Afro Samurai

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Afro Samurai Game Poster Image
Brutal fighting game with profanity, nudity, stereotypes.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Some players might object to the strongly stereotypical portrayal of African Americans in this game, particularly the main character. Players can visit strip clubs where they will see topless women.


While animated, the violence is quite graphic in nature, including the ability to behead and dismember limbs with your sword, causing bloody chunks of body parts to fall to the ground and spurt blood.


The "Pole cats" in the strip clubs are topless female dancers. Dialog has many explicit sexual references.



This game has very profane language including words such as "mother f--ker," "f--k me," "f--k you," "s--t," "pussy," "bitch," "ass" and others. And it's very frequent, too.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main hero often has a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Some of the fighting moves allude to drug references, such as the "Duble toke" or "Splitting the spliff."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that they should take heed to the "Mature" ESRB warning on Afro Samurai. The game is excessively violent, gory, profane, and shows partial nudity. Explicit sexual references are heard in the dialogue. Violence and profanity are most common, with the former showing body parts slicing in half and copious amounts of blood spurting out of the wounds. Characters make drug references and smoke cigarettes. Finally, the African-American protagonist is portrayed as a broad stereotype.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjoshua martinez June 7, 2010

not for kids.

Afro samurai is only for adults and parents you need to know that Afro samurai is in extremely violent video game that lets you cut people in half and you see g... Continue reading
Adult Written byREQUIEMXPRESS January 31, 2009

Fun.But quick

This game is a good hack n slash for Xbox 360.It's gory and has one level with topless girls in it and cursing all in it,its no problem for a normal 15 yea... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byorearrynao July 18, 2011

Not as bad as people think

This game isn't as bad as people lead you to believe. The drinking and smoking is basically the standard of your average TV show. It's a lot more tole... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byDzanderX July 27, 2010

Don't buy or play it.

Terrible game. It made me literally want to pull my hair out. The violence and language is way over the top. Just over all one of the worst games I have ever pl... Continue reading

What's it about?

If you thought Samuel L. Jackson's previous projects were laden with profanity and violence, such as the Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction flicks, wait 'til you lay your hands on AFRO SAMURAI, an over-the-top animated adventure based on the television mini-series of the same name. If you're unfamiliar with the TV show, Afro Samurai follows an afro-donning, cigarette-smoking samurai (voiced by Jackson), who goes on a mission to avenge the murder of his father in a futuristic depiction of a feudal Japan. This lone warrior hacks and slashes countless enemies with his trusty sword.

Controlling Afro from a third-person perspective is pretty simple, with light and heavy attacks, kicks and jumps, and a reward for pulling "combos" featuring a mix of these moves: enough "Focus Points" accumulated by savvy ninja moves lets you press and hold a button on the controller and enter a slow-moving, black-and-white fighting mode, allowing Afro to pull off special attacks.

Is it any good?

This game honors the same beautiful graphical style as the show with smoothly animated movement, graphic novel-style storyboarding sequences, and dramatic slow-motion effects that all contribute to the game's charm. Add an original hip-hop soundtrack from The RZA (a.k.a. Robert F. Diggs, of Wu-Tang Clan fame) and you've got one interesting game from an audio-visual perspective.

But this "Mature"-rated game is not for young eyes (or ears, due to excessive cursing). Afro's vengeance spills copious amounts of blood as he takes down baddie after baddie -- it's possible to decapitate, dismember, and impale foes, with red stuff gushing and splattering with each slice -- even onto the "camera" for added impact. While fighting is the name of the game, there are also some less-gratifying puzzle-solving elements and "platforming" tasks that challenge players to balance on planks and platforms, jump and swing on poles, and so forth. Another issue is the auto-camera that follows you around this world, which sometimes obscures your view in tight places (usually indoors). Shortcomings aside, this game's high-production values (including its stunning art style, memorable set pieces, and great soundtrack) and over-the-top combat should more than satiate adult gamers with a yen for this kind of virtual violence.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Afro Samurai's controversial content is more acceptable because it's an interactive cartoon instead of attempting to be a photorealistic violent game? And do celebrities such as Samuel L. Jackson and Ron Perlman add credibility to this game? Are we more forgiving of its mature content because the cinematics are "artsy"?


Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: January 28, 2009
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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