Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Asura’s Wrath Afterthought Review

Asura’s Wrath Afterthought Review

Platform(s): Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Developer(s): CyberConnect 2, Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Genre: Action
Rating: T

Looking for a good action game? Then take a look at Asura’s Wrath. You are Asura, one of the Eight Guardian Generals, godly warriors who fight to protect Heaven and Earth from a destructive force known as the Gohma. Returning from an epic battle, Asura is summoned to the Emperor’s throne where he discovers the Emperor has been slain.  He quickly finds himself being pursued by Imperial Guards after he blamed for the crime.  Asura rushes home to protect his family only to find his wife dead and daughter, Mithra, kidnapped.  His former ally, a god named Deus, reveals himself to be the Emperor’s assassin.  Enraged, Asura attacks Deus for his betrayal, but Deus gains the upper hand and tosses the beaten Asura off the platform and falls to the Earth.

Twelve millennia pass and Asura finally escapes the underworld to discover that his former comrades have used his daughter’s power to amplify their godly abilities.  Asura swears to rescue his child and nothing will stand in his way.

Right off the bat, you are thrown into an epic battle that takes place high above the Earth.  Taking control after the opening cut-scene, you unleash Asura’s powers upon the enemy horde attacking the Imperial Armada.  The target mechanic allows you to attack several enemies at once.  Place several cursors across the screen and Asura will launch a powerful attack that will damage all his foes.  The scene is something out of Star Wars with an armada of giant spaceships locked in an orbital dog fight with lasers blazing.  Asura’s Wrath is a straight forward beat ‘em up action game that is on tier with other hack-and-slash titles like Devil May Cry and God of War.  Your weapons are your fists and a lot of pent up rage.  Combat in the game is done mostly through contact-sensitive sequences.  Press the button at the right time for the best score.  You’ll spend most of your time building up Asura’s Boost Meter that will grant him extra strength when activated.  This is mostly used as a finishing move.

PRO: The action in Asura’s Wrath goes over the top especially in the boss battles.  I was impressed with the game’s opening cinematic, wasting no time throwing me to the wolves during a climactic battle much like Bayonetta’s opener.  And the larger-than-life Dragon Ball Z inspired boss battles are truly something.  The first boss battle is against the weakest of the Seven Deities, Asura’s former comrades.  Asura fights against this mountain sized titan until the god releases the power stolen from Mithra.  The boss grows to planet-sized proportions.  My immediate reaction, after making a Transformers-The Movie reference, was ‘I gotta fight that?!’  Imagine my surprise after witnessing a man-sized god defeat his planet-sized adversary by attacking his finger that covered an entire country. This scene truly sells the size this god has achieved.  CyberConnect 2, the same company behind the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series, left no attention to detail unchecked in the design of the characters and epic battle scales.

CON: However, the game’s strength is also its weakness.  Though Asura’s Wrath is chock full of action, it wasn’t varied enough to truly satisfy.  The enemy sets were minimal, maybe six to seven at one time on-screen, when compared to the aforementioned titles.  If Asura was supposed to be in an all-out battle, it would’ve been more pleasing to see him take hordes of foes or several enemy sets.  Granted that ending the scenario by activating the Boost Meter is an option and enemies continue to spawn if you don’t, I would’ve liked it to be a part of normal gameplay instead of putting spawning enemy sets on the back burner.  Ok, we all know cut-scenes tell the story otherwise, you’ll have no idea what’s going on.  Asura’s Wrath is no different except they use too many of them.  I like how each chapter is set up as if you watching an anime but most of these chapters are told through cut-scenes.  There’s a cut-scene followed by a bunch of fighting, another cut-scene, more fighting, rise and repeat until the epic boss battle.  I can deal with the storytelling but I would’ve preferred the scenes to be a bit shorter; some run for nearly three minutes, a couple times the scene was almost four minutes, before you get back to the action.

OVERALL: Despite all that, Asura’s Wrath is still an enjoyable game with intense action, out-of-this-world battles against the gods and a raging avenger that will even make Kratos cower in his sandals.
Asura’s Wrath gets 3 out of 5.
See you on the next level,
Brian M.

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