Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time
Developer: Soleil Ltd.
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Genre: Action & Adventure
Platform: Xbox One
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 21/08/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
FOOLISH SAMURAI! Welcome back a true legend, a hero with a sword, here to defeat the evil demon Aku. In this third-person action and adventure, you will play the legendary Samurai Jack from the famous cartoon by Adult Swim. You are blasted back into the past, and it is up to Jack to find his way back as he ventures through locations and enemies beyond belief to save the future.
You Will Not Win Aku!
You will have to fight through hordes of relentless different enemies such as the robot beetles and robot alligators, to the Imankandi, a breed of noble warriors, to the minions of Aku himself. The combat system is easy to pick up on and a lot of fun to swing your sword and cut up the robotic baddies. You can also target enemies, making it easier to attack, and you can switch from enemy to enemy. You will use a variety of different skills and moves as you progress through the world of Samurai Jack.
See You Later Alligator
Now all massive action and adventure games come with a levelling system where you will gain more abilities and skills to succeed, but it’s not that easy. You must slash your way through enemies to collect the materials you need to upgrade; these items are dropped by enemies you defeat. To level up, you must collect two types of pickups called Skill Fire and Bushido: Skill Fire is easier to find and is used for all abilities, whereas Bushido is a lot harder to find or be dropped by enemies. You will also sometimes need certain diamonds and jewels which you will find at rare times or in chests. There are three types of Skill Fire Abilities: you have spiritual that will boost your inner strength and Kiai abilities, physical which increases your mobility and hand to hand skills, and combat which hones your skills with weapons.
Ready, Aim and Fire
Once you finish an enemy, they will drop all sorts of items from golden coins which you will use in Da Samurai’s shop, Skill Fire, Bushido, and an otherworldly essence called Dama. Dama comes in three different colours, and each one has a different power. Silver or White restores health which can be a serious lifesaver, especially during a time you are about to die. Orange increases your attack for a short period, and Blue will fortify your defence for a short period of time; these will be dropped a lot. You will also have one more thing to collect, which is your super powerup called Kiai Fire, which powers up your weapon and makes you almost invincible for a few attacks. Once your fire meter has filled up, press the left and right analogue stick at the same time to trigger it.
You will come across a lot of different weapons from close combat to long-range. These can vary from hammers to spears, even your fists, to bow and arrows and guns. Your weapons are sadly not indestructible and will break over time, so if this happens, you can repair them at Da Samurai’s shop for a price. You will also need to find the right ammunition for the weapon you have; for example, you cannot use light bullets for an automatic rifle. These can also be found on enemies holding guns or bought. Long-range will help you take out enemies from afar, but sadly bows and guns can also break so be careful.
Blast From the Past
When you get wounded your Gi, which is your health, and the outfit you are wearing will start to tear. This will help you know when you are about to die, which I found to be an incredibly helpful mechanic in the game, and you can also use items to heal such as Haggis and hot water. You can find these in chests, given to you by the main characters of the game, or bought from the shop. There is a limit of how many you can buy or have, but it can be upgraded to make it easier for you. I would also recommend using the block and parry mechanic, but once you die, you will be transported back to the nearest checkpoint.
If you get stuck on where to go sadly, there is no map, but a new mechanic called camera focus. If pressed, it will show you exactly where to go in a zoomed focus on the location, so I used this to make sure I explored everything and did not miss out on secrets. This will only work when you are in passive mode and not combat.
Rock Meet Hammer
Soleil Ltd outdid themselves when creating this game; you can explore a massive world, and although it’s not free to roam, you can still find many secrets and characters along the way. The colourful world switches from 2D to 3D, so that was a nice little change. The music has you pumped up to fight, and the design and graphics are impressive for a cartoon game. Even the cinematics are interesting to watch, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the interactions with the characters. They even brought back the original voice actors to reprise their roles, including the legendary John DiMaggio, who everyone knows is an amazing voice actor. You will also go through worlds and locations from the franchise such as Aku’s Mines to the city of Imankandi.
Boss battles are a huge factor of this game taking on Samurai Jack’s greatest foes in battle, but before going up against these, you have a chance to visit Da Samurai’s shop. You can buy weapons, throwables, and items to help you, and you can also train with Da Samurai too, which will unlock new moves and make your weapons even more powerful. Challenges are also present, which can vary from fighting a certain enemy amount of times to parrying perfectly. There is even a challenge for seeing certain characters in every location. This will award you with Skill Fire if completed.
Run Samurai Jack!
The game comes packed with tons of achievements to unlock to boost that Gamerscore, so keep hunting. This game was a serious blast from the past and brought back memories of my brothers watching this beloved cartoon as a kid with me. Some levels can be challenging, but you can lower the difficulty if you start to struggle. Now go my fellow Samurais and defeat Aku once and for all.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time for Xbox at the following link: Microsoft Store