Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Ultimately, The Shadow of Aku's excellent controls, just-right fighting action, humor, and easy-on-the-eyes visuals do the Samurai Jack license proud.
  2. When you have something that's this cool to start with, even a fairly average gameplay experience is enough to hold the torch.
  3. 75
    It needed more content and more effort. The mechanics of the game are good (for the most part) but the most impressive engine and artwork in the world can’t make a game excellent without any substantial content.
  4. Exactly the game I wanted, delivered right when I needed it most...a great time with a great character in a great genre - plug and play, instant fun. [Apr 2004, p.56]
  5. 70
    It's a mere...er, shadow of the cartoon, but it's also a lively workout...While this is far from "Onimusha," "Shinobi," or "Ninja Gaiden," initiates fresh to the genre should find it a worthy first challenge. [May 2004, p.70]
  6. A mixed bag of gaming goods and bads. The game is a basic platform. And it really does not seem to add anything new to a somewhat saturated platform gaming market.
  7. A Zelda: Wind Waker–esque cartoony graphics style would have been perfect for Jack, who, now that he's 3D, looks kind of like Jay Leno or John Kerry what with his freakishly long chin. And the cut-scenes—often the only good part of a licensed game like this—are embarrassing.
  8. The graphics are both faithful to the source material and overly primitive, but the main problems with Samurai Jack are its short duration and solid, but too basic, gameplay. [May 2004, p.32]
  9. As far as action-platformers go, Samurai Jack isn't about to replace the likes of Jak, Ratchet & Clank, or Prince of Persia. It lacks depth, and it's way too easy (a weekend ought to do it).
  10. Because of its short gameplay, it is the consummate rental – a game that is easy to pick up and play and can be beaten in a few days. The life of a samurai warrior is simple, and so is this game.
  11. An amazingly generic action title. It's a shame, as Samurai Jack is easily one of the most unique cartoons on the air today, so this could have been so much more. [May 2004, p.93]
  12. 60
    The game's lack of personality is underscored by its lack of difficulty. Playing through Samurai Jack is about as challenging as watching an episode of Samurai Jack.
  13. 60
    A more robust story line, more variety in combat, and greater length would help a lot. But the game is still extremely enjoyable for what it is -- a hack-and-slash weekend time filler.
  14. It actually plays out like a very simplistic alternative to Legend Of Zelda, with doors opening once certain enemies are killed, or special keys found to open doors.
  15. 52
    I could forgive a lack of story, or even a resemblance to the show's fantastic sense of style. But, the fact that the game is extremely easy, boring, and annoying is beyond forgiveness.
  16. A thoroughly generic combination of beat-'em-up and platforming gameplay that draws upon only the most rudimentary elements of both genres and does nothing particularly interesting with either of them. Both exceedingly trite and exceedingly brief, Shadow of Aku is pure mediocrity from beginning to end.
  17. Neat little touches such as his over the top armour, and the way Jack loses clothing as his health decrease are amusing enough to draw out the odd giggle from most players. However, when these jokes wear thin, the realisation that the worlds of Samurai Jack are as sparsely populated as areas in the Sahara desert really tests the will of the gamer.
  18. I’m not a fan of the show, so its lack of originality and sloppy visuals (for a third-generation PS2 release) left me cold and unimpressed.
  19. An average, by-the-numbers platformer/action game that is generic in every sense of the word.
  20. While Samurai Jack is an enjoyable adventure for youngsters, it is also wearingly generic and disappointingly brief.
  21. Ho-hum gameplay combined with simple annoyances make this game a shadow of the popular cartoon it was based on.

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