Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time Review [PC]

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Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time Review [PC] – Relive Jack’s greatest battles in this beautifully rendered original adventure

Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is an action-adventure game, from Adult Swim Games. that follows everyone’s favorite time-displaced samurai on an original adventure throughout his greatest battles. In the final moments before he and Ashi takedown Aku, Aku sends them through time to separate them once again. In order to find Ashi and return to the past and defeat Aku once and for all, Jack must once again face his greatest battles to reunite with his love and save the world.

Battle Through Time has a very direct and straight to the point story. You play as Jack and you take control and fight through his greatest battles. It was a very smart way to allow players to relive the most iconic battles and also put them in the driver’s seat. It perfectly fits with the show, and it’s always a pleasure to experience Phi LaMarr perform. With that being said, the story is not revolutionary. The show is very direct and to the point, much like John Wick. It is thoroughly rich and engaging, but it doesn’t leave room for extrapolation. Which is a good thing, but in terms of a video game, it’s a bit of a hole to dig out of, and the story’s impact never gets above it. It is perfectly serviceable to the game and fits right in with the show. But if the game were to take place in the show, it would feel like a whole season’s worth of clip shows or an extremely repetitive filler. If the game followed Jack’s story from the beginning, it wouldn’t change the game and would give more reason for you to level up and develop skills.

Playing as Samurai Jack is by far the heart of the game. Adult Swim games did an amazing job capturing the experience of being Jack. You get to hack and slash your way through hoards of underlings, with some being particularly troublesome and requiring extra effort. Then you get to strategically and barely beat mini-bosses and bosses. Your gi deteriorates as you lose health, so you often end up looking as worn and ragged as Jack does on the show. It’s extremely gratifying and very rewarding to be nearly dead but standing victorious. As the game progresses you unlock more skills and abilities, and with masterful controls, you are able to be as unbeatable as Jack himself is in the series. There’s also a fair amount of exploring to do the get extra powerups and destroy and collect Aku artifacts that impact the progression of the game. There are also times in stages where you transition from a 3rd-person action game into a side-scrolling beat’em up. It gloriously captures Jack’s run-and-slash fighting as he traverses great distances. It is visually stunning and thoroughly gripping to be sprinting through long spaces through hordes of enemies. The game really does an incredible job of capturing the Jack experience.

As great as the gameplay is though, the mechanics aren’t quite as polished. Leveling up to unlock more abilities and attacks is a tedious grinding process. You quickly turn into a pot breaker, like Link, and in a far less expansive world. Finding and breaking pots and objects to collect the materials to level up becomes a chore. It does encourage the exploration process, however the exploration does not have a gratifying factor that makes it feel worth the effort. You platform around to find a secret area, get more upgrade material, and that’s it. Occasionally you may have an NPC, but it’s usually the Scottsman, one of his daughters, or the talking dog. It’s never anything impressive either, it’s usually a consumable or material to upgrade. If they had coupled it with easter eggs, showing deep references to the show, inside jokes, or something to really tickle the fans, it would be much more exciting and gratifying. But sadly, it’s very much a grinding process and it does not feel to keep pace with the game. Not that it hinders you from playing in any way, but you just don’t feel you progress as fast as Jack would. There are some nice touches to the skill names that do reference Jack learning new abilities in the show, such as “Jump Good” which are really rewarding to unlock. However, other than name recognition, it doesn’t feel organic, and it’s just a cool name in a non-distinct skill tree.

The last thing about the game’s mechanics I want to cover in my Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time review is about the combat system. While the game does an amazing job of capturing the power and fluidity of Jack’s attacks. His defense and targeting are noticeably lacking the same polish. Targeting is near flawless if you activate it, it will hone in on a single enemy and you can unleash your attacks with deadly precision. But if your targeting isn’t activated, the game still has a natural targeting that can throw you off your rhythm instantly. If your camera isn’t set right, you incredible combo that would cut through at least 5 enemies before finishing, ends up cutting down two and you finish your combo on a corpse unable to change the direction of your attacks. It’s frustrating because it ruins the replay value of the action. You easily recover and don’t have to worry about it getting you killed, it’s just far less cool than how you plan it. The countering system, on the other hand, is truly frustrating. I am spoiled with the counter-attack system from the Arkham series, so if you’re playing an elite warrior like Jack, and can’t counter while comboing, it really frustrates me. You can’t be the greatest Samurai of all time and can’t instantly counter an attack to save your life. It’s not logical.

But despite that, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time does an incredible job capturing the experience of being Jack and beautifully recreates the 2D Animation in a 3D rendered environment. You get to feel what it’s like to tear through and outfight enemies, as well as relive all the iconic battles from the series. You get to interact with popular characters, see all of the incredible locations, and finally end finally take on Aku yourself. While Jack’s defense and targeting mechanics prevent the combat experience from being flawless and the exploration, while necessary, lacks any impactful flavor, fans of the series and fans of action-slashers will thoroughly enjoy playing as Jack as he battles his way through an incredibly rendered clip show. My Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time review gets a 7/10.

Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is available now on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC via Steam and the Epic Game Store

 

 

Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time Review
  • 6/10
    Story - 6/10
  • 8/10
    Gameplay - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Mechanics - 7/10
7/10

TLDR

But despite that, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time does an incredible job capturing the experience of being Jack and beautifully recreates the 2D Animation in a 3D rendered environment. You get to feel what it’s like to tear through and outfight enemies, as well as relive all the iconic battles from the series. You get to interact with popular characters, see all of the incredible locations, and finally end finally take on Aku yourself. While Jack’s defense and targeting mechanics prevent the combat experience from being flawless and the exploration, while necessary, lacks any impactful flavor, fans of the series and fans of action-slashers will thoroughly enjoy playing as Jack as he battles his way through an incredibly rendered clip show.

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