That’s right. Afro Samurai. It is awesome.
I went into the game with high expectations. I mean seriously, it’s got Samurais, it’s got afros, it’s got Samuel L. Jackson. As much as I wanted to temper my expectations in case the game didn’t live up to the sum of its parts, I just couldn’t help but be giddy with the prospect of playing as an Afro Samurai.
When the review first came out, they were tepid. Issues with controls, bad platforming, difficult bosses… I’ve come to one conclusion. Video game reviews aren’t very good at video games.
I’ve lived through ps1 days of bad cameras, lousy 3d platforming, and all that historical trial and error that has given us modern playable 3d games. I just learn to live with it. It’s not worth it to beÂ frustraited by a gameÂ that is as short as Afro Samurai. Sure, I would say that redoing the same platforming section isn’t fun (I didn’t need to redo the section repeatedly because I was able to kill the boss pretty easily) but to forgo the entire experience because of it isn’t really good advice. I mean seriously, the new Prince of Persia requires you to redo whole platforming parts of the game, even if you don’t die the first time around.
It has Samuel L Jackson doing the voice of Ninja Ninja, your guide and sidekickÂ throughout the game. He is his usual jovial self which gives the game great dialogue that doesn’t exist in games such as Prince of Persia. Another game to compare it to is Naruto, another anime turned video game. I would say that Naruto didn’t make the transition as gracefully because there is way too much material for Naruto to cover. Afro Samurai was able to have a semblance of a story and be enjoyable whenever there is a cutscene with SLJ talking.
There are some issues with the game, such as the already mentioned camera and platforming. It also has an xp system that doesn’t really seem to do anything. You gain levels, but since it doesn’t tell you what your current level is, it’s pretty worthless. The odds are that they wanted to put more stuff into it, but either ran out of time or had balance issues that required them to take it out. In the end though, it doesn’t really make a difference. The camera is bad, but most of the fights are easy enough that it honestly doesn’t matter. And the bad platforming? It’s just one section. I am not really a fan of platforming, good or bad, so I just look at it as a section that I have to go through to chop more people in half.
All in all, I will say that I have been entertained more by Afro Samurai than any other game in recent memory, such as Force Unleashed, new Prince of Persia, or Naruto. The scrub fights didn’t get old for me, and I never got tired of watching Afro slice through the bands of of varied hat people. The story was put together well enough, even though I’m sure I’m missing fine details. But really, the dialogue is what really makes the game for me. This game would probably be relegated to be like any other action/platformer if it weren’t for the fact that it has the witty banter of Samuel L. Jackson.