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'Samurai Champloo' (PS2) - 8 New Screens

by Rainier on Nov. 17, 2005 @ 12:30 p.m. PST

Based on the hit television series running on Cartoon Network’s adult swim block, Samurai Champloo introduces a truly innovative fighting system that unleashes samurai hack-and-slash combos hinged on the hip hop soundtrack of the gamers’ choosing.

"Created by Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of the phenomenal ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and ‘Macross Plus,’ ‘Samurai Champloo’ the animated series is an unlikely and irreverent union of 19th century Japan and urban hip hop," said Yoshinobu Matsuo, co-producer at Bandai Games. "So we approached the combat action genre with Watanabe’s aesthetics in mind. The stylish grooves are so integral to the fighting, samurai swordplay will never be the same again."

The hard-edged, hip-hop, pulse-pounding blend of wry humor, hardcore samurai action and lush animation of "Samurai Champloo" can also be seen in the multi-episodic series on DVD from Geneon Entertainment.

"Samurai Champloo" for the PlayStation 2 steps out of the hack-and-slash action genre and offers a new way to swing a finely-honed samurai blade. Set in Japan with hip hop feel from the hit TV series by the same name, this title allows gamers to breathe life to a "lost episode" as one of three playable characters ­ Mugen, a reckless samurai with break-dancing fighting style, calculated Jin who abides by the decorum of Bushido, and a mysterious new character exclusive to the video game. Stranded in northern land of Ezo (current day Hokkaido) in search of the samurai who smells of sunflowers, the player must face foreign mercenaries, master swordsmen, diabolical assassins, mythical beasts, and gangster monkeys.

The core of the game’s unique combat system lies in the innovative integration of music and linked attacks. The players can choose an array of combos based on the different hip hop grooves that they can swap at will. Music tracks become collectible, opening an extensive assortment of linked attacks that can be implemented tactically during combat.

Two additional fighting modes accompany the music-combo combat system, the visually arresting "Tate" and "Trance." When the tension gauge (fueled by a series of successful combos) is filled, the gamer will enter in "Tate" mode where the samurai is faced with a lone opponent artfully staged in front of a vibrant Japanese screen. After initiating a combination of buttons to stay in "Tate," the gamer can fulfill a hit meter to enter into "Trance." At this point, the background changes to silhouettes and an unrelenting number of enemies will attack the player. The player must survive and cut down opponents without taking a number of hits until the music ends. If the player survives, he is rewarded with a new item or weapon. With these innovative modes, "Samurai Champloo" is an original action title that melds hip hop attitude with the lyricism of the samurai warrior.

With inimitable "Tate" and "Trance" fighting modes inspired from the dazzling style of the series, this unique combination of music and swordplay is scheduled to ship early 2006.

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