UGO writes: "This game isn't dripping in style, it's carved from it." Those are the exuberant words of David Robinson, Senior Producer of Afro Samurai. He walks about the stage at the Namco Bandai press event as if brimming with energy, all too thrilled to finally get a chance to show off the game we've previously seen only in stills and trailers. Afro Samurai is a third-person action game based off the popular anime of the same name that aired on Spike TV last year. The six-episode first season of the show was lauded by fans for it's original style and all-star cast featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Pearlman. I'd like to say that it's a "little bit of this and a little of that", but I'd be selling it short. It's an onslaught of hip-hop infused samurai action, all devilishly painted on top of a completely engaging narrative. For Namco Bandai's first North American production, I'd say the team has their work cut out for them, but who am I to say they cannot dream and achieve?
The first things that jump out at you when seeing the game in motion are its manga-inspired visuals. Pencil lines are sketched across characters and scenery alike, creating a deceptively two-dimensional feel in a stunning 3-D environment. Take a look at any of the screenshots and you'll see just how well this game can strike a pose. Rivers flow beneath vivid mountainside villages. Grass sways as the Afro Samurai bolts over the terrain, cigarette in mouth. It's a visual treat to lose yourself in, and one that is only accented when in motion."