ByHeroic Enemy, writer at

Minor Spoilers Ahead

Oh my, where do I begin? As an Afro Samurai fan, this game totally disgraces the franchise. I had hope that this game was going to be good or at least decent which is why I bought it in the first place. Boy was I wrong. This game developed by Redacted Studios follows the story of Kuma as he tries to get his revenge on Afro Samurai for what had happened to his family. Fans of the game will be familiar with what's going on in the plot of the game and newcomers will get a generous amount of information regarding what's going on in the story. However, the way they tell the story in this game is pretty bad because they consistently repeat the same thing over and over again about what had happened to Kuma.

Slice but no dice.
Slice but no dice.

The pacing of the game is super repetitive which will make the player bored quickly. Early in the game you are introduced to many tutorials which deters away from the actual game itself, creating even just the tutorial a nuisance to deal with. (Like many games today) These tutorials should have just been implemented within the story which would have made the flow of the game much better. To add to the horrible pacing of the game, the story telling mostly consists of still images and narration from characters in very static settings. You will not be seeing any cool cutscenes in this game which is really a shame considering Afro Samurai has really cool animation in the anime.

The combat is very shallow even with the upgrading feature they added. You are given three different fighting styles, (Afro, Kuma and Master) which all have different attack animation and abilities. The Afro has abilities for dodging and being defensive while the Kuma style is geared toward more for speed while Master is for more crowded situations. However, these styles are put to waste as the enemies in the game hardly change and you can literally beat them all by just pressing the attack button. A game where you can win by pressing one button is hardly ever fun. Another annoying thing about the combat is that Kuma will consistently attack the air because each press of the attack button will initiate a different attack animation and many of his attacks are long, so he will not stop attacking until the animation has finished. The enemies are dumb and will just stand there waiting for you to attack them and when they do attack you, they easily miss.

Sad bear is sad.
Sad bear is sad.

The real challenge of this game is trying to live with the frame rate drops. This game has terrible frame rate when there are a handful of enemies on screen and it gets super frustrating. There was a moment in the game where you are in a bar with several enemies and it was at this part that I almost stopped playing because of how poorly the game was performing. The low budget is definitely noticeable with this game which is really unfortunate because it seems like the team behind this project was really passionate about bringing back the Afro Samurai series. Speaking of low budget, the voice acting AND quality is pretty bad too because the sound during the narration and "cutscenes" just didn't sound all too well. To add to the bad audio quality, this game features many tracks that don't sound bad at all. The only problem is that these hip hop tracks are consistently playing in the background which gets really repetitive. Even during the cutscenes they are playing which makes it difficult to hear what they're saying and there are no subtitles in the game as far as I know.

Overall, volume 1 of Afro Samurai 2 is a huge disappointment. As an episodic series, I was really hoping that the pacing of the game would be cool but it's not. The first volume features 1 boss battle with Two Hammers which wasn't even really a battle because it only consisted of Kuma running away from him as well as unnecessarily long quick time events. The game leaves you right before which appears to be another boss battle which was them trying to tease you for the next volume. However, with how terrible the game is already they should have just concluded with the actual fight. Instead, we are left off waiting for the next volume to fight her. Here's to more hoping that volume 2 will improve from the first volume but at this point my expectations are really really low. The only thing that really motivates me to play this game is because it's an Afro Samurai game, everything else about it is bad.

I've saved you the time and played the game for you so you don't have to. Below is the playthrough for Volume 1.


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