Mixed or average reviews - based on 52 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 52
  2. Negative: 3 out of 52
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  1. 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!!!
  2. Afro Samurai does so much so well, it’s a shame that the little things are what drag it down.
  3. Despite its flaws, Afro Samurai is a well done hack-and-slash adventure.
  4. This may not be a must-buy, but it is a stylish action romp that will please a mature audience looking for laughs and an ass-kicking good time.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Gamers looking for a transcendent gaming experience most likely are not going to find it here. But for fans of anime, samurai movies, Samuel L. Jackson, and animated samurai movies starring Samuel L. Jackson, Afro Samurai is a literally bloody good game.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. This gory, gorgeous action game has plenty of flaws, but it will still satisfy your thirst for blood.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. It is worth checking out, particularly if you're a fan of action games, but don't expect this title to replace your current top spot any time soon.
  19. 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.
  20. Games Master UK
    Stylish and brutal hack and slash slightly let down by mediocre platforming and repetition. [May 2009, p.82]
  21. Pelit (Finland)
    Afro Samurai plays it too cool. The game looks and sounds great, but everything is far, far too easy. Gameplay is just a one-button-smash and it’s practically impossible to actually die. It’s a shame, since the weird feudal Japan meets cyberpunk world is and interestingly funky place. [Apr 2009]
  22. Initially a jaw-dropper but quickly a repetitive action game ruled by hack-n-slash mechanics, Afro Samurai is worth playing but does not warrant more than a rental.
  23. At the end of the day, fans of the anime series may enjoy this title, however the fiddle some control system and camera problems unfortunately just make this a truly frustrating gaming experience and I really wanted to like this title. Quite a shame really
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Fun but basic errors cause disappointment throughout. [Apr 2009, p.64]
  32. 62
    It's sad – there is still a lot of potential here, so hopefully someone can nab the rights and do this series justice down the line.
  33. 61
    It’s a great-looking game, thick with atmosphere and brilliant music. Sadly, someone forgot to show as much care to the gameplay, so only fans of the comics and TV series are likely to finish the adventure with much satisfaction.
  34. 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.
  35. The game is riddled with immense potential that is overshadowed by a myriad of amateur flaws that should've never been there in the first place. With poor a camera that is also permanently inverted, lack of depth, little replay value, poor platforming elements, and brutal difficulty in some boss battles, Afro Samurai is better off left alone.
  36. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    As a hack-and-slash tribute to its source materials, Afro Samurai succeeds with its rewarding battle animations and atmosphere. [Apr 2009, p.78]
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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. Hardcore fans of the genre are even less likely to get anything from the game.
  40. Afro Samurai has the production values worthy of the best entertainment blockbuster. However, although the wrapping is beautiful the game is very repetitive and doesn't give any incentive to the player. Right, sometimes it's funny, but as a whole it has been a disappointment.
  41. AceGamez
    Unfortunately, playing the game leaves you with this constant feeling that you're watching a film while occasionally tapping at one of the buttons on your controller to continue the story.
  42. If you're a fan of the show, then Afro Samurai is definitely a game you should take the time to play.
  43. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Does the job, but will disappoint even fans of the anime. [Apr 2009, p.80]
  44. 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).
  45. 50
    For a visual showpiece, Afro Samurai is outstanding but for everything else, you can safely pass.
  46. 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]
  47. games(TM)
    Afro Samurai radiates style both visually and aurally, but the underlying mechanics do little to raise it above an average experience. [Apr 2009, p.112]
  48. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Even the core combat pales after a bit, because it lacks the exacting precision of Gaiden. [Apr 2009, p.93]
  49. On the surface Afro Samurai is a masterpiece, but as soon as you take a closer look everything crumbles to pieces. Avoid this game unless you're a fan, and even if you are one you ought to be wary.
  50. Fans of the show will appreciate this title more, but I cannot even recommend playing past level 1 for even the hardcore.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 40
  2. Negative: 8 out of 40
  1. Nov 17, 2010
    Against the major ratings I'd highly recommend this game to any Hack'n'Slay-Fan. Graphics are simply beautiful and almost art-like, Samuel L.Against the major ratings I'd highly recommend this game to any Hack'n'Slay-Fan. Graphics are simply beautiful and almost art-like, Samuel L. Jackson's Syncro is awesome and the strange story with all its sarcastic humor is brilliant. The combo-system is complex as well as the difficulty is very high, just the right thing to not get bored after 20 minutes. Worst things are the non-adjustable camera-setting as well as there's no online mode, but I guess that's all. For every Fan of samurai-games as well as mature humor give it a try and rent it. I bought it and had lots of laughs and hours of slashing-fun. I just cannot understand the overall-critics and I'm playing Rated-M-games for about 10 years now Full Review »
  2. Dec 1, 2020
    The best game of the PS3 A man with no friends, only live for revenge
    Live his life off the henge, cut, through a thousand men
    Blade swing
    The best game of the PS3 A man with no friends, only live for revenge
    Live his life off the henge, cut, through a thousand men
    Blade swing with the force of a cyclone
    Cut crystal and bone, pistol and chrome
    Stand in my path, you're a dead man
    I cut the whole world in half for the Number One headband
    Quest of a lonely soul, on a lonely road

    Hahahahahaha, we gon' do what we do right here, baby
    You already know what it is, Division, back in the building
    Brooklyn, you see 'em? Haha (yeah, come on) (soldier hold ya sword high)
    (Swing it like a Samurai) Who are we?
