Nariko in Heavenly Sword. Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII. And now Afro Samurai. These are the characters that you remember for their remarkable hairstyles, though Namco Bandai's newest hack-and-slash action game offers more than just a curly coif that reaches for the heavens. It is an entertaining and thoroughly gory offering that contrasts sumptuous environments and crisp cel-shaded characters with shocking sights of slow-motion dismemberment. In Afro Samurai, you'll chop ninjas in half and watch their disembodied torsos drag themselves along by the arms until they collapse in a pool of blood. Sights like these make for some wickedly satisfying combat, though in other areas, the game falls noticeably short of the standards set by genre predecessors such as Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry. Clumsy platforming and pacing inconsistencies keep Afro Samurai from reaching its potential, but the entertaining combat and dedication to its subject matter keep it from being just another forgettable button masher.
* Brutal, satisfying combat
* Great art design
* Awesome music
* Some really fun setpiece battles.
* Bad platforming sections
* Inconsistent pace leads to occasional monotony
* Inferior camera can't be customized.