It’s hard to put Asura’s Wrath into any one category. It’s part game and part visually stimulating madness! The guys over at CyberConnect2 take a bold a approach to a video game and interactive story telling. How does it all come together? Pretty well actually. Shining in most aspects but fundamentally missing some key points throughout the journey.
The game puts you in the shoes of Asura, a demi-god which is part of an elite organization of other demi-gods called the eight deities. Together protected the planet which was infested with demon like creatures who’s sole purpose is to kill and destroy. After an attempt to purge these creatures Asura was unexpectedly betrayed and banished from “Heaven.” 12,000 years later his blood boils for vengeance and anger only makes him stronger.
The game is broken up into episodes like an anime show, highlighting credits and even going as far as to show you a quick preview before it starts. All of this comes from the heart of what anime is and is quickly familiar to those who are fans of it. The episodes do a great job of differentiating itself from one another. While always comprised of QTE (quick time events) it seems to bring something new in terms of gameplay and character interaction. What game do you know lets you punch the ground to make you soar thousands of feet in the air?
It is definitely trying to make it clear that this is not only a game which is both good and bad. While the story for this game will keep you entertained for the long haul, the gameplay takes somewhat of a back seat. Most of it is compromised of dialogue and QTE with about 10min or so of actual gameplay in each episode. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it is hard to warrant a $50-$60 purchase on something that effectively lasts 6-7hours long.
The visual style is one to be remembered. Great effects, music and tone throughout all episodes. Every once and awhile I caught myself saying “DBZ has nothing on this!” from the sheer ridiculousness of the demi-gods power. What’s disappointing is how much it tries to give you a full experience but the repetitive hack n slash mechanics on top of the fact that you don’t get to do a lot of it to begin with is what holds it back.
Asura’s Wrath is bold, colorful and downright a great experience with what you get. Fans of anime will think this is a bridge that closes the gap slowly between game and show. Anyone else should give this a shot as I’m not sure that something of this caliber comes around often. All the games really missing is a anime music video maker mode and it’s set. Making Asura’s Wrath an episodic dlc would have been what made the most sense but we can only look to future iterations of such games.