Asura’s Wrath is a very unique title. Lacking any real genre, this game steps into the new territory of playable anime in one of the biggest ventures CyberