Mixed or average reviews - based on 70 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 70
  2. Negative: 5 out of 70
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  1. Mundane boss confrontations don’t allow you to exhibit your fighting prowess. Awkward platforming segments slow the flow of the game to a crawl. Weird clipping issues and dangerous framerate drops deter the action of the rather short (five to eight hours) span of play. I wish there was more to Afro Samurai, but there isn’t much to sink your teeth into. The game feels 75% complete.
  2. It's beautiful, bloody and undemanding, a vacant button-masher with just enough attitude twinkling out from under its heavy stoner's eyelids to get by. But like most heavy stoners it's also frustrating, unrewarding and a bit dull to spend time with, and rather lazy.
  3. It’s really too bad that Afro Samurai is bogged down by nagging annoyances, because the core game is actually decent, if not spectacular. If it had a healthy dose of polish it would be a solid rental (but not full-price purchase).
  4. There are reasons why some of the gameplay features here have thankfully become extinct. Being linked so closely to the story of the anime may have been a hindrance, but we feel with a better developer this could’ve been something much, much better.
  5. It looks and sounds the part but this anime tie-in should've worried about more than just presentation.
  6. If you enjoy wicked style and simple, yet satisfying combat, mature content that’s more than a script full of unnecessary F-bombs, and more gore than you’ll see in all five Saw films combined, then Afro deserves a spot in your game library.
  7. I really enjoyed playing through the game and Leveling up Afro to learn his new skills and unleash the fury on my enemies, but sometimes found myself getting frustrated with the camera when having to wall run and crisscross jump and occasionally in a fight.
  8. Despite its flaws, Afro Samurai is a well done hack-and-slash adventure.
  9. Despite some glitches, simplistic level design, some repetition, its brevity and perhaps music that you're not going to agree with, Afro Samurai is an enjoyable experience and well worth picking up. I would also suggest if you're unsure to rent first, although fans should rush out and buy it because the game captures everything you know and love perfectly.
  10. There is no denying that Afro Samurai does it with Style. Everything from the swordplay to Samuel L. Jackson’s banter to the graphics has a signature feel that defines the game.
  11. Afro Samurai is a fun action game that brings the anime to life with an interesting plot development overly the dizzying basics of the hack n’ slash formula.
  12. With the remarkable hip-hop infused soundtrack and strong voice acting from all the lead actors of the show, the game is worth it for action fans willing to tackle this bloody exploration into the nature of vengeance.
  13. Afro Samurai persisted in mesmerizing us. And really, with Sam Jackson spouting lines like “That girl puts the two ‘asses’ in ‘assassin’” in feudal Japan, how can we resist?
  14. Afro Samurai provides an entertaining and bloody orgy of death while it lasts, but camera issues, inconsistent checkpoints, and lackluster boss fights keep it from greatness.
  15. Afro Samurai has a ton of style with some nice combat, but once you require the camera to do anything other than sit calmly behind you, the game starts to fall apart.
  16. While skin-deep beauty may work for the video medium, the word “game” in “video game” means that software needs to be more substantial in order to entertain the majority of its audience. With that said, the stylized souls—perhaps those that can look past the dysfunctional side of haute couture—will have a hard time disliking Afro Samurai.
  17. This gory, gorgeous action game has plenty of flaws, but it will still satisfy your thirst for blood.
  18. It has a unique combat system and unrelenting violence that many will love. And for a licensed game, Afro Samurai doesn’t necessarily fail at what it aims to do. Like the many others before it, simple mistakes and a general lack of polish prevent it from passing the threshold to Butcher Bay territory.
  19. 66
    Falling through the air while brawling with Afro Droid while rocking out to some fat beats is an amazing experience, but when you couple that with a piss-poor camera, terrible platforming sections, and cheap/mentally challenged bosses, the end product suffers.
  20. The action is very good, even if you can almost ignore finesse and button mash through a lot of the game, but there's not enough for me to keep coming back.
  21. This atypical reinvention of the classic tale of revenge and redemption in the context of the classic samurai battles could have it's own artistic values, but its flaws makes this Afro Samurai game less interesting than it could be in the end. Samuel L. Jackson's voice, RZA's music and the cell-shading artistic, bloody aspect cannot stand a repetitive gameplay too focused on hacking and slashing while using the 'focus' mode and Final Bosses don't do their work, either.
