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Not being very familiar with the source material, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. But that only made it all the more satisfying when its ambitious style and ass-kicking combat hit me over the head like a bag of plush teddy bears (Afro fans will get that.) I’m also a huge supporter of games not afraid to offer only a dedicated single-player campaign. I’m guessing one of the reasons Afro’s presentation is so polished is because its developers weren’t pressured into tacking on an undercooked multi-player mode. If you enjoy wicked style and simple, yet satisfying combat, mature content that’s more than a script full of unnecessary F-bombs, and more gore than you’ll see in all five Saw films combined, then Afro deserves a spot in your game library. Just prepare to be insulted a lot by the voice of Sam Jackson.
I really enjoyed playing through the game and Leveling up Afro to learn his new skills and unleash the fury on my enemies, but sometimes found myself getting frustrated with the camera when having to wall run and crisscross jump and occasionally in a fight. The music laid down from The RZA definitely helps to get you psyched up when working your swordsmanship. Overall it was fun to play through and looking forward to facing the more difficult foes on hard adding that much more of a challenge to the second go round. AFRO!!!!!
What will determine how much Afro Samurai is a purchase or rental for you will depend on your love for anime, Samuel L. Jackson, or old school beat’em ups with enough punch that it refrains from being monotonous. I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen the show, haven’t watched anime in years, and have gotten bored of hack and slash platform titles, but there is enough that is interesting and fun about Afro Samurai that not only did I enjoy the game thoroughly (camera issues aside), but I may have to check out the series as well. Barring some frustrations, Afro Samurai is one of the more enjoyable titles of this genre I’ve played since Ninja Gaiden 2. Now break yo’self fool!!!
Afro should at least be commended for precisely translating the show's feel to a game, especially considering all the poor adaptations out there bearing little in common with their original properties.
Cheat Code Central
Afro Samurai doesn’t revolutionize action gameplay. It does, however, bring a level of quality to the presentation that is wholly appealing. On the basis of visuals and sound quality alone, this game simply can’t be failed. However, the game doesn’t just employ beautiful graphics and awesome music. I thoroughly enjoyed Afro Samurai’s combat mechanics. Anyone who tries to say this is just a button masher is either not a very good gamer or didn’t spend enough time with the title. How can you fault a game that tracks gallons of blood spilled as one of your stats? This may not be a must-buy, but it is a stylish action romp that will please a mature audience looking for laughs and an ass-kicking good time.
MS Xbox World
Despite some glitches, simplistic level design, some repetition, its brevity and perhaps music that you're not going to agree with, Afro Samurai is an enjoyable experience and well worth picking up. I would also suggest if you're unsure to rent first, although fans should rush out and buy it because the game captures everything you know and love perfectly.
There is no denying that Afro Samurai does it with Style. Everything from the swordplay to Samuel L. Jackson’s banter to the graphics has a signature feel that defines the game. This look and feel does a great job of complimenting the gameplay, actually going so far as to overshadow the game’s few faults. You can be cautious of Afro Samurai’s short narrative but you are bound to have a good time hacking off limbs and heads on your way there. Personally, I hope that they develop a sequel based off of the recently released DVD Afro Samurai: Resurrection.
“AFRO!!” (Picture a yelling Sam L. Jackson) jumps off the screen into a stylized hack n’ slash adventure that has been overly scrutinized by the majority of the public. Afro Samurai is a fun action game that brings the anime to life with an interesting plot development overly the dizzying basics of the hack n’ slash formula. This one is a non-brainer, turn off the up-stairs lights and have fun. Soaked in his adversaries’ blood, Afro Samurai showcases the unique twisted tale of a revenge mixed into a pot of anime inspired action with the vibrant beats fueling his steps. I guarantee you haven’t played a game like Afro in the past, even if it feels like it. Fans of action slashers should defiantly check out Afro Samurai. Even if it’s not a 100% purchase, Afro should give you enough enjoyment out of a weekend rental. “AFRO!!!!”
