"I will never forgive you… For Making my daughter cry!"
CyberConnect2 are the studio that are known for creating fighting games based around popular anime series, they have brought us the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series and the .Hack// series. So in 2010 at the Tokyo Games Show they announced they would be making a brand new game NOT based on an anime. The trailer that followed this announcement seemed to be too good to be true. It featured the titular character battling multiple enemies, before encountering a being larger than the planet itself who then attempts to crush the player with a single finger, the character then plants his feet on the ground, spreads his arms and then prepares to catch his finger. This character was Asura.
Asura’s Wrath is one of the most badass, over the top and memorable experiences of this generation of video games. You play as Asura one of 8 demigods who rule and protect the world known as the eight guardian generals, the others are named Deus, Olga, Sergei, Augus, Kalrow, Wyzen, Yasha. The generals are powered by mantra which is the cosmic energy provided by the souls of the dead mortals or from prayers. It is Asura’s daughter Mithra who has the ability to harness the mantra and feed into the eight generals giving them there power. Early on in the game Asura is betrayed by the other eight generals and murdered so they can harness the power of his daughter and become the Seven Deities. 12,000 years later Asura wakes up and sets off on a quest to save his daughter and to take vengeance on those that wronged him.
Asura’s Wrath is formatted in a rare way, it is one of those games that tries to be built like a TV show with episodes and pauses in the middle like ad breaks. While games have does this formatting mechanic before no game has ever done it this well, Alone in the Dark’s attempt was laughable and Heavy Rain’s was barely noticeable to the point where it is questionable if it was even there. Asura’s Wrath however does this perfectly; the game is broken into 4 acts spanning 20 episodes each with their own ad breaks in the middle that brings Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood to mind. The story is perfectly paced, as so are the episodes beginnings and ends (complete with opening and ending credits). Every time an episode ended I found myself saying ‘’Just one more’’ It has the addiction quality of a good television show but therein lies the problem. Asura’s Wrath has more in common with an anime series like Berserk or Dragonball Z then any video game. Calling this title a game maybe incorrect in the first place, think of it more as an ‘’Interactive Anime’’. If you want to play a game with deep an engaging game play then this is not for you and you should stop reading now.
The gameplay of Asura’s Wrath is a bizarre mix, if you were to take a third person action game, an on-rails shooter, and Heavy Rain-esqe quick-time event (QTE) sequences. The players progression is tracked by a Burst gauge at the bottom of the screen, when this fills a QTE event will start allowing the fight you are currently involved to either end or move forward. The actual combat in the game is poor, you have light attack, heavy attack and projectile attacks. A dodge is also in the players handbook but no block, The combat of the game is not its focus, which does lead to an odd question; Can a game who’s main focus is not to be a good game, be a good game.
The reason to get this game is its wonderful story. It is difficult to say why it is a story worth experiencing without going into spoilers. The game features some of the most badass moments in all of video gaming. All of which brought to you by superb voice cast heading by the truly excellent Liam O’Brien. The story reduced me to tears on more than one occasion and for more than one reason, it also has some of the most epic boss fights since Shadow Of The Colossus. If you are the kind of person who is drawn to games for stories this is a game for you.
Then Capcom rear there ugly head, as mentioned earlier the game is broken up into 4 acts:
Act I: Suffering
Act II: Rebirth
Act III: Karma
Act IV: Nirvana.
Act IV is DLC.
Asura’s Wrath is a risk for anybody to purchase day one, It is a brand new franchise made by a studio who do not make this kind of game. So what do Capcom do to help its sales, they cut the ending of the game off and force people to pay an extra £12 to see it. It is simply a disgrace that Capcom do this, 2012 has been there worse year for DLC practises and this ranks up there with Street Fighter X Tekken as one of the worst.
That aside, this game is still worth all the money you could spend on it if only for the story. Again if you do not play games for the stories that avoid this at all costs, but if you want to play a truly badass tale. A tale with a unique universe fashioned from Hinduism, Buddhism and Science Fiction. I cannot explain how much connection I had with this story and I cannot recommend it enough for that reason. I cannot give this game a high score because as a game it isn’t very good, but as an interactive animated experience, it is flawless. Play this game.
Review by Jarrod Beauchamp & Ellis Atkinson
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