  22. Afro Samurai stays close to the anime. It has some big flaws, but despite that, the game is still standing. The soundtrack is superb and the slow motion action will keep you entertained.
  23. 60
    Afro Samurai clearly is an enjoyable title, which is easy to play and can bring us a lot of fun if we manage to forget its flaws, but it doesn't prevent its relevant problems.
  24. You have to give the game credit it looks great, but that in my book doesn’t come close to making a great game. What started out great ended up being rather disappointing. For those who like Afro Samurai and are interested in the game it may be a safer option to rent this.
  25. Afro Samurai achieves a decent balance, providing enough style and combat to work more often than it doesn't. But considering how short it is, and how annoying parts of it can be, you'll want to approach this game with some caution, especially while it's being sold for full price.
  26. 40
    Afro Samurai is a mess of a game. It's such a shame to see such a beautifully rendered and stylish world ground into the dust by such staggering gameplay foibles and technical glitches.
  27. Barring some frustrations, Afro Samurai is one of the more enjoyable titles of this genre I’ve played since Ninja Gaiden 2. Now break yo’self fool!!!
  28. While eviscerating so many ninjas is cathartic, Afro Samurai ends up feeling more like a slick, hyper-visual arcade experience more than a solid home console experience. But still fun nonetheless.
  29. Afro Samurai might’ve been a rare instance where form could win out over function. But overused (if gorgeous) set pieces, deep (if piecemealed) storylines, and epically multi-stage (if angering) boss fights taint the beautiful blaxploitation brilliance. But the wholesale dismissal of Afro’s unique vision and execution would, nevertheless, be a regrettable mistake.
  30. 42
    Ultimately, Afro falls into the same pitfalls as almost every other game based on a movie/television license: It presents an edited down version of a story that's familiar to fans but indecipherable to newcomers, wrapped up in a generic game housing. It looks great. It sounds great. But, otherwise, it's a mashup of characters and situations that makes little sense.
  31. 70
    Far from perfect but still an incredibly entertaining play, Afro Samurai captures all of the style and substance from the hit TV show with amazingly innovative combat and absolutely stunning visuals.
  32. The luscious graphics do bring out the finer qualities of the anime, complete with striking water-brushed backdrops and fluid animation. It's a shame the camera constantly needs to be adjusted, though.
  33. It’s close to being amazing, and there are times when it is, but there are too many times where it just simply isn’t up to par with the current generation’s standards. The camera is too jumpy, the bosses are too frustrating, and the platforming just isn’t any fun.
  34. Sloppy slashwork fails to hit its target. [Apr 2009, p.84]
  35. Fans of the show are likely to get a kick out of the solid virtual representation of the key characters and locations and will probably enjoy the combat for a few hours. Problems will become more and more intolerable though, especially towards the end of the game where bosses are bordering on unfair, and platforming sections repeatedly make you want to quit the game there and then.
  36. It's no secret that Afro Samurai aims for the anime-fan. If you're new to the series, then you will have a hard time figuring out what the story is all about. Off course, if you're a fan of Afro, you won't. The only question remains if newcomers will accept the lousy camera and unbalanced fighting system.
  37. A simple hack n' slash-action title based upon a cool anime comic - a concept that could have led to an equally cool game. Unfortunately the experience is marred after only an hour or so into the game when numerous bugs and other issues related to an overall lack of polish starts to surface. There are some great moments in here though and it's a great shame that the developers didn't use their funds to do some final polish to the game instead of paying Samuel L Jackson to lend his voice to the game.
  38. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Non-traditional hero presents a brutal and exaggerated samurai story with graphics borrowed from the latest Prince of Persia game. [Apr 2009]
  39. It’s gorgeous, wonderfully polished and a fascinating cast of misfits drag you through a mire of gameplay foibles that make that off switch look ever so tempting. There is some fun and satisfaction to be had in the beautiful and bloody combat, too, but we wish the gameplay was lavished with as much care and attention as the presentation.