While Afro Samurai won’t be the worst game you will play in 2009, the only thing I can say is that it could be so much better. The incredible presentation level, the nice graphics/animations and the compelling storyline are overshadowed by the poor camera angles, the repetitive and tiresome gameplay and the impossibility to change the X-axis controls (especially needed in this game). Sure, every Afro Samurai fan will take a deep breath and enjoy the game to the max…but there’s a limit and you will reach it quickly if patience is not your thing. Yes, it’s too bad but this is definitely one of those games which you have to give it a solid try and weep at the lost potential of Afro Samurai. And if you have never been introduced to the world of Afro Samurai this is a game which can cause you to run out and rent or buy the TV series at your local DVD store and if it doesn’t in the words of Ninja Ninja, “Whats your problem m*therf*cker?”
Game Informer Magazine
With the remarkable hip-hop infused soundtrack and strong voice acting from all the lead actors of the show, the game is worth it for action fans willing to tackle this bloody exploration into the nature of vengeance.
Gameplay is a bit dull, I'm not even saying it's a great game, but in terms of the overall Afro Samurai experience, I enjoyed it and it adds to it. 7.5 from me.
Afro Samurai provides an entertaining and bloody orgy of death while it lasts, but camera issues, inconsistent checkpoints, and lackluster boss fights keep it from greatness.
Despite that though, there is still no denying that Afro Samurai is an entertaining visual treat. The aesthetics of the game are a joy to behold and when you get into the zone you are bound to witness gory scenes of pure awesomeness. The game seems to bathe in its own coolness but thanks to humourous elements from Samuel L. Jackson, it doesn’t seem to be trying too hard either.
You could spend all the money in the world hiring the best decoraters in the business to try and make your home perfect and you would still find flaws. While Afro Samurai makes for a fun and visually enticing escape, there's really not much left to do after beating the game. There's only a single -layer story mode and once you're done, you've pretty much seen all there is to see and killed everyone you possibly can. While eviscerating so many ninjas is cathartic, Afro Samurai ends up feeling more like a slick, hyper-visual arcade experience more than a solid home console experience. But still fun nonetheless.
Official XBox Magazine
Yet, Afro Samurai persisted in mesmerizing us. And really, with Sam Jackson spouting lines like “That girl puts the two ‘asses’ in ‘assassin’” in feudal Japan, how can we resist?
Critique makes it all too easy to forget that the game can be a blast. Afro Samurai is heavy on style and aggression, so it stinks that things like the camera get in the way of a game you really want to love. Afro Samurai is a six-hour excursion with plenty of ill-conceived aspects, but katana-wielding destruction is yours for the taking if you can cope with the oversights.
That Gaming Site
It wasn't perfectly executed, but Namco has crafted a decent action game that will do justice to fans of the series and hack-and-slash gamers.
Afro Samurai is a fairly short game; my first run-through lasted just over five hours. In terms of replay value, there are five collectable items to find in each of the levels and a hard mode for you to clear if you want to give the game another go. However, once you've finished playing it, you're not going to look forward to dealing with the camera for another five hours and certainly not looking forward to the platforming and the boss fights. Afro Samurai has a ton of style with some nice combat, but once you require the camera to do anything other than sit calmly behind you, the game starts to fall apart. Fans of the show will get the most enjoyment out of this series, but the title can stand on its own to a certain degree. It's hard to recommend as a purchase due to its short length, but if you like the show or need to cut up something in as violent a way as you can imagine, renting Afro Samurai would be a pretty good place to start.
While skin-deep beauty may work for the video medium, the word “game” in “video game” means that software needs to be more substantial in order to entertain the majority of its audience. With that said, the stylized souls—perhaps those that can look past the dysfunctional side of haute couture—will have a hard time disliking Afro Samurai. The same can’t be said for the fans of the back-end, as Afro Samurai fails to fully deliver in this regard. There’s enjoyment to be had for those concerned with gameplay solidity, but you’ll be left wondering what “could have been.” And for those that move the right stick right when they want to look right: Afro Samurai—the DVD—drops on February 3rd.
