Afro Samurai Demo Mini Review

By Mike on 10:45 pm

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I can probably best describe Afro Samurai as incredibly violent Okami. Well, maybe I wouldn't got as far as to directly compare it to one of the greatest games ever made. The game is based on the hit cartoon series staring Samuel L. Jackson and ageing Asian hottie Kelly Hu (Visas Marr in Knights of the Old Republic II, Lady Deathstrike in X-Men X2). The problem with reviewing games based on a movie or TV series, it's hard to measure them up without knowing the source material. So Afro Samurai the game has to be taken as is. The demo wasn't really long enough to get a good idea of what the game is like so it doesn't really warrant the full review treatment. Anyway, lets get down to reviewing this mofo.

First thing out of the gate, if you're thin skinned, Afro Samurai is not for you. The game is incredibly violent to the point of giving God of War a run for its money. There's something strangely compelling about slicing a guy clean in two, head to toe, with a katana. Aside from the pure violence and course language, which just makes thing more colourful, Afro Samurai is a typical hack & slash game. Controls are very similar to God of War. Square is a light sword attack, Triangle is a heavy sword attack, Circle is a kick, X jumps, and R1 blocks. L1 enters a sort of slow motion mode where you can unleash charged attacks. You can also string combos together. Enemies are pretty genre generic. The game seems overly easy at times and I'm not even sure whether you can die or not. There's no health bar or any indication you're taking damage. As far as gameplay goes, there's nothing really special or original about Afro Samurai.

Graphics are where this game really shines. As frequent readers will have figured out, I love cell shading, if it's done right. Afro does an excellent job of that to the point where it closely mimics the style of the TV series as well as Japanese sumi-e style as was used with Okami. Music and voice acting also is true to the series. The original actors reprise their roles. The only downside is the sound effects, which are downright weak and even non-existent at some points of the game. The game contains no technical issues that I noticed.

Afro Samurai is a title that looks vary good but doesn't really bring anything special to the table. It's a slasher title along the lines of GoW. It's satisfyingly gory and stays true to the source material as far as I can tell but it's not an original game. The PS3 and 360 are already loaded with similar titles. It boasts excellent visuals and voice acting making it worth at least a rent. The demo weighs in at about 450mb.

What Works
-Excellent cell shaded visuals
-Strong voice acting with original cast from the series (Samuel L. Jackson, nuff said)
-Tight Controls

What Doesn't Work
-Generic slasher, not original
-Seems overly easy at times.
-Sound effects of low quality or are missing

Score: 7 out of 10

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