If you spent your childhood watching Cartoon Network, then you’ll know who Samurai Jack is. However, for the young ones who don’t know, Samurai Jack was a cartoon series about a warrior whose aim was to go back in time and execute the evil Aku.
Three years have passed since the show’s conclusion, and now the hype is back once again due to Soleil Games’ release of Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time. It doesn’t come as a surprise that this game is so well-done, though. After all, Soleil Games also did Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive.
The way they set up the game goes like this: you can choose different scenarios in the game that have a counterpart in the cartoon. In other words, each level is inspired from an episode in the show, even changing Jack’s appearance as needed. From there, you can relive Samurai Jack’s history, but with a fun yet canonical twist.
Despite the fact that the game uses the cartoon as a direct source material, the gameplay is a completely unique and modern experience. The combat system is also a blast from the past, reminding you of PlayStation 2 games such as the original God of War, and Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.
Battle Through Time is a basic, 3D platform game wherein you can string together a series of attacks to create combos. There are various kinds of weapons you can make of as well, such as spears, shurikens, guns, and swords to name a few. Although generally, the game is pretty straightforward, but this doesn’t mean you’ll finish it right away. Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is full of puzzles, hidden treasure, and familiar NPCs.
To make things even more fun, you also have the option to customize your character Jack with different skills, although some of the higher skill require rare gems in order for you to unlock them.
It’s not all about fighting, though – Soleil Games also added in special moments between Jack and Ashi, which is something that older fans will definitely appreciate. The animators have also made sure to try and copy how the cartoon looked while adding a modern twist to it, and we can say that they definitely did a great job.
With the game’s release, creator Genndy Tartakovsky and series writer Darrick Bachman think back on how it felt like to return to the series after how many years.
What was it like returning to the world and characters?
Genndy: “It’s always a warm experience, like seeing your kid return from college.”
Darrick: “As work got underway on the game’s narrative, we found that sliding back into the world and characters wasn’t as difficult as imagined. We had finished the fifth season only a few years prior, so characters like Ashi, the Daughters of Aku, and Scaramouche were still rattling around in our heads. The real challenge came from revisiting the characters and locations from the first four seasons. You suddenly find yourself having to rediscover Jack’s relationships with amazing characters like the Scotsman or Da Samurai, be immersed in the action of facing off against foes like the Imakandi or travel to places like the graveyard from episode 30. It was such a thrill to play in that world again.”
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is a wonderful game if you want to take a trip down memory lane. As you literally go back in time in the game, you will also find yourself figuratively through traversing space and time – back to when we were much younger.