Who's a badass mother...shut your mouth! Shaft…wait, no, sorry, I mean AFRO SAMURAI! Specifically in this case, Afro Samurai 2 from Redacted Studios and publisher Versus Evil. Seeking to pick up where Afro Samurai left off, players this time around step into the role of Kuma. However, he's not quite the same Kuma we all remember, and this time around he's sporting a rather large and rather advanced teddy bear head that provides him with a bit of extra help in his quest for revenge.
Those familiar with the original game will feel right at home with this upcoming sequel. It falls very much into the same vein as the first game, but with some much-needed improvements and other benefits that should certainly draw fans back into the slicing and dicing fold.
Kuma, much like Afro, is a badass dude. Rather than being a specific one-trick pony with his abilities, however, Kuma is much more adaptive and able to spread out a bit. Like noted, the teddy bear head Kuma sports in this game also serves as a way for Kuma to switch his fighting styles, learning more as the game progresses. The initial ones I played with were varied – a defensive style focused on deflection and counterattacking, a purely offensive whirlwind of blades, and a more one-on-one focused style. While all of these styles vary differently in how Kuma dances around and cuts his enemies down, the combat has been greatly simplified from the first game. Now there are only three buttons – attack, dodge/parry, and a finishing move button usable on enemies closer to death. The addition of newer fighting styles and simplified combat mechanics got me back into the groove very quickly, which thankfully felt just the same. Seriously though, the groove was great. The feel and vibe of the original game's music is back and better than ever.
The original Afro Samurai had quite the cult following with its over-the-top gore and action, and Afro Samurai 2 will not shy away from that path. Fans can expect to see the game on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC hopefully sometime in the near future.