If history has taught us anything, it’s that you should absolutely not mess with demigods, especially if they have anger issues. This definitely includes not betraying them, killing their wives and /or kidnapping their daughters. But video game antagonists seldom learn and we find ourselves back to yet another revenge saga where good guy gets betrayed, goes mental, sprouts six hands and beats the living crap out of everyone and everything.
So yes, Asura’s Wrath does boast of a rather clichéd story, but the plot is surprisingly captivating even with all the anime inspired melodrama being thrown around like it was going out of style. You’ll also find yourself drawn to the story because a huge chunk of the game involves watching a lot (and I mean a lot) of cut-scenes. Between these cut-scenes, you’ll indulge in a whole bunch of QTEs (Quick Time Events) that have been tied into gameplay well enough, so you don’t feel like you’re spamming buttons for mundane stuff like opening doors. Instead you use these QTEs to break the fingers off gigantic Gods attacking you from outer space or head butting giant elephants to death. If that isn’t a good use of QTEs, I really don’t know what is.
Asura doesn't need hands to kick your butt
Besides the set-pieces, Asura’s Wrath is a standard third person action adventure with a rather simple combat system. In pretty much every scenario, your aim is to pummel opponents (or bosses) using light, heavy or counter attacks till Asura’s Rage meter gets filled up. Once that’s done, you simply hit the Right Trigger (RT on the Xbox360) and tap into Asura’s primal rage decimating everything in sight. And then you have your on-rail sequences, where you’ll be shooting stuff like an old-school arcade shooter till you build up your Rage meter and kill/break stuff once again.
From that perspective, the game is overtly simple and downright repetitive, but just as you’re getting bored of beating the same elephants or gorillas to death, you’ll be accosted by some mentally choreographed sequences that will leave you begging for more. In fact I couldn’t wait to finish the game just to see what kind of shenanigans developer CyberConnect2 had in store for me towards the end of the game. And they did not disappoint.
Come at me bro
While I greatly appreciate this game’s art style and its flair for interactive insanity, I cannot overlook its flaws, especially when it’s priced at Rs.3,299. Besides the repetitive gameplay I’ve spoken about, the game is quite short and can be easily completed in five to six hours on an easier difficulty. Sure you could tackle the episodes once again on a higher difficulty level, but once you’ve seen all the game has to offer, there’s little incentive to go back. Oh yes, I did say episodes because the game’s been structured like a TV show, which in my opinion hampered the pace and flow of the game. Also like I’ve mentioned before, Asura’s Wrath is more of a gigantic interactive cut-scene, as opposed to an actual game. Most of your time in this game will be spent watching cut-scenes or indulging in QTEs. You’ll probably spend all of 30 percent of your time actually playing the game. This is obviously a deal breaker to many.
You call those guns?
On paper, Asura’s Wrath does sound like a waste of time, but it really isn’t. I bestow major props upon Capcom for having the stones to publish such an unconventional game during a time when developers are content cashing in on sequels. Unfortunately I simply cannot ignore the fact that Asura’s Wrath is a gigantic five odd hour cut-scene scene with morsels of gameplay. If this was a budget game I would have urged you to dive in blindly, but at its price point, I find it hard to recommend. Still if you like all things Japanese and have a soft spot for zany, over-the-top animes with superbly choreographed action sequences that have you punching creatures the size of planets, Asura’s Wrath could be well worth your time.
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