(A notice of warning: most of the links in this blog lead you to YouTube videos that don’t have anything to do with the review. Only access them if you are bored and in a safe place. You have been warned.)
Are you ready, guys? Put ya arms on!
No, not ‘arms’ in the sense of ‘weapons’. Literally: arms. Like, the two things that (probably) grow out of your upper body. Grow four more of them and you are settled.
Hey y’all. Sutobeya author Grynax here, nice to meet ya. What I’m talking about is a PS3/360 game that recently came out, called Asura’s Wrath. It’s about this angry, wrathy demigod called Asura who fights weird creatures that crawl on our earth. He can grow more arms than you ever will, and just climbs out of Hell whenever he feels like it. Sounds promising, eh? I bought it, I played it, and now I will tell you some important things about it. This is for all of you guys who can’t decide if you should buy this game or not. If you don’t feel like reading all of it, just skip to the bottom for the summary. That’s how things work here. Now, let’s begin.
First of all, this game is made by CyberConnect2 and Capcom. Now I should tell you: I’m a bit torn apart when it comes to Capcom games. While I dislike them as a company (especially the western branches), a few of their games are really great. And Asura’s Wrath is one of those, probably because of all the work CyberConnect2 did. Hell, you can actually feel CyberConnect2 through this game if you played one of their other titles before. Fighting games normally receive a lot of hate from me (there are exceptions of course), but the recent Ultimate Ninja Storm games for PS3 and 360 looked great. Not to mention that Ultimate Ninja Impact is one of my most recommended games for the PSP.
Asura’s Wrath is not a fighting game however, and it’s not a hack ‘n slash game either. It’s a pure over-the-top action game, probably with so much action going on that you don’t even have to play most of the time. That being said, this game is more like an interactive action movie, divided into several episodes. This is very important if you think of buying this game. It consists of 18 episodes, each one with different lengths. These episodes are seperated into two things: actual, easy-to-learn Beat ’em up fighting (or Shoot ’em up, depending on the episode), and Quick Time Events. Half of the time you will just be watching (badass) action sequences, where you have to press the correct buttons in time to achieve a good rating (to unlock trophies/achievements, and also several gauges, I’ll explain that one later). The actual fighting is… well… spectacular, but if you don’t buy this game for the QTE sequences, you shouldn’t buy it at all. The storyline of the game is also very short, just saying. You will probably play through it in 6 hours (or more, if you are playing on Hard), a very short time for such a high selling price. So… if you don’t want to play it over and over and over again like I do (the trophies/achievements require you to play this game at least three or four times, making it a total of 18 – 30 hours of fun), you should probably wait until it’s cheaper. That is, if it’s overpriced in your region as well. Maybe it’s just mine. But no matter how much you are willing to spend, you should try it out. Definitely.
That’s it for the warning, time to praise this game. It. Is. GLORIOUS. Seriously, if you are open to these kind of motivating and powerful stories, you get absorbed into the whole atmosphere. This game will make you angry, it will make you sad, it will make you root for the main characters. And the emotions. The emotions are what this game is all about, I tell you. Never before have I seen a video game with such strong and convincing emotions, both in voice and animation. Even though the graphic has a rather cartoony and anime-like feeling to it, the face motions are more realistic and fascinating than in any other game I’ve ever played. Especially one of the antagonists, Olga. To be honest, the whole thing feels wasted on a video game. They should have taken all this and make a movie trilogy or something. Boom. Instant world-wide success.
But… It’s nothing I could really explain, so you probably have to see for yourself. Now for something else: the gallery. As you play this game, you will unlock certain things, from illustrations up to… well, illustrations are actually all you get. But you also get equippable gauges. You know what a gauge is? Like, an HP gauge? Well, you can change exactly this in the game. There are a total of… what, 9 different gauges or something, all with different handicaps. You can either lose less HP, lose more HP, fill up your rage faster, have a faster cooldown (you will understand these thing if you watch a trailer on YouTube or play the demo or play the actual game), or have no visible gauge at all. This is just great if you want an extra challenge to the game, and also necessary if you want to get all the trophies/achievements.
I almost forgot to badmouth Capcom a bit more. Dear Capcom: What the hell. Why did you think it was necessary to change the background music in the english version of this game? It’s great that you included the option to change to the japanese audio version any time, and you did a great work with the english dub, but why the music, in the first place? Ugh. But, whatever. Those are minor details… not.
All things considered, I certainly enjoyed playing this game, and that means a lot, because I like my games to have a playtime of more than 40 hours. But even though it’s short: it is a magnificent piece of art and has a high replay value due to it’s packing movie-like nature, and that basically made up for the length. To sum this game up: If something can be done in an awesome way, it will be done in an awesome way. For me, Asura’s Wrath was like someone over in Japan just watched a certain show and thought: “Hey, let’s make a game that is just as epic and badass.” I mean, hell, the two main antagonists even look like the Spiral King and the Anti-Spiral. That being said, I noticed a lot of potential anime references in this game, intentional or not, I don’t know. Anyway, what I’m tryin’ to say is: if you like over-the-top action, if you like anime, if you want to punch a god right in his smug face, if you like emotional stories, if you don’t mind it being an interactive movie, check this game out.
Let’s come to an end. What do I rate this game?
I rate it 5 dragon claws ripping my flesh, out of 6!
Should you have any more questions about this game, don’t hesitate to ask. If you already played and enjoyed it, introduce or recommend it to other people. It’s our responsibility as fans to spread the love, and it’s keeping our hopes up for a sequel too. Cheers!
EDIT: And I wish it would have ended just like that. But yeah, Capcom had to go and ruin everything once more. A sequel? Don’t make me laugh. They release the final four episodes as DLC! I already paid more than enough, or are you just that bankrupt already?! Who do you think you are? God?!
Whatever, I will rant on this some more in a future issue of Random News. It’s still a good ‘arcade’ game, it’s just in the wrong hands, as usual. This guy got the impression that I “really loved the game”, and that certainly didn’t change. I just hate Capcom, that’s all. So one more time: Cheers.