as "Spring 2008" (later to the release date) in Japanese arcades is scheduled on the Hong Kong SNK Playmore site.
As of December 2007, there is little other news of an international release. However, on March 3, 2008 an English location test was announced for the US. The testing is to be a one day event starting from noon until 6:00 on March 8. Director of SNK Playmore USA's Marketing Department, Mark Rudolph, says eventual home release is anticipated to be made on current next gen consoles. Similar beta testing was also made in Mexico on March 14.
There is also no news yet when the game takes place in the series' storyline.
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Nearly half of the cast revealed during beta testing are new comers to the series. Characters Killian and Rimururu were revealed to players during the second phase of beta testing in December. On January 17, 2008, two characters were listed on the Japanese official site. Each character has their own stats sheet, sample moveset, and backstory. Since then, the site continued to update in the same fashion on a weekly basis. In the All Nippon Amusement Machine Operator's Union (AOU) 2008 event, a new fighter Claude and Yagyu Jubei were revealed.
Some characters are homages to traditional swordplay (a Korean spear fighter Kim and elderly spear-wielding samurai Jinbei) while other characters take contemporary and artistic liberties (J, an afro samurai and Gallows, an axe wielding Viking). Confirmed characters from previous game titles are:
GameZone's Dakota Grabowski gave the game a 4.5 out of 10, saying "After hours upon hours of competitive gameplay, Samurai Shodown: Sen didn’t serve enough entertainment value to satisfy my tastes. It’s a shame since the series has long been one of the more popular franchises among hardcore fighting fans."
Xbox Evolved's Michael Ogunnubi gave the game a 7.5 out of 10, saying "Overall, it's not world class material, but it's decent, and I truly found Samurai Shodown Sen to be pretty fun. It's not like previous iterations as the gameplay is watered down for attempts to change it with brutality, which I thought actually worked to some extent. If you go into it, not expecting typical Samurai Shodown, you'll enjoy it." 
Gaming Evolution's Matthew Prunty gave the game a 6.5 out of 10, saying "Samurai Shodown Sen, though different from what I was expecting, was still a fun and entertaining fighter to have within my 360 library. Though the game could have benefited from some extra time being polished, those who are fans of the fighting genre can’t help but experience this title, even if it’s only a rental." 
PixlBit gave Samurai Shodown Sen a 1.5/5 and stated that this is a "very poor fighting game that lacks balance and accessibility which will make it unenjoyable both for fighting game veterans and newcomers." The review recommended to purchase the Samurai Shodown Wii compilation or XBLA arcade re-releases for gamers that are interested in the series.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Samurai Shodown Sen Secures European Release. GamingUnion.net. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
- ↑ Spencer (August 5, 2009). Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny Unsheathed In November. Siliconera.com. Retrieved on 2009-08-05.
- ↑ Niizumi, Hirohiko. TGS 06: King of Fighters to get face-lift. Gamespot. Retrieved on March 3, 2008.
- ↑ 「第44回アミューズメントマシンショー」ブースレポート ～タイトー編～ (Japanese). Impress Watch. Retrieved on March 1, 2008.
- ↑ Gamespy. Samurai Shodown Hirameku. GameSpy.com. Retrieved on March 3, 2008.
- ↑ Kollar, Philip. Tokyo Game Show 2007: Samurai Shodown 2 to XBLA, Wii: SNK reveals a bunch of new goodies including arcade stuff in Tokyo. 1up.com. Retrieved on February 19, 2008.
- ↑ Hyperneogeo64. Samurai Spirits Sen Beta Testing (Portuguese). Pao Pao Cafe. Retrieved on December 31, 2007.
- ↑ SNK Playmore. Samurai Spirits Sen Official Website (Japanese). SNK Playmore Official Homepage. Retrieved on December 15, 2007.
- ↑ SNK Playmore. SNK Playmore's News Page. SNK Playmore Official Hong Kong Homepage. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007 Retrieved on January 18, 2008.
- ↑ SNK Playmore. Samurai Spirits Sen Official Website. SNK Playmore Official Hong Kong Homepage. Retrieved on December 27, 2007.
- ↑ Aoi Nanase. Aoi Nanase Nanalog (Japanese). Seventh Heaven. Retrieved on January 4, 2008.
- ↑ SNK Playmore. SNK Playmore's News Page. SNK Playmore Official Hong Kong Homepage. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007 Retrieved on March 3, 2008.
- ↑ Brad Shoemaker (interviewer), Mark Rudolph (SNK Playmore Director of Marketing). (2000-02-20) (mp4, mpeg). GDC 08 SNK Playmore Video Report. GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/video/935692/6186451/gdc-08-snk-playmore-video-report. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- ↑ Hyperneogeo64. Lista de comandos de Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny (Portuguese). Pao Pao Cafe. Retrieved on December 31, 2007.
- ↑ Niizumi, Hirohiko. Fighting games rough up Japanese arcade conference. Gamespot. Retrieved on February 19, 2008.
- ↑ http://xbox360.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r39844.htm
- ↑ http://xboxevolved.e-mpire.com/article/Samurai_Shodown_Sen/6160.html
- ↑ http://gamingevolution.info/?id=9900
- ↑ Nick DiMola (May 7, 2010). PixlBit - Samurai Shodown Sen (Xbox 360) Review..
- Official Website at SNK-Playmore (Japanese)
- Official Website at SNK-Playmore Hong Kong (English)
- Beta testing footage at MashHarder.com
- Review at 2D-X.com