Once you make your way past plot and balance issues, what you are left with is a well-presented, just above average game that handles well but leaves you wanting something more. The game could be more worth it with a little refinement, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like it was rushed. It’s worth the time if you have a chance to check it out, but purchasing the game is something to take into heavier consideration.
Its flaws are noticeable, but Afro Samurai is ultimately a lot of fun. It isn't the next action classic, but it embraces its subject matter with vigor and delivers equally dynamic combat in spades. You can squeeze a good seven hours of enjoyment out of the experience the first time around, and hidden items and ensuing unlockables may drive you to return, if the fun and ferocious combat isn't reason enough. In other words, it's a problematic but ultimately worthwhile reason to don the Number Two headband and see that justice is done--and that Justice is done in.
Fans of Afro Samurai's anime should feel right at home with his video game debut. You control Afro as he slashes his way through renegade ninjas, hunting down those responsible for his father's death – mainly the "Numbah One" bandanna-wearing psychopath, Justice. Gameplay involves lots of button mashing, but we enjoyed tearing through enemies. The attractive graphics bring out the finer qualities of the anime, complete with striking water-brushed backdrops and fluid animation. Hip-hop artist RZA provides a phenomenal soundtrack, complete with dramatic compositions and rap beats. The voice work is also up to par, thanks to Samuel L. Jackson (being Samuel L. Jackson, of course) and Ron Perlman. The annoying camera requires constant adjusting and the game needs more single-player content, but overall, this Samurai cuts deep.
It has a unique combat system and unrelenting violence that many will love. And for a licensed game, Afro Samurai doesn’t necessarily fail at what it aims to do. Like the many others before it, simple mistakes and a general lack of polish prevent it from passing the threshold to Butcher Bay territory. Still, if you like the show, the game is most definitely worth playing, it’s just not worth the number one headband.
Afro Samurai is a good game that could have been a lot more. What this game needed was another month or two in order to squish all of the bugs, poor interior camera control, and weak bosses. If this was done, this game would have been one of the first "must have" games" of the New Year.
In the end, Afro Samurai is a flawed, but entertaining experience. Reminiscent of last year’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the potential for greatness was there, the combat was tight, but horrible bosses and mediocre platforming ground the game to a shrieking halt. It’s close to being amazing, and there are times when it is, but there are too many times where it just simply isn’t up to par with the current generation’s standards. The camera is too jumpy, the bosses are too frustrating, and the platforming just isn’t any fun. Hopefully a sequel could fix the issues and create something truly wonderful, but sadly, Afro Samurai doesn’t live up to its potential.
Still, the game is incredibly bloody, obscenely beautiful and extremely entertaining. I just wish the experience had been more consistent throughout; if it had, it would have gotten a much higher score for sure. But fans of the TV series will definitely want to pick this one up; newcomers to the franchise should also have no problem enjoying this gorgeous genre-twisting brawler.
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
Lose yourself in the limbs, style and lyrical waxings of Samuel L. Jackson, and the flaws in Afro Samurai won't be so glaring. It might not be the best game ever made, but it knows how to show off and have fun.
Variety is the slice of life, err, the spice of life (humph… tomato, tomaaaato)? We could have used a little more of said variety in combat. There are a lot of creative ideas, and the look, as a whole, is dead sexy, but a bit more spit and polish and a tad more life in the non-combat areas could have really helped put this on the map.
Overall, you’ve got to hand it to Namco-Bandai Games for creating a solid anime-crossover title. The first few hours you spend with Afro Samurai will be filled with exclamations of joy, honest surprises and laughs. The soundtrack fits snugly with the action and fans of the anime will be happy to hear the voices of the original cast. Ultimately though, Afro Samurai becomes tedious, repetitive and frustrating. A worthy rental title, but sorely lacking in innovation to carry it into the realm of a classic.
I have to say that it was a big disappoint to me, I love the show and love the characters and thought the game was done quite well, but it seems like they finished the main story and then that was that. You have no interest to even pick it up again when you could play Soul Caliber 4 or Dead or Alive 4. It becomes a fighting game with no multiplayer after you beat the main game and it really hurts it.
