Asura's Wrath review
When I finished Asura’s Wrath demo last month, my first impression of the game was: Excellent cinematography with some well made cut-scenes and epic set pieces, cheesy dialogue, but entertaining and hilarious at the same, nice music and shallow gameplay. But nevertheless, I found the game interesting and I have anticipated its release to see how the final game will be. Now that I have finished the game, sometimes, the first impression is the last impression.
Gamers who are looking forward to another hack and slash action game with deep combat system such as Bayonetta and Ninja Gaiden games should stay away from this game. But if you are interested in watching an entertaining story with ridiculous cut-scenes and cheesy dialogue with some epic boss fights and set pieces, you will find Asura’s Wrath to be an exciting roller coaster ride.
The game takes place in a world where demigods protect the world of Gaea and are at war with evil creatures known as the Gohma. Asura, the protagonist of the game is a demigod and one of the eight guardian generals. The game begins with Asura fighting in a full-scale galactic war between the demigods and the Gohma. Suddenly, Vlitra, the most fearful and powerful Gohma creature appears. Asura forces his way into the battlefield to stop him, and with the support of his priestess daughter Mithra, he forces Vlitra to retreat and grant the demigods another temporal victory against Vlitra and his forces.
After this glorious but temporal victory, the emperor summons Asura. Unfortunately, nothing go as planned for Asura as he finds the emperor murdered and even worse, framed for the murder of the emperor. If that isn’t bad enough for him, later, he find his wife murdered and his daughter imprisoned by the mastermind behind this conspiracy, Dues. Asura tries to set his daughter free, but Dues kills him and send him to the underworld.
While the writing is cheesy and sometimes silly, the amazing camera work, the memorable soundtrack and the epic set pieces made me intrigued and excited to see what will happen next. The game tells its story in an episodic fashion (like Alan Wake and TV manga series) with most episodes ends with a cliffhanger. The episodic structure of the game keeps the player glued to the screen and anticipating what is going to happen in the next episode.
Unfortunately, the gameplay is too simple and shallow. The gameplay in Asura’s Wrath consists of a very simple battle system and many quick time events during gameplay and the game’s cut-scenes. Most of the time, the gameplay segments takes place in small arenas with no exploration and a very linear design structure. You will be mashing the same combo and charged attack over and over again throughout the whole game. Sometimes, the game puts you in on-rails shoot em up sections which are more enjoyable than the regular beat em up sections in the game. Overall, the gameplay is really a missed opportunity.
Between each episode your performance will be evaluated by a scoring system and you will be rewarded according to your performance with unlockables such as character artworks. The game also displays short stories and events between each episode using stylish illustrations and excellent music. Visually, the character models are stylishly animated and the environments look good, but some of the environments are bland. The game also suffers from some noticeable screen tearing.
Despite the below average gameplay, the short length of the game (6-7 hours) and the lack of replay value, Asura’s Wrath provide an exciting experience with memorable set pieces and entertaining story. Asura’s Wrath will excite you, make you laugh and keep you on the edge of your seat, but the excitement will fade away as soon as you finish it, making you thinking about the game, but has no purpose to go through it again.