Asura's Wrath (Video Game)
Developed by CyberConnect2
Distributed by Capcom
Rated T for Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence
Available for PlayStation 3 (reviewed) and Xbox 360
Asura's Wrath is one of the most difficult games to define. It's gameplay is a unique blend of many different genres, but its abundance of cut scenes means it barely classifies as a video game. The short and simple of it is you will either love or hate Asura's Wrath.
The story follows a demigod named Asura who has been cast out of his rightful place as a guardian of Heaven and Earth after being accused of a murder he didn't commit. On top of being exiled from his position in the Eight Guardian Generals, Asura returns home to find his wife murdered and his daughter kidnapped. He is defeated upon confronting the being responsible for these unforgivable actions, and is cast out of his home world. Asura is later reborn through his own rage, and he sets out to gain revenge on his enemies.
Asura's Wrath's storyline plays out like an outlandish Japanese anime. There are plenty of unrealistic action sequences mixed in with some silly humor and ridiculous dialogue. Of course, there are a handful of just plain weird scenes as well, such as the sake drinking scenario. Anime fans will eat up this bizarre tale, but a good majority of gamers will simply find the story too strange for their tastes.
The game's story is told through different episodes like a traditional anime complete with episode recaps and credits. The gameplay in Asura's Wrath crosses over many different genres depending on the episode; one episode may task players with flying and blasting everything in sight like you'd find in your typical Star Fox game, while the next will ask you to battle in very action oriented sequences like you'd find in games such as Devil May Cry. Both of these game mechanics work very well in the game, but the problem is that such a small percentage of the game is spent actually playing through these parts. The majority of your time spent in Asura's Wrath will be little more than watching elongated cut scenes with random button commands that need to be pressed promptly for maximum results. Essentially, if you're not enjoying the game's storyline, there isn't much here for you.
The game's presentation is spot-on. The graphics in the game's cut scenes are stunning, and some of the more spectacular moves will simply take your breath away. The artistic design that went into creating the characters and environments in Asura's Wrath is evident in every scene. There's also some great voice acting, so don't be afraid that the dialogue didn't translate well in the American version. You'll also find a great soundtrack here that really fits the overall tone the game presents. The major downfall here is the game is just far too short, and replay value is killed by the lack of gameplay.
Asura's Wrath is built from the ground up to appeal to the hardcore anime fans out there. This, unfortunately, works as a disadvantage, because only a select percentage of gamers will be interested in the game's overall presentation. Then, it's unique gameplay mechanics can instantly turn off many more gamers, as this game really doesn't play like a game, but it would probably better classify as an interactive, animated television series. Be warned that Asura's Wrath is definitely a try before you buy unless you just happen to be a sucker for action animes.
The game was released on February 21, 2012. For future updates on Asura's Wrath, visit the official Capcom website.
2 out of 5