Een gamer die een diepgaande game zoekt zal deze misschien niet vinden met Afro Samurai, maar als je eens lekker wilt hakken is dit de game voor jou.
Afro Samurai might’ve been a rare instance where form could win out over function. But overused (if gorgeous) set pieces, deep (if piecemealed) storylines, and epically multi-stage (if angering) boss fights taint the beautiful blaxploitation brilliance. But the wholesale dismissal of Afro’s unique vision and execution would, nevertheless, be a regrettable mistake.
I could further bemoan the lack of character customization, the mash-a-licious combat system, and the (mostly) fluid yet barebones platforming, but sometimes we all need a little simplicity. Like a Jason Statham action flick, Afro Samurai won’t change your life in any meaningful way, but it’s perfect for those days when you want to sink into the couch, turn off your brain, and watch some bloody entertainment.
It sucks that Afro Samurai isn't awesome. If you take the plunge and buy this game, there will be times when you'll be playing, having a blast, and think that I'm full of crap. Falling through the air while brawling with Afro Droid while rocking out to some fat beats is an amazing experience, but when you couple that with a piss-poor camera, terrible platforming sections, and cheap/mentally challenged bosses, the end product suffers.
Though the game may have its shortcomings with an overemphasis on fighting and lack of puzzle elements, cut-and-paste story editing, a fairly limited combo list and nonexistent extra modes of play; gruesomely satisfying limb-lopping action, an album-worthy soundtrack, comic book art style, and superb voice acting from the show's cast, all combine for an experience that may leave you scratching your head as to why exactly you're killing so many people on either console—but it's completely worth a run through at least once if you're a fan of over-the-top violence in the name of revenge.
Armchair Empire, The
But as memorable as the style and the "attitude" of the game are, the overall impression of Afro Samurai is left wanting. This shouldn't be interpreted to mean that the game is horrible. Since the Internet Horde jumps on negative comments like they're starving monkeys fighting over a banana, the opening sentence of this paragraph might necessitate clarification. After playing it, I don't feel any pull to play some more like I did with the Otogi or Ninja Gaiden games. The action is very good, even if you can almost ignore finesse and button mash through a lot of the game, but there's not enough for me to keep coming back.
Planet Xbox 360
While I would recommend this title to fans of the series, it has to be known that they have to enter this game with caution. Having to hit your enemies four to six times with a sword to kill them is kind of ridiculous when you look back and think about how macho Afro is. He’d normally mop the floor with nameless samurais in seconds rather than the ten to fifteen minute battles some of the fights end up being in the game. For gamers who’ve never heard of the series and love hack and slash games, this is right up your alley. It’s gruesome, it’s vibrant with style and has Samuel L. Jackson providing VO’s; it’s a formula for success. But, as always with hack-n-slash titles, the replay value is limited and the action becomes droning within a few hours.
Game Over Online
Ultimately Afro Samurai ends up being a pretty classic style over substance experience. It brings some interesting graphical style, some cool hip-hop beats, and some top-notch voice work by Sam Jackson to the party, but it’s too short, too repetitive, and too flawed design-wise to be anything but a mediocre game. Only if you really love gory swordplay or Afro Samurai are you likely to find anything here but a passing novelty, and that doesn’t meet most people’s criteria for a gaming purchase. Rental or bargain-bin pick up maybe.
Si hay una virtud que tenga este producto, es que no engaña a nadie: da lo que promete, a pesar de que su diseño de niveles sea repetitivo, de que sus enemigos también lo sean y de que se eche de menos más variedad y evolución por parte de nuestras habilidades. Su fuerte se centra en su contenido hemoglobínico, en su sistema de ‘concentración’ para hacer trizas a todo lo que se nos ponga por delante, y en el propio universo en el que se inspira la licencia. Es una lástima que no se haya querido contar más claramente la historia de Afro, y de que no se le haya puesto tanto mimo al apartado técnico como al lúdico, porque de ser así, nos encontraríamos con una excepción en ese mundillo tan decepcionante de las adaptaciones cinematográficas. En este caso, se ha quedado a medio camino. Más suerte la próxima vez.
