Samurai Riot Definitive Edition Switch Review – Choices Kinda Matter

samurai riot

Samurai Riot Definite Edition is the go-to version of Samurai Riot, as it contains more content, better mechanics, and more to add to the experience. This is a beat ’em up of sorts that has moral choices throughout that you must make in order to move on, and those choices will dictate the rest of the story. It is an interesting idea for a game, but we have one major question: how is it?

Does Samurai Riot Definitive Edition meet the standards of a solid beat ’em up with meaningful choices? Or does this Definitive Edition fail to truly be definitive? Let’s find out!

samurai riot

The story of Samurai Riot Definitive Edition focuses on a team of two neo-samurai making their way through a Japanese-inspired landscape to save the world. In order to do that, they need to combo attack their way through hordes of anamorphic animals and silly-looking “ex” samurai and make a handful of moral choices that decide the fate of the world around them.

This is a story we have seen time and time again but with an added twist thanks to some of the moral decisions you are required to make along the roughly 2 hour journey. Since the game is not very long, the decisions you do make do not change things so drastically, but they will slightly alter your path and of course change the story based on your decisions.

I would not say that Samurai Riot Definitive Edition does anything incredible with its story, but it definitely passes many of the tests that help make this a passable and enjoyable romp. Since it is a short experience with multiple paths, numerous playthroughs are expected, especially since co-op is offered as well.

samurai riot

As far as gameplay goes, Samurai Riot Definitive Edition is your standard beat ’em up title. You run around a 2.5D plain where you have a little depth as you fight against baddies looking to stop you no matter your moral choices. Enemies are varied, but unfortunately a decent amount of them are slight variations of the same enemy. This changes as you progress, but then you will eventually meet another set of enemies that act similarly with slight differences.

I found the combat to be a bit finicky at times, though, as the controls were not as responsive as I am used to, especially after playing the excellent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. There were times, too, where I found the controls to even be unresponsive, which is not good. Couple this with the enemies spamming attacks from all angles, especially ones with long weapons, and it is not a good time for your character, as they can barely take a hit and love to lay on the ground for a moment for some reason.

Boss fights are pretty fun, though, and they bring a nice challenge to the game. The designs are pretty solid, too, and like many beat ’em ups, bosses pack a solid punch (Or some kind of special ability) that creates different circumstances from normal gameplay, but they do have rhythms that are relatively easy to figure out. Also, your playable characters have special abilities as well that are best reserved for tight situations but especially boss fights, as they deal some serious damage and provide you with some invulnerability while performing.

samurai riot

The co-op is some decent fun and definitely enhances the experience, but overall, this is a pretty bland beat ’em up that does not mix things up over the course of its campaign. It does entertain well over its 2-hour run and has reasons for replay thanks to its hard choices, but there are honestly better beat ’em ups available on the Switch. Thankfully, though, Samurai Riot Definitive Edition is an incredibly affordable title, which helps a lot with some of the minor issues.

Graphically, the game is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, the designs of the characters and some of the random artwork looks really nice, including the various settings that the stages take place. However, on the other hand, the flash-like style of animation looks a little strange at times, especially when the background is a significantly different art style. It is not necessarily bad, but it just looks weird.

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As for the music and sound, Samurai Riot Definitive Edition is great! The soundtrack throughout is exciting and fits right in with the action on screen, and the sound effects do a solid job of giving off the impression that people are punching, kicking, blocking, and more as the game goes on. Seriously, though, the music is just incredible, as it blends traditional Japanese music with some more modern EDM, and surprisingly it works great!

samurai riot

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition is a decent beat ’em up for a very good price. Although its campaign is on the shorter side, the different playable characters, the couch co-op, and the moral decisions make for exciting replays if you so desire.

And sure, it is a little on the bland side as far as beat ’em ups go, and it does have some control problems here and there, but this is still a fun game that will not break the bank at all. If you are looking for some entertaining beat ’em ups to play with friends, Samurai Riot Definitive Edition is definitely a decent option.

Samurai Riot Definitive Edition Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: WAKO Factory
Release Date: June 1st, 2022
Price: $9.90, £8.89, €9,90
Game Size: 1.3 GB

samurai riot

Good story with moral choices to encourage replay

Excellent soundtrack

Fun boss fights

Affordable price


Controls can be finicky at times

Very short experience

On the blander side of beat 'em ups

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