    We them breadwinning baby making, pill popping, liquor sipping
    Blunt smoking, gun toting, see how these **** living
    Earn, burning word for ya, curb serving
    Got you hooked by the first purchase, birds chirping
    Cops listening, with the gun sitting on they lap
    'Cause of that, the t-shirt's on the block, like 'stop snitching'
    Living by the code of the samurai
    Dreams put on hold like operators standing by
    What you craft with your heart or your weapon
    It's a question, what you craft with, a Glock or a message in a rhyme
    I teach you little savage part of a lesson and choice
    Between being a gangsta and an artist, is the start of your ending
    You can front like you a gangsta artist, but that ain't the smartest
    Decision, ****'ll test you
    Say you ain't the hardest, regardless, what you spare homey
    RZA told me that the game is flipping, nobody bent for me
    Haha, you already know what it is
    Murda is back in the building
    Division, back in the building
    Free Murda, dick longer than the O.J. Trial
    Have your **** backstage with the Colgate smile
    I'm on the back Glocks where the coke ring loud
    Bullets got flat tops like they stole Kane's style
    Warm 'em kid, you wanna flow, drain now
    Get your whole brain out, where your hoes hang out
    It's killing me, everybody got cocaine nail
    Stealing Free is like trying take a old stain out
    Your boy's on fire, my boat stays out
    It's gon' take more than a wire, to close they mouth
    Got a slice of that bread, bags that you stole
    You had a price on your head, now that tag's on your toe
    And you know that **** dead when the casket is closed
    Off with his dreads, keep the mag' in my clothes
    I'm trying, real good, the semi' got loud up
    You can die in your hood, like Kenny from South Park
    How many licks does it take
    For me to hit the tootsie roll center of a break?
    Yeah, how many hits must you make
    Before a man'll get his mule and his forty ac's How many licks does it take For me to hit the tootsie roll center of a break? Yeah, how many hits must you make Before a man'll get his mule and his forty ac's Soldier hold your sword high Swing it like your certified Now don't get all out of pride From the Afro Samurai
    Full Review »
  3. May 10, 2013
    After having my eye on Afro Samurai for a long, long time, I finally took the chance and picked it up. I have to say, I'm happy with it. It'sAfter having my eye on Afro Samurai for a long, long time, I finally took the chance and picked it up. I have to say, I'm happy with it. It's a fun hack 'n slash style brawler, full of gritty violence and style oozing out of every orifice. The game looks absolutely gorgeous for being 4 years old or so. The cel-shaded graphics really add to the game's world and the entire feel of what Afro Samurai should be, and all of the artistic choices in this game hit more times than they miss. The gameplay here has definitely been done before, but it adds just enough new twists to make it interesting to play. You play as Afro Samurai, and your weapon of choice is a Katana, which you can dismember enemy body parts with. The game has pretty amazing looking blood effects scattered throughout, and this is aided by a mechanic called focus mode. As Afro, you can slow down time around you to make precision sword slices to dismember enemies to pieces, and what a bloody show it is. What really makes this mechanic work is the fact that the game goes into a very gorgeous black and white manga effect that works on every level. Every time I enter focus mode, I either notice something new about it or figure out new ways to fiddle around with Afro's swordplay. It's a great time. The only problem I have with the swordplay is that it feels a bit floaty. Your attacks never really feel like they have much weight to them, except when you're in focus mode, and that's a shame since the combat system here is actually quite good. It includes parrying, kicking, light attacks, heavy attacks, pouncing on enemies, etc. It's a blast to play with, but the whole feel of it really could have been tightened up. Level design can be hit or miss. Most levels you play through play wonderfully, but some of the early stages can get downright boring. Some stages are full of enemies to fight, others feel barren and include some odd platforming elements. While the wall running, wall jumping, and platforming in general work most of the time, there are quite a few instances where it feels very wonky. Thankfully these sections never hold you back too much, and even if you fall into a pit, you'll be spawned where you left off. That being said, the platforming is also something that could have been tightened up a bit. The story it tells here is good, it's just not told in the best manner possible. The loading screens when you first start the game can throw you off, since I personally thought they were cutscenes at first that were flowing perfectly with the narrative. They do have relevance in the story, but they seem to be told so out of order that in the end, even though I did understand the story here, I didn't care much for the way it was told. My biggest problem with Afro Samurai is that it feels like everything needs to be just a little bit tighter for this to be one of the greats. After every complaint mentioned that I have with this game, I actually ended up having a really good time with it. The boss fights are great, the music is absolutely wonderful, and the sound design all around is good. The presentation here is great. The gameplay is fun. Hacking dudes to death with your sword, pouncing on them and lopping their heads off never seems to get old, but it all just seems floaty. In the end, I would recommend this game. It's a good time and you'll end up having a ton of fun with it if you can look past its shortcomings. Full Review »