Disaster may be a little too harsh of a word to describe Afro Samurai, but on the flip side, calling it beautiful may not give this game the credit that's due. The first thing you're going to notice while playing Afro Samurai is the insane art design, and the kick-ass music (which is notably scored by Rza from Wu Tang Clan and Howard Drossin) that periodically had me stopping play just to listen to the beats.
Afro Samurai is based on a Japanese manga series and subsequent anime mini series that has run here in the US on Spike TV. Just like in the show, Samuel L. Jackson lends his voice to the main character's sidekick who helps Afro along in his quest. What quest, you ask? Well that's a good question. See what I mean when you read more.
If you aren't a fan of the manga or mini series, then you might be a bit lost when you begin the game. There's no real explanation of what is going on or what you're doing. But really, you don't have to know the inner details of the story to enjoy the game, so you just might find yourself saying "Huh?" a few times. The game has its faults, but the main gripe I had about this visually stunning game is the lame and unchangeable camera controls. They are inverted, which means that if you want to look left, you move your joystick to the right and if you want to look up you have to move your stick down. I know that there are a lot of gamers out there that prefer inverted controls, but for me it just makes things all the more frustrating, especially when there's nothing you can do to change it. Additionally, the menu kinda stinks, and isn't very helpful when you're trying to figure out your weapons and direction.
But to be honest, the good outweighs the bad in this situation. Although you will find yourself bored at times, there will be moments of awe when you realize that the game is playing out on your screen like a comic book and you've never seen anything like it. When you are getting confused as to what to do next without many clues, a new track will start playing and you'll realize that Rza is a mad genius. And of course, when you start thinking that this game is too bloody and gory (it may be, but it's done oh-so-stylishly), you'll realize just how satisfying it is to slash your enemies, and how cool they look when they go down.
Overall this game is definitely worth a look, even if it's for the artwork and soundtrack alone. I loved hacking away at my foes (especially when I get to chop them in half with my sword), and just for the record, Samuel L. Jackson is one bad mo-fo.
Afro Samurai is available now online or in stores.