will stick it out, others will recognize Sam Champ
for what it is - a "been there, done that"
cash in. by Cass Andrusiak
18, 2006 - I've
never watched the anime version of Samurai Champloo
and I can guarantee you that I never will. It's just
not my thing. At least this game which is based on
the series allows outsiders in, with its somewhat
accessible storyline. There are plenty of nods to
fans of the show with obscure references that only
they would get but I didn't feel entirely left out.
But at the same time, I was aware that there is an
exclusive club - and thankfully I'm not a member.
I shouldn't judge the TV series on this game, but
anything that blends ancient feudal Japan with hip
hop culture has got to be kidding. I guess it's not
much of a stretch from games like Samurai Warrior
that use techno and scorching guitar riffs as the
soundtrack to events that took place almost a thousands
years ago, but come on, let's get some originality
here. From what I can tell this show is just an excuse
to throw together some extreme violence and adult-content
while pandering to a teen demographic. The writing
does seem to show signs of intelligence but just making
things bizarre does not constitute brilliance or originality.
What I see is a series that is a manufactured manipulating
a game, Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked, is just an
amalgam of every run-of-the-mill hack-and-slash game.
It's a poor imitation of games like Samurai Warrior
and Onimusha. It relies on the basic hack-and-slash
formula and is content to cover the well worn ground
of previous games in the genre. The gameplay is straightforward
and derivative. It's a textbook example of a button
masher that throws seemingly endless waves of enemies
at you, complete with the requisite boss battles after
you've dismembered a few hundred enemies. Sure the
game is challenging but it's also really boring. There
just isn't enough to do and although the storyline
is interesting, I could watch the TV show without
spending good money for a game. What I care about
is the gameplay, and although I can't complain that
there isn't enough action, I can complain that the
action isn't varied enough to hold my interest for
and Jin are the two Samurais that you will control.
They are indebted to a third party, a young cherub
named Fuu. Mugen is an innovator and Jin is more conservative.
The trio is an unlikely combination, with vastly different
personalities, which is a hackneyed comedic device
designed to generate cheap laughs and highlight some
different combat techniques. The only thing they all
share is an obsessive affinity for food. The two Samurai
are compelled to protect Fuu on her quest to find
the Samurai that smells like sunflowers. Her adventures
will take her to strange lands which includes encounters
with warring clans and mythical monsters.
can play as either Samurai and see the events unfold
through their perspective. The story will play out
differently depending on which character you choose
and the path that you take. Jin's fighting style is
simple with short attacks while Mugen favors a hip
hop combat/dance style (groan) that incorporates plenty
of combos. These combos are strung together with the
aid of an attack tree which increases the power and
length of the combos as long as you continue to execute
them successfully. The Tension meter builds as you
land hits but it will also go in reverse if you start
taking hits from the enemy. If you manage to build
the meter to the maximum level you will access the
Hyper mode where your speed is increased three times
allowing you to make 15 attacks in one second.
town, your character will visit the record store and
purchase some disks which will contain the attack
combos that will branch from the attack tree. Each
track contains a slightly different combat style,
and you can purchase more records for more attacks.
Don't worry, it doesn't have to make sense.
are only two main attack buttons. One is for heavy
attacks and one is for weak attacks. There is a modifier
button but it's more cosmetic than anything else.
It adds some pizzazz to your moves but you could play
the game without it and that's part of the problem.
The combat system lacks depth and that's not only
the fault of the limited control system but the AI
as well which doesn't put up much of a fight. Not
only will you fight hundreds of generic enemies but
there's a bonus mode which lets you fight another
hundred enemies. Accomplish this and you will win
a bonus item. The bosses are a little more interesting.
You'll get to use more blocking moves as you ward
off blows while discerning any patterns and waiting
for the moment when they are most vulnerable.
are tons of cutscenes, some actually move the story
along while others
will get you sidetracked.
I can appreciate the attempt at the humor in the storyline
and I do like the way that things don't always make
sense, as in a Monty Python kind of way, but as I
said, I could watch the cartoon for free if that was
all I was interested in. I would like to see that
kind of eccentricity applied to the gameplay. Things
would be a lot more interesting.
cutscenes aren't even all that great looking. The
camera angles are fixed and don't always afford you
the best view. Some of the character animations are
spotty and there just isn't enough variation in the
enemy character models. The characters are voiced
by the actors from the TV series, the lip-synching
is badly out of time, which is very distracting. I
was so amazed at how bad it looked that I didn't even
hear a lot of things the characters said. There are
some laughs to be had but I really didn't find any
of the characters endearing or interesting.
you play the game through as both characters, you
will unlock a third playable character. That sounds
more like a punishment than incentive. How about let
me complete the game once and then have it self-destruct
and refund all of my money back? Including time wasted.
would be difficult to recommend this game to those
that are not fans of the show. The only reason that
some gamers might continue to play the game into the
second hour is because it hints at a deeper combat
experience. When you finally realize that most of
your moves are going to be accessed by only two buttons
with the occasional button-pushing mini games, it's
likely to be game-over for most players.
a samurai! Play as Mugen, Jin, or the game-exclusive
character to unleash your inner samurai moves!
your way through feudal-era Japan with hip hop style:
Execute the combo-system fusing hip hop with samurai
sword action. Game original hip hop tracks deliver
original combos. Build your collection of tracks
to improve your fighting abilities.
missing episode you can't miss: Original storyline
and world - a new experience that is unavailable
with the TV series. Unravel the storyline in multiple
ways depending on which character you select!
style weapons: More than 50 weapons are at your