  40. Edge Magazine
    The flash and gore are toned down, and the henchmen never get any smarter, but that bond with the protagonist – and that investment in his salvation – make the whole game worthwhile. [Apr 2009, p.117]
  41. African Samurai is a game of complete contrast. Its visuals and aural components have great quality, but everything else fails and quickly becomes too many repetitive, uninspired and with a little ability to captivate. Fans of the series can still have some motivation but all others will soon fall into monotony, which is a shame because this game could have been more.
  42. The simple action may get tiresome for those that don't put the time into learning the controls. Also, the game is quite short. Nevertheless, I had a blast cutting my way through, and have made this game part of my personal collection!
  43. Afro should at least be commended for precisely translating the show's feel to a game, especially considering all the poor adaptations out there bearing little in common with their original properties.
  44. While Afro Samurai won’t be the worst game you will play in 2009, the only thing I can say is that it could be so much better. The incredible presentation level, the nice graphics/animations and the compelling storyline are overshadowed by the poor camera angles, the repetitive and tiresome gameplay and the impossibility to change the X-axis controls.
  45. While it may only be a hack and slash, button mashing experience at its core, the art work, gore factor and voice acting means that for those who allow themselves to ignore the simplicity of its combat, and the usual problems like camera angles that games like this are burdened with, it's a refreshing and entertaining experience.
  46. 75
    Afro Samurai is heavy on style and aggression, so it stinks that things like the camera get in the way of a game you really want to love. Afro Samurai is a six-hour excursion with plenty of ill-conceived aspects, but katana-wielding destruction is yours for the taking if you can cope with the oversights.
  47. 75
    There is still no denying that Afro Samurai is an entertaining visual treat. The aesthetics of the game are a joy to behold and when you get into the zone you are bound to witness gory scenes of pure awesomeness.
  48. Afro Samurai has a unique combat system and gorgeous action that many players will love. Good enough to recommend to fans of gore, hip-hop, martial arts and Afro Samurai, but a bit more spit and polish could have really helped put this on the map.
  49. Once you make your way past plot and balance issues, what you are left with is a well-presented, just above average game that handles well but leaves you wanting something more.
  50. Afro Samurai is a good game that could have been a lot more. What this game needed was another month or two in order to squish all of the bugs, poor interior camera control, and weak bosses. If this was done, this game would have been one of the first "must have" games" of the New Year.
  51. 70
    Lose yourself in the limbs, style and lyrical waxings of Samuel L. Jackson, and the flaws in Afro Samurai won't be so glaring. It might not be the best game ever made, but it knows how to show off and have fun.
  52. Good enough to recommend to fans of gore, swords, hip-hop, anime, martial arts and, of course, Afro Samurai, but too lightweight and insubstantial to recommend to everyone. [Issue#44, p.76]
  53. There are a lot of creative ideas, and the look, as a whole, is dead sexy, but a bit more spit and polish and a tad more life in the non-combat areas could have really helped put this on the map.
  54. Built on the anime of the same name, Afro Samurai should have been a sure-fire hit. Unfortunately some poor design decisions have hampered its chances at success, but it still manages to entertain with fluid fighting and slick effects. It's just a shame it becomes repetitive too soon.
  55. After enemy 200, the game design isn’t able to motivate most of the gamers. If you are looking for Hack’n’Slay, this is your game. If you want to solve more Riddles, Prince of Persia is the better choice.
  56. Afro Samurai is an atypical hack'n'slash game, with excellent visuals and adult oriented storytelling. Unfortunately, the focus mode and the combat techniques fail to keep the clashes interesting for a long a time, making the game a little bit tedious level after level, and in addition to this the platform sections aren't well devised.
  57. 68
    Only fans of the television show and fans of Manga games will really like this title. Still you don't have to be afraid of creating large blood pools.
  58. It brings some interesting graphical style, some cool hip-hop beats, and some top-notch voice work by Sam Jackson to the party, but it’s too short, too repetitive, and too flawed design-wise to be anything but a mediocre game.
  59. As a condensed version of the anime, hardcore fans may walkaway from Afro Samurai with mixed emotions, while the full-fledged newbie will most likely be somewhat pleased...and accompanied by a curious case of bloodlust.
  60. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    It's sort of like reinventing the wheel, only to realise you were making a boat. [May 2009, p.65]
  61. It’s gruesome, it’s vibrant with style and has Samuel L. Jackson providing VO’s; it’s a formula for success. But, as always with hack-n-slash titles, the replay value is limited and the action becomes droning within a few hours.
  62. Afro Samurai will certainly not appeal to all due to it's many flaws, however it is still a fun, if not a little tedious game to play.
  63. Afro Samurai shines on one side for its great artistic value, with some of the best cel-shaded graphics seen to date and great music and dubbing, but on the other side we find very boring gameplay, unable to provide us a good challenge level. The game will be mainly appreciated by the fans of the original manga/anime, while all the others will also have problems to follow the story, due to an inconsistent storytelling.
  64. 62
    Afro Samurai isn't awful. It's just awfully average.
  65. Afro Samurai is a game that is a wonder to behold, but actually looks more fun than it is.
  66. Afro Samurai is a frustrating game. It is its gameplay, but mostly it is to see an opportunity like this, wasted with a superficial and hasty development. The contrast between sound and visual impact of the highest level on one hand, and poor and approximate gameplay on the other, is very strong and makes us feel to advise the title only to most hardcore fans of the series. Everyone else would better leave the game on the shelves.
  67. 60
    Fans of the anime will love the look, but the game just retreads the plot. Aside from the fantastic dismemberment, Afro Samurai doesn't manage to be anything loftier than essentially the same beat 'em up that we've been playing since Double Dragon. On the other hand, it is fun in short doses, looks great, and can be hilarious.
  68. If you're a fan of the show, then Afro Samurai is definitely a game you should take the time to play. It may lack polish in a few key parts, and it may be shorter than we'd like, but the fact of the matter is that the game is a blast.
  69. What Afro Samurai has in visual style, it lacks in design finesse.
  70. I could further bemoan the lack of character customization, the mash-a-licious combat system, and the (mostly) fluid yet barebones platforming, but sometimes we all need a little simplicity. Like a Jason Statham action flick, Afro Samurai won’t change your life in any meaningful way, but it’s perfect for those days when you want to sink into the couch, turn off your brain, and watch some bloody entertainment.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 58
  2. Negative: 15 out of 58
  1. Feb 13, 2012
    I had a ton of fun with this game, still there are some problems with it. Sometimes you have to do very specific slices with your katana thatI had a ton of fun with this game, still there are some problems with it. Sometimes you have to do very specific slices with your katana that were hard for me to get down. At the end when you face a nearly endless, and i mean endless, wave of the same enemy was hands down the stupidest part of the game. Full Review »
  2. May 26, 2011
    if you like Quentin Tarantino films, Ninja Gaiden-esque combos, great scenery and awesome music look no further. it's very repetitive and theif you like Quentin Tarantino films, Ninja Gaiden-esque combos, great scenery and awesome music look no further. it's very repetitive and the controls can often be maddening but overall a solid, fun game. Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2013
    Afro Samurai is a action anime that is about a mans journey to avenge his fathers death and become the number one samurai. The anime is veryAfro Samurai is a action anime that is about a mans journey to avenge his fathers death and become the number one samurai. The anime is very bloody, raw, and full of action. However, the game is nothing like the show at all. The story loosely follows the actual anime also the graphics are in a very weird middle ground. The characters look fine during actual game play but during cut scenes they are shell shaded but horrible. Controls are not responsive and very loose fighting makes this game almost a parody of the anime. Voice acting is pretty cool tho due to the fact that all the voice acting is straight from the anime. The reason I am comparing the two is because the one thing that I have noticed is that if a game is made into a anime its not to bad but very annoying at times; where as if an anime is made into a game (other than any Gundam game or Dragon Ball Z game) it skips annoying and just goes into borderline unplayable. I hate that there can't be anything just good, Naruto games are ok is but its still a figting game and by all means I am done with jrpg's and fighting games. Regardless, I have to admit that their are some really awesome looking games based off of anime. But no one can say to me that this games are changing gaming in anyway, they are almost all made for fans of the series. Afro Samurai is a really cool anime but in all honesty avoid this game, nothing will be gained from playing this game other than not only hating this game but also the anime as well. Full Review »