Samurai Shodown is finally back. The newest entry in the classic fighting game franchise is a brilliant return to form with intense game play, striking visuals, and a price point of $0 for legitimate gaming news outlets such as this one.

When it comes to fighting games, responsiveness is everything. So the developers worked hard to reduce the game’s input lag from 8 frames to 4, and the game feels great because of it. What’s even more impressive is that they were also able to reduce the price and release date down to $0 and several days ago for the review copy, which was sent to us and probably not you.

The visuals are gorgeous and a definitive step up from SNK’s other modern fighting games like The King of Fighters XIV. Everything from the vibrant backgrounds to the stylish supers are an absolute treat to behold. The game looks awesome in person, and it’s only been made better by the fact that we didn’t pay a single cent for it.

Ultimately, a fighting game is nothing without a varied roster of interesting playable characters and this game delivers just that. In the launch roster you’ll find longtime favorites like Haohmaru and Nakoruru, as well as several newcomers. In addition to this, SNK has announced that the entire first season of DLC characters will be free simply by pre-ordering the game. Taking things even further, the entire game is free if you run a respected and completely serious gaming news site.

Have you ever wondered why the average review score is a 7/10 and not 5/10? It’s because getting shit for free automatically makes it 2 points better. Fortunately for Samurai Shodown, this still holds true.

Samurai Shodown is an impressively satisfying gaming experience with its responsive technical game play, remarkable visual style, fantastic roster, and unbeatable price. But what really makes the experience incredible is the fact that we’re playing it early, and you aren’t.

Final score for Samurai Shodown: 12/10