In Samurai Shodown II players take on one of the roles of fifteen warriors, fighting their way through the land to defeat Rashojin Mizuki, who was thrown into the sea when she was a little girl and since then became a servant of the dark god Ambrosia.
This sequel to Samurai Shodown introduces five new playable characters: the warrior and Haohmaru's rival Genjuro Kibagami, the cat-like Cham-Cham (Tam-Tam's sister), the Prussian gun-wielding knight Neinhalt Sieger, the old monk Nicotine Caffeine, and the hidden boss and unlockable character Kuroko.
The game features special moves accessible by charging up a power meter, as well as other gameplay-related additions. Characters can now roll forward and backward, perform small jumps to evade low attacks, and duck to avoid high ones. There is also a parrying move that leaves the opponent vulnerable for a moment if executed at the right time.