The Samurai Collection (Switch)

Qubyte Interactive has been on a roll as of late porting cult classic 16-bit titles from the past, after a recent Direct they announced and released in quick succession, The Samurai Collection, not familiar? Let me take you down memory lane then!

The Samurai Collection complies the SNES release of The First Samurai and the Mega Drive/Genesis release of Second Samurai, it’s worth getting that out straight away as the Amiga versions of both have a good few differences, especially Second Samurai which is a totally different beast on the Mega Drive. 

The First Samurai.

The First Samurai tells the tale of our titular Samurai trying to avenge his master who has been stuck down by the Demon King, to do this he must Punch, Kick and Slash his way through time dispelling the King’s evil grip. 

The First Samurai is to put it frankly a very “Euro” looking platformer due to its origins on the Amiga, you know the kind with its chunky graphics, random collectibles, and water droplets of death. 

One of the first things that get you with this title is the audio as the Samurai shouts “MY SWORD” followed by an angelic choir of “Hallelujah” whenever you find a treasure chest, it’s bizarre but god does it have charm. 

The time-traveling aspect means the level of diversity is fantastic, level one is the countryside whereas 2 is set on a futuristic train in space! The game has five levels and should you be skillful enough, it runs you around an hour or so. 

This is quite an old-school romp and involves you getting hit by everything, dying a fair bit, and collecting items to unlock the boss at the end of the level, fortunately, they are never really that hidden away. 

You get a throwable sub-weapon, a bell that summons a god to help you progress certain areas like a fire path, and another item that transports you to your last checkpoint. 

While you’re given your sword at the start of a stage, enough damage causes it to disappear and you have to build enough “spirit” by killing enemies to bring it back, your spirit meter is also used to activate checkpoints meaning it’s a dangerous dance to balance.

The First Samurai is a game I have a lot of nostalgia for with its quirky Amiga charm and just the overall concept of it is so out there for its time you can’t help but love it.

The Second Samurai

The Second Samurai saw two different versions, there was an Amiga version which is closer to The First Samurai whereas the version in this package is the Mega Drive version which was designed from the ground up for the console rather than altering and porting the Amiga version. 

The Second Samurai as the name applies includes another Samurai for multiplayer action, player 1 plays as the original samurai whereas player 2 controls a female samurai. The game once again features time-traveling to defeat the Demon King.

You start in the prehistoric era fighting apes and cavemen while riding a dinosaur which is quite the contrast compared to the original which started you in a more familiar setting. As soon as you hit your first enemy you realize this game is a different beast from the original, while still needing to find items (In this one it’s Soul Pots) the game has a lot more in common with the run and gun genre. 

Enemies consistently flood the screen in droves and explode when defeated in a fashion that would even make Konami blush!, the game has a tonne of set pieces including riding and exploding volcano and the levels follow a theme a little longer than The First Samurai which traveled time each stage, here you follow the era for a few stages. 

The Second Samurai is a much more action-packed and loud title and is exactly what you would think of when you think of a Mega Drive title, while it doesn’t quite have the charm of The First Samurai it’s still a fantastic game and an absolute riot in multiplayer. 

Overall Package.

The Samurai Collection runs on the same engine as the other QuByte ports I have covered such as Jim Power and Zero Tolerance so you should know what to expect here. Save states, button remapping, and the usual display tweaks, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and the QuByte engine for these titles does a fine job of putting classic titles onto the Nintendo Switch.

I was so shocked to see these classic titles from my younger days available on the Nintendo Switch and they still stand up today as really fun and unique titles, a great pick-up for retro enthusiasts or just someone wanting a quick blast on something deliciously 90s with a nice challenge and a fun multiplayer on The Second Samurai. 



A fantastic and niche package but sadly doesn’t contain all the versions

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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.

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