Afro Samurai is an enjoyable, if not deeply flawed game. The action can get very repetitive and the camera very frustrating, however if you enjoy beautifully animated, blood spilling action then you won’t go wrong with this title.
Afro Samurai is een licentiegame die behoorlijk trouw blijft aan de animé-serie. Ondanks een flink aantal gebreken, blijven de sterke kanten van het spel overeind. De ijzersterke soundtrack en het slow motion hakwerk zorgen ervoor dat het spel speelbaar blijft en dat fans van de serie en het genre nog best aan hun trekken kunnen komen.
Afro Samurai is a game that is a wonder to behold, but actually looks more fun than it is. The first few minutes of gameplay are brilliant, but once you come to realise that the remainder of the title will be those first five minutes spun out forever, it soon loses its appeal. The uncensored gore and butcherous fighting is quite a sight, but again, loses its shine after seeing it hundreds of times. Sometimes it can feel as though the player is being spammed with enemies with the single goal of stringing out the game's lifespan and this adds to the tedium. Probably more enjoyable for fans, this game would be brilliant as a fan service but to the general, unenlightened gaming community, I would recommend a rental of this game before purchase, or you may be disappointed.
End line is this: Afro Samurai isn't awful. It's just awfully average. If you're a massive fan and you need this game to complete your sick, fetish-like obsession with samurais and big hairdos, then you'll probably ignore all the honesty and negativity in this review, emerging the other end a little poorer of intellect and lighter in purse for it. For everyone else: move along, nothing to see here. It's sad – there is still a lot of potential here, so hopefully someone can nab the rights and do this series justice down the line.
The Review Busters
At best it might be safe to keep Afro Samurai to a rental. If the price were a little lower then I might be able to recommend this game a little more. With all of the budget titles that offer the same thing I just don’t see a point in buying Afro Samurai. Stick with the television show only.
There's just not a lot to Afro Samurai. If the game was bad, I'd be able to complain for a thousand words about everything, but instead, I just rambled about the game. Which, coincidentally, is how the game feels. Afro Samurai is the video game equivalent of rambling about anything and everything that comes to your mind; while it may sound interesting, there's not a lot of substance to it.
Video Game Talk
If you're a fan of the show, then Afro Samurai is definitely a game you should take the time to play. It may lack polish in a few key parts, and it may be shorter than we'd like, but the fact of the matter is that the game is a blast. The sense of style has been lifted from the anime and once you start busting out some Focus powers you'll definitely feel the rush. In the end this one is more suited for a rental, but it's one that fans have to check out.
Es evidente que Afro Samurai es un título entretenido, que se deja jugar y nos puede llegar a ofrecer mucha diversión si conseguimos olvidar sus carencias, pero eso no impide que tenga problemas de cierta relevancia. Anda escaso de opciones (y son accesibles sólo desde el menú principal, no desde la pausa), tiene algunos problemas técnicos, y jugablemente parte de buenas bases e ideas que no se han concretado con la eficiencia deseada, por lo que eso acaba jugando en su contra. No es un título sobresaliente, está claro, pero hay una parte del público que sabrá exprimirle el jugo y pasarlo bien con él.
The bad news for Namco and Afro Samurai fans is that the game falls into that not good but not bad category. Fans of the show are likely to get a kick out of the solid virtual representation of the key characters and locations and will probably enjoy the combat for a few hours. Problems will become more and more intolerable though, especially towards the end of the game where bosses are bordering on unfair, and platforming sections repeatedly make you want to quit the game there and then. Hardcore fans of the genre are even less likely to get anything from the game, with the combat system simply not packing enough depth to offer any significant reason to invest in the game.
Afro Samurai is erg gericht op de fan van de anime. Voor de niet-kenner is er geen touw aan het verhaal vast te knopen en is het eigenlijk verplichte kost om eerst de anime te kijken. Wat overigens zeker geen straf is. Fans van Afro lopen waarschijnlijk weg met deze game. Voor de overige gamers rest de vraag of ze Afro Samurai het mindere camerawerk en het ongebalanceerde gevechtsysteem kunnen vergeven.
