Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku

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Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku
US box art for PS2 version of Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku
US box art for PS2 version
Developer(s) Adrenium Games
Amaze Entertainment
Publisher(s) Sega
Distributor(s) Cartoon Network Interactive
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Nintendo GameCube
Release date(s)
  • NA March 24, 2004
  • PAL August 6, 2004
Genre(s) Action-adventure
science fantasy
Mode(s) Single-player
multiplayer
Distribution DVD
Nintendo optical disc

Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku is an action-adventure video game released in 2004 by Adrenium Games and Amaze Entertainment and based on the Samurai Jack animated television series on Cartoon Network. BAM! Entertainment, the game's original publisher, canceled the game soon after development began, but the title was picked up by Sega.[1][2] The series' original voice actors, including Phil LaMarr, Mako Iwamatsu, Jeff Bennett, and Jennifer Hale, reprised their respective roles for the game. An Xbox version of the game was planned,[2] but never released, though GameRankings gave it a score of 58.95% anyway.[3] This game was after event of the series and series finale.

Gameplay[edit]

The game features an original story interconnected throughout 24 levels in 4 worlds. The player takes control of Jack, the series' protagonist and main character, as he rescues villagers, battles Aku's minions, and ultimately searches for the time portal to take him back to his own time. Jack's move set contains 25 moves and combo attacks, and his weapons include four elemental swords, shurikens, and a bow and arrow. The player can also fill Jack's "Zen meter", which allows him to enter a special slow-motion attack mode called "Sakai mode", among other things. The game ends in a final battle with Jack's nemesis, Aku. Other bosses include Mad Jack and the Scotsman.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS2) 61.46%[4]
(Xbox) 58.95%[3]
(GC) 58.31%[5]
Metacritic (PS2) 59/100[6]
(GC) 59/100[7]
Review scores
Publication Score
Electronic Gaming Monthly 6.17/10[8]
Game Informer 6/10[9]
GamePro 3.5/5 stars[10]
Game Revolution D[11]
GameSpot 5.2/10[12]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[13]
GameZone (GC) 7/10[14]
(PS2) 6/10[15]
IGN 5.2/10[1]
NintendoLife 6/10 stars[16]
Nintendo Power 3.8/5[17]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 4/5 stars[18]
Official Xbox Magazine 6.8/10[19]
The Sydney Morning Herald 2.5/5 stars[20]
The Times 2/5 stars[21]

Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku received generally mixed to negative reviews from critics. Mary Jane Irwin of IGN criticized the game for its annoying combat system, "uninteresting" story, and lack of challenge in boss battles. She also heavily criticized the game's visuals, saying, "Everything is incredibly angular and the only way to describe it is awful. It's just sad that in no way was the show's incredible presentation translated into the videogame."[1] GameSpot's Alex Navarro called it "utterly forgettable" and said, "its lack of depth, style, or technical polish essentially ruins whatever chance it ever could have had to appeal to anyone outside of the most diehard of Samurai Jack fans."[12] Both critics did, however, compliment the game on its sound.[1][12]

The Sydney Morning Herald gave it a score of two-and-a-half stars out of five and stated that "While [the game] is an enjoyable adventure for youngsters, it is also wearingly generic and disappointingly brief."[20] The Times gave it only two stars out of five and said, "The trouble is that once you have got the hang of the swordplay, throwing stars and bow and arrow, it all becomes a bit repetitive, while the problem-solving element to the game provides little challenge."[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Irwin, Mary Jane (March 23, 2004). "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku". IGN. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  2. ^ a b "SEGA Partners with Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to Publish Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube.". Business Wire. January 27, 2004. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  3. ^ a b "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku for Xbox". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  4. ^ "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku for GameCube". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  6. ^ "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  7. ^ "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku for GameCube Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  8. ^ EGM Staff (May 2004). "Samurai Jack: the Shadow of Aku". Electronic Gaming Monthly (179): 89. Archived from the original on 2004-04-06. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  9. ^ "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku". Game Informer (133): 93. May 2004. Archived from the original on 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  10. ^ Bro Buzz (May 2004). "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku Review for PlayStation 2 on GamePro.com". GamePro: 70. Archived from the original on 2004-06-03. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  11. ^ Gee, Brian (April 9, 2004). "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku Review (PS2)". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  12. ^ a b c Navarro, Alex (March 19, 2004). "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  13. ^ Stratton, Bryan (March 25, 2004). "GameSpy: Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2006-01-08. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  14. ^ Bedigian, Louis (March 28, 2004). "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku - GC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  15. ^ Surette, Tim (April 11, 2004). "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  16. ^ Bowskill, Thomas (January 2, 2006). "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku (GameCube) Review". NintendoLife. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  17. ^ "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku". Nintendo Power 180: 121. May 2004. 
  18. ^ Davison, John (May 2004). "Samurai Jack: the Shadow of Aku". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Archived from the original on 2004-04-15. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  19. ^ "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku". Official Xbox Magazine: 84. May 2004. 
  20. ^ a b Hill, Jason (September 9, 2004). "Disappointingly brief". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  21. ^ a b "Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku". The Times. August 7, 2004. Retrieved 2014-01-15. (subscription required)

External links[edit]