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August 23, 2004
Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
27/8/2004THQSega/
Adrenium Games
1$79.95

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Rather plain graphics, sadly.
While not as popular as the massively popular and groundbreaking Astro Boy, Samurai Jack has gained quite a large audience around the world. I personally have not seen more then a handfull of episodes - but that doesn't mean the game doesn't hold some interest. Indeed, with Sega developing the title it is one of my more anticipated titles during the early part of 2004 (well, until the delay obviously). Like many entertainment and mediums being updated today the developers have opted for 3D presentation, in both gameplay and cinematics. Will it work? I'm not so sure but the game has the usual story and features one would expect.

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A terrorist with dynamite?
Thrust into the future by the evil Aku, a lone Samurai warrior must quickly find the time portal to the past to rescue his defenseless people. Ancestors of the displaced Samurai call him "Jack" and help him through four enemy-filled realms with 24 interactive levels. Samurai Jack suffers various states of damage if he fails to dodge fireballs and sword strikes, but slow-motion attacks, devastating combo moves, and sushi snacks empower the hearty warrior. Through a burning village, the bustling Aku City, and on, Jack blasts through doors, finds hidden pathways, and frees caged locals, bringing him ever closer to fulfilling his great destiny - the defeat of Aku once and for all.

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Ahhh the hero.
Actually playing Samurai Jack allows gamers to defeat enemies with signature combat moves, plus three elemental Swords, Throwing Stars, and a Bow and Arrow. The game also includes a Sakai Mode which slows down the action for more precision. Jack will also have to fight against well-known foes such as Aku, the Scotsman, and Mad Jack. The game also offers three difficulty levels and will retain authenticity with contributions from the cartoon series creator, artists, voice actors, and composers to create an authentic Samurai Jack experience.

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Surrounded by enemies.
As I previously mentioned I haven't really seen many of the cartoons, but I can certainly tell you that this game doesn't quite capture the style of the series. Texturing and overall graphical quality is below what one would expect from the Playstation 2 - and indeed from Sega. Fortunately from the footage I've seen it seems passable in the gameplay engine area, just.

It will be interesting to see how well this game is received in Australia. The license is fairly big in America, but few in Australia would have heard of Samurai Jack. Still, with Sega, and Adrenium Games developing the title there is plenty of potential. Expect an Australian release in August 2004.