Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked for the PS2 goes beyond the hack-and-slash action genre and offers a new way to swing a finely-honed samurai blade. Set in Japan with the hip hop feel of the hit TV series of the same name, this title allows gamers to breathe life into 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 the 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" modes. When the tension gauge (fueled by a series of successful combos) is filled, the gamer will enter "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: Sidetracked(TM)" is an original action title that melds hip hop attitude with the lyricism of the samurai warrior.
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