There’s a certain allure to it all, however, and that’s undoubtedly due to the incredible presentation. Certain moments, such as a mid-air boss fight and the frequent perusal of beautiful vistas, are remarkably good fun. But it’s the lousy design flaws that bring the game down considerably, and for a title that can be completed in less than five hours you’d have expected it to be a little bit more polished. What Afro Samurai has in visual style, it lacks in design finesse.
Official Xbox Magazine (UK)
With the lack of multiplayer, scoreboards or extra content there's nothing that will pull you back for another playthrough once you've completed Afro's bloody tale of revenge. But if you like a limited but enjoyable scrappy challenge along the lines of John Woo's Stranglehold, you'll find much to enjoy here.
Unfortunately it doesn't stand on its own very well. Without the show, it's all style and no substance. There are action titles out there with much better gameplay, like Heavenly Sword or Devil May Cry 4. I'm giving it 5.5
It’s really too bad that Afro Samurai is bogged down by nagging annoyances, because the core game is actually decent, if not spectacular. If it had a healthy dose of polish it would be a solid rental (but not full-price purchase). As of now, it could still scrape by on a rental for fervent fans of the show or beat-‘em-ups in general – just be ready to wade through a morass of irritations.
By no means is Afro Samurai a terrible game - it's beautiful, bloody and undemanding, a vacant button-masher with just enough attitude twinkling out from under its heavy stoner's eyelids to get by. But like most heavy stoners it's also frustrating, unrewarding and a bit dull to spend time with, and rather lazy. Afro Samurai is slightly less than the sum of its parts, where its contemporaries - other traders in mindless violence and low-rent pop-culture exploitation like The House of the Dead: Overkill, say, or 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand - add up to a fair bit more. We thought it would lift itself above the average. We were wrong.
You have to give the game credit it looks great, but that in my book doesn’t come close to making a great game. What started out great ended up being rather disappointing. For those who like Afro Samurai and are interested in the game it may be a safer option to rent this. This is a short, forgettable experience that has the potential to be great, the style is there, if there is a second it will just need some more meat on the bones.
"Afro Samurai" respeita o material original, apresentando visuais sensacionais que parecem criados à mão e uma dublagem de primeira qualidade, com vozes de Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman e Kelly Hu. Triste é saber que tamanho capricho não se estendeu à mecânica, simplista e repetitiva, e aos movimentos de câmera, que teimam em sabotar o jogador em momentos críticos da ação. Quando se nota que o jogo prende mais a atenção pelo desenvolvimento do enredo do que pela própria interatividade, talvez seja hora de largá-lo correr atrás do animê.
Aside from Ninja Ninja’s tacky lines, there were too many things in Afro Samurai that frustrated me. Mundane boss confrontations don’t allow you to exhibit your fighting prowess. Awkward platforming segments slow the flow of the game to a crawl. Weird clipping issues and dangerous framerate drops deter the action of the rather short (five to eight hours) span of play. I wish there was more to Afro Samurai, but there isn’t much to sink your teeth into. The game feels 75% complete. The only shine that the game does have is within its visual flair and soundtrack -- two components that are nice to have, but should be the lesser concern of tight and well-rounded gameplay. It’s best to give this game a rent if you’re yearning for some blood.
Afro Samurai is the result of a bygone era. There are reasons why some of the gameplay features here have thankfully become extinct. Being linked so closely to the story of the anime may have been a hindrance, but we feel with a better developer this could’ve been something much, much better.
Regardless of the reception of Afro Samurai as an animated property, Afro Samurai is a mess of a game. It's such a shame to see such a beautifully rendered and stylish world ground into the dust by such staggering gameplay foibles and technical glitches. Even though the lack of gameplay variation matches the lack of depth found in the subject matter, Afro Samurai will still likely be a bitter pill for fans of the franchise to swallow.
It looks and sounds the part but this anime tie-in should've worried about more than just presentation.