My first thought when downloading Samurai Shodown, the soft-reboot of the mostly-2D fighting series on Switch, was "I had to delete Skullgirlsto make room for this?" The game comes in at about 10GB, which is larger than I would have assumed, and parting with games I prefer in order to fit it on my dashboard hurt a little bit. I'm not normally that harsh, even in my own internal monologue, so I had to guess something else was making me crabby.
My guess is that on some level, I just wasn't ready to make room for another fighting game in my already crowded library. It's bloodier than Street Fighter, but not more bloody than Mortal Kombat. It's a 2D weapon-based fighter, but so is Blade Strangers, BlazBlue, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]. In 2020, it's hard to see exactly what a thoroughly double-A, chunky-poly fighting game series like Samurai Shodown can hope do better than its competition.
After putting ten-or-so hours into online multiplayer and then running through singleplayer with a few characters, I'm confident that I know the answer to that question. This new Samurai Shodown packs a wallop. In some ways, it reminds me Bushido Blade, the classic "One-Hit Kill" PS1 arena fighter from Square, than it does Smash or Street Fighter. A lot of enemies can take a quarter of your health with one hit from their heavy attack. As soon as a new round starts, every breath could be your last. I love that.