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Forums > Submission Feedback > pickhut's Afro Samurai review

This thread is in response to a review for Afro Samurai on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: fleinn
Posted: August 16, 2009 (04:09 AM)
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:) a little light on the entire "The RZA is a genius", "the way the cinematics blend with gameplay is mostly effective", and "the pacing is perfect" stuff.

But it's interesting to read the impressions of someone who didn't like the platform elements. I.. don't know, though... the complaint I have is that it's so obviously scripted. There's not a single alternative path anywhere in sight. The only time there was one (Okiku's story), I just ended up going the wrong way..

Another thing.. the rope. Come on - you have one focus move, where you can aim the angle of the cut. :D

"...willing to wait out a little longer, though, you can unleash an even deadlier attack that can instant-kill everyone in the area.

However, with such a simple formula, the game can easily fall into the trap of becoming repetitive."

I'm extremely envious of how you cut the sentences down and get to the point. The narrative that runs between the paragraphs as well - this is very good, and helps the reading flow.

But about the game - there are a lot of things you can do between the combos and the overfocus. The bigger enemies really should be defeated by a timed block and an aimed focus- cut, for example.


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Author: pickhut
Posted: August 16, 2009 (02:00 PM)
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Well, I couldn't have much fault with how the game was set up, because I felt from the get-go that they intended to make the game pretty linear, mostly to stick with its simple, arcadey, hack and slash roots.

"Another thing.. the rope. Come on - you have one focus move, where you can aim the angle of the cut. :D"

But here's the thing: it's how the game was setting up previous moments the didn't help this situation. Every object that sparkled that came before only asked that the player walk up and hit it, no further explanation required. Because of this, it put the gamer into the mindframe that these types of situations are simple and didn't need any thought put into them. So when it came time to cut the rope, which also sparkled, it ended up misleading the player by just telling us to just "Cut the ropes." without any type of hint or explanation on how to cut it. Also, there was never any other situation before that required you to cut an object (sans people) in half using the Focus move, leaving the player clueless as to what exactly to do here. The developers really dropped the ball on this one part.

As for simplifying the explanation of the Focus and Over Focus moves, I didn't feel it was necessary to go in-depth about how the game/developers/manual explained these moves, because at the end of the day, they're just the same type of special moves seen and used in every video game. Also, I felt it would've just drag the opening paragraph, possibly splitting it into two paragraphs, so I just stripped away all the fancy names and over-explanations, and just went for the most basic way of talking about them.

As for the issue of attacking larger enemies, I never had much of a problem with them. I mostly attacked them with kicks or dash attacks, and used the Focus attacks from time to time. The only time I could think of about being extremely careful in combat was towards the end of the game on the hard difficulty, where I was forced to fight a gauntlet of enemies without any checkpoint between the brief breaks in groups.

Thanks for the comments, though! Appreciated the feedback.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: August 16, 2009 (02:37 PM)
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I spent a minute or two trying to figure out how to hack that rope, for sure. I think it was just after the moment where the game takes the time to teach you to properly use focus moves--which is an argument in the developer's defense--but I also don't remember there being any prompts that ropes like this one could now require new techniques to sever (which is of course an argument against the developer).

Anyway, I mostly agree with every point this review made but I would have scored the game higher because while the same things did bother me on occasion, it was never to the same extent. Also, I didn't find that there was any one move that insta-killed bosses or even huge throngs of enemies, and certainly not to a point that would've damaged the game.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: fleinn
Posted: August 16, 2009 (03:38 PM)
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As for simplifying the explanation of the Focus and Over Focus moves, I didn't feel it was necessary to go in-depth about how the game/developers/manual explained these moves, because at the end of the day, they're just the same type of special moves seen and used in every video game. Also, I felt it would've just drag the opening paragraph, possibly splitting it into two paragraphs, so I just stripped away all the fancy names and over-explanations, and just went for the most basic way of talking about them.

That's a good point. I wonder about that sometimes. Whether to draw out something out of the basic moves, or avoid the entire.. hobby- review theme :D, and just announce the what type of game it is. hmm..


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Author: pickhut
Posted: August 16, 2009 (08:49 PM)
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Also, I didn't find that there was any one move that insta-killed bosses or even huge throngs of enemies

You've never used Over Focus in an area filled with people? Also, I never mentioned that it can be done on bosses, but I guess I could edit that section to make it a bit clearer.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: August 17, 2009 (02:29 AM)
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Your review made it sound like you just press a button to instantly wipe out a bunch of enemies and use that technique to bully your way through the game without much effort (with the last bit about no effort being implied when you neglected to suggest otherwise). That's really not the case. The system is designed so that you have to beat a lot of guys the "normal" way--artfully works better, of course--before you can ever use your powered focus moves. And using them doesn't insta-kill bosses, even though it's generally a vital part of defeating them. I'm not saying you don't already know this, or that you were trying to mislead anyone, but I think the review will produce a misimpression on that front for people who haven't had the benefit of actually playing the game.

Anyway, I'm not trying to attack your review, which I felt was well-written in most respects. I'm just talking about that point.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: pickhut
Posted: August 17, 2009 (03:44 AM)
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I guess it really depends on the player then, because to me, having to charge up the Over Focus attack by attacking enemies didn't come off as a challenge at all, hence why I wrote it the way I did with phrases like "If you're willing to wait out a little longer". To me, it was more of a patience thing than anything else: the urge to use the normal Focus attacks on the fly, or wait it out a little longer for the Over Focus attack.


I head spaceshit noises


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