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If you've got a Netflix account, you've got to try this under-rated gaming gem

Samurai Showdown didn't get a lot of love at first, but now it has another lease on life.

Netflix has slowly grown into a decent platform for games, to be honest. In my mind, it's still the app I slap on when I want to throw anywhere between 30 minutes and five hours away, mindlessly binging TV. But don't be fooled! One of the best retro fighters in years is available to play for any Netflix fan out there with a taste for life-or-death action.

I'm of course speaking about Samurai Showdown. This 2019 SNK fighter rebooted the legendary IP for modern fans, bringing back the ridiculously high damage and iconic characters that a certain subset of nerdy 30-something-year-olds used to go on and on about. Thanks to the reboot, nerdy twenty-somethings now find themselves in the same boat. For good reasons I promise!

Samurai Showdown is distinct among other fighting games out there - so much so that it has inspired multiple indie games that pay homage to the one-hit-kills and gory presentation that made the series famous. There's a special tension to Samurai Showdown. One strike can kill you, so you've got to play carefully and tactically if you want a chance of winning. Forget button mashing buddy, if you try that round here, you'll be dead in no time.

Speaking of no time, Samurai Showdown is the perfect game for those with a small window for R&R. A Netflix show can take a while, but a game or two of Samurai Showdown can be wrapped up in a few minutes easily. Moreso than other fighting games even! Samurai Showdown promises a high-intensity gaming session without eating into the rest of your day.

The reboot adds plenty to the series' tried-and-true formula. For one it's got a gorgeous new coat of paint. Some - including myself - will always have a place in their hearts for the old school 2D pixel art, but SNK honestly managed to capture the original style in a lush looking 3D engine. The result? A retro fighter with a modern feel.

There's a sad story to this game that Netflix might fix. Back when it launched, the game was created with in-person play in mind. Tournaments would bring in the crowds, with those keen on playing with their friends in-person would be the core player base. Unfortunately, this didn't happen thanks to COVID. The game came out, had its few months in the sun, then fell into the background thanks to lockdowns and subpar netcode.

Now though, it has another lease on life. Not only are netcode improvements set to come in the coming months, but we're all now able to meet up and play again. The game does work fine for those with good internet connections mind you - but it really shines when you've got mates sitting next to you.

So give it a go! Invite some pals over, slap on a show like The Witcher, then bust out Samurai Showdown for a few rounds. Forget Netflix and Chill, how about you Netflix and kill (in a video game).

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