Monday, March 30, 2009

Afro Samurai

Publisher: Namco/Bandai
Developer: Surge
Release Date: Jan. 27, 2009
Systems: PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web site

In a nutshell: An Afro makes everything more stylish ... even beat-'em-ups.

0:00 I think Gus Mastrapa told me that this ridiculous-sounding game is actually surprisingly good, so it's his ass on the line if it ends up being as stupid as I think it will.

0:01 It wouldn't be a PS3 game if I didn't have to install some ridiculous update on the first play. Luckily it's only a 13 MB download, which shouldn't take long. Hey, do you remember when a 13 MB download would take a long time on a dial-up modem? Ah, memories.

0:02 And we're off. "The stories that surround the two sacred headbands are as numerous as those who have died in their pursuit." The narrator (voiced recognizably by Samuel L. Jackson) doesn't know about "any of that bullshit," but he's seen the pain that the quest for the headbands has caused our titular samurai. On screen, black calligraphy brushstrokes sprout into a forest of trees, which get slashed by an unseen sword, sending spurts of bright red blood spattering everywhere. Gentle hip-hop beats play as the title appears.

0:05 As I enter the options screen, Jackson yells at me: "Lookin' for options? You got none left, boy! Ahahahahahaha!" That's a little ... hostile for a simple options screen, don'tcha think?

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