Afro Samurai

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Afro Samurai (2009)
Publisher: Surge
Console: Xbox 360
Rated:  M

(*The Junkman lies on a hospital bed*). {Cough} {Cough}  I’m feeling a little under the weather today, so I managed to get a {Cough} replacement:  Not Mikey, but Samuel L. Jackson!!!!  What?  I can have famous friends.  Take it away, Sam.  His friends call him Sam, you know.

{Expletive deleted}!  I’m Sam {expletive deleted} Jackson!  Why the hell do I need to do a review of Afro Samurai, Junkman?  I recorded my voice for the game?  And I have an obligation to the fans?  Ah, hell.  Here goes:

I play a character named Ninja Ninja and I guide Afro through a cell-shaded world of ninjas, samurais, and more ninjas (this time topless).  The title is brimming with amazing, authentic style that fans of the anime series (which I also participated in) will surely appreciate, and even newcomers will find hard to resist.  Like a Royale with cheese, though, Afro Samurai tastes good going down but will leave you with a bad aftertaste.

First of all, let me just say first that I do play video games.  Why?  Because I’m Sam {expletive deleted} Jackson!  And I loved experiencing this game, allowing my senses to be stung by its stylized visuals, hip-hop inspired soundtrack (RZA!  Wu-Tang Clan!), and overall attitude. And on more than one occasion, its blood-letting battles had me recalling the choreographed chaos of my buddy Quentin’s Kill Bill films. The combat is primarily fast and fun hack-and-slash button mashing. There are plenty of advanced moves and combos to be learned, however, you’ll be able to best most enemies with the standard light, heavy and kick attacks. You can also gain the upper hand in focus mode, where the action slows, the visuals go black and white (there’s that slick style again) and Afro can unleash some insta-kill moves. Additionally, “over focus” allows Afro similar room-clearing abilities, but without having to keep attack buttons pressed to build up power. These slo-mo modes pack an amazingly addictive punch because they simultaneously allow you to be more precise with the combat and also savor the gore in all its over-the-top glory.

The camera, although controllable, does need to be baby-sat a bit too much. And the game’s penchant for breaking the action into comic book-like panels, though very easy on the eyes, can disorient a bit during especially chaotic battles. Afro also stumbles a bit in the platforming department; Afro has some fancy jumps and wall-runs in his acrobatic repertoire, but he’s no Persian prince; these sometimes frustrating moments generally don’t detract from the fun, but they’re a far cry from the fast and furious combat. Thankfully, most of your time is spent chopping bad guys into pulpy chunks and painting the world in their blood—and man, do these {expletive deleted} bleed.

I have to tell you to buy this game (it’s in my contract).  But I won’t feel bad about it.  You know why?  Because I’m Sam {expletive deleted} Jackson.

Kevin Blanton
About Kevin Blanton (0 Articles)
Kevin never worked in a junkyard. He enjoys comic books and video games. His favorite video game right now is Grand Theft Auto Five, but he can’t figure out how to blow up the meth lab. Kevin used to read a lot of books growing up. His favorite was probably Crime and Punishment. He went through an odd phase when he thought he was Raskolnikov. Kevin is a writer for two reasons: one, a love for the written word, and two, to get all the women.

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