Welcome to the Ride To Hell: Retribution of anime adaptations. Not to mince words here, if you want a true guide on how to get a game utterly wrong you need look no further than Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One. An atrocity almost beyond words, it’s astounding someone managed to make a worse licenced anime game than Dragon Ball Z for Kinect.
The story ties into the series, where you play as Kuma, a reborn warrior Afro betrayed and killed, now resurrected with a stuffed bear’s head by a cybernetic cult. Why? Because it’s Afro Samurai and that’s just how the series rolls. Unfortunately even this zany premise is let down by a script which seems to have been penned by a cussing twelve year old on a sugar high. Throwing out every desperate reference imaginable to try and seem hip with the kids - not to mention random nudity and cluster f-bombs - the game demands your attention rather than earns it. Beating you over the head with its message, it tries to force you to care about Kuma and his ilk in every forced way I can think of, right down to murdering everyone he loves.
Still, a bad story can be overcome with solid gameplay right? Don’t get your hopes up. Despite being a rare example of a release locked at 60 FPS there are frame drops and signs of poor optimisation all over the place, with little to no technical support of any kind. This hinders use on PC, but it’s further hampered by terrible, awkward and unresponsive controls which seem to react a second after you input any command. This makes combat a chore at best, often encouraging victories by endlessly spamming the most powerful attacks.
The pacing is all over the place and the extreme linearity of the game will have you giving up long before the end. With no exploration and the worst example of railroading the player since Final Fantasy XIII, you’ll be stuck following a set track almost the entire way. This isn’t helped by the fact over half the game consists of cutscenes, a good five or so for every two minutes of action in an episode with a well under three hour lifespan.
Beyond the excellent OST contributed by RZA, and almost ruined by the sheer lack of sound balancing, there is nothing here to praise in the slightest. Stick to the 2009 Afro Samurai folks, anything with flaws this glaring and offensive does not deserve your cash.
AFRO SAMURAI 2: REVENGE OF KUMA VOLUME 1 / DEVELOPER: REDACTED STUDIOS / PUBLISHER: VERSUS EVIL / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW