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Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time Game Review


In what was a surprise to many, Adult Swim Games and Soleil released a video game adaption of Season 5 of Samurai Jack. As I write this article, I am on my second play through on Master Samurai (the game's Expert Mode). 

Going into the game I knew I'd have fun as I love the cartoon and its a hack-n-slash beat 'em up. Who doesn't like those types of mindless, relatively easy games? Off rip, Battle Through Time is beautiful. It looks better than the cartoon (though the mediums are different). I played on the Nintendo Switch which is cool because I had fun taking pictures of Jack standing in the lush forest of the Ruined City or the cold ambiance of the Snowy Forest. 

Story wise it is to be expected of Samurai Jack. If you've watched the final season, you know what happens but there are twists. The game starts with the final battle against Aku but as Jack and Ashi slip through the portal, Aku attacks, sending Jack back to square one. The player must again fight against 9 Stages to reach Aku and Ashi again. Like I said, it's the same as season 5 so if you enjoyed it, you'll love playing through it this time. 

The combat in the game is clunky but not game breaking. You can choose to fight barehanded, with the classic magic sword, spears, hammers and for secondary weapons; bows, pistols and a machine gun. All weapons have their own upgrades and perks. The magic sword works against everyone while barehanded works best against the Imakandi. Spears are long and fast which is great for floating enemies and golems while hammers are great for final bosses. One thing that I really enjoy about this game is that no matter how strong of an enemy, defeating them is very rewarding. Though the game isn't the most technical, beating strong opponents feels good. 

Now, one of the worst aspects of the game is the camera. When there are multiple enemies on screen, which happens a lot, the camera goes bonkers. The lock on system doesn't help at all. You could lock on to an opponent but if you can't kill them in under two hits, the other enemies will gang up on you. If they get you into a corner then its game over. Doing a dash attack with Y is a better lock on feature than the actual feature. There are times when I had everything under control but the camera killed me. 

I played "Samurai" on my first play through. "Samurai" is the game's Medium skill level. Outside of bosses, there are random spikes in the enemies difficulty that you're not prepared for. The worst part is, its for the low level fodder. An enemy that can be killed in one hit can tank an entire combo in the next area of the stage. Then it goes back to being one hit kills. Its very inconsistent tipping the player off balance. Its a very weird occurrence in the game. Lastly, even though the game is an Action/Adventure, there are platforming aspects. Its ass. As I said earlier, the game is clunky which does not mix well with the games need for you to platform. There are times when I found myself stuck on a platform scene because of the terrible mechanics. 

Regardless of the cons, I have to say, this game is true to the show as you fight for your life just as much as Jack did in the cartoon. I truly felt as if I was in a never ending time loop war. Despite the game's flaws, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is a fun game that I think everyone should play. Its different from most games on the market right now. Its simple in design but that is its biggest strength. 

Garser Dismuke is a writer for as well as

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