Afro Samurai pushed to January 27

Samuel L. Jackson-voiced action adventure from Namco Bandai now spinning onto 360, PS3 next year.

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As difficult as it may be to believe, Namco Bandai acquired the rights to develop games based on GDH's Afro Samurai manga way back in August 2005. With the game initially slated to release alongside a five-episode anime miniseries of the same name, it wasn't until mid-2007 that the publisher teased the media with its first look at the game. That performance wasn't encored until this year's D.I.C.E. Summit.

However, since then, Namco Bandai has been more than forthcoming with updates on the title, a sure indication that the game would soon be ready for primetime. With the publisher initially penciling the game in for this fall, Namco Bandai said today that Afro Samurai will now make its debut on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on January 27, 2009.

Not unlike Shinichiro Watanabe's Samurai Champloo, Afro Samurai melds feudal Japan with a modern hip-hop aesthetic, in which the titular blademaster sets out on a quest for revenge against his father's killer. Like the anime released in January 2007, the action adventure will feature the vocal stylings of Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, xXx: State of the Union) and will include additional story elements that expand upon the anime.

A key element of the title, the soundtrack was supervised by Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA, and Namco Bandai promises a reactive enemy AI that responds to the beats during battles. The publisher also promises an exceedingly brutal experience, where the Afro Samurai will have open and interactive environments in which to dismember his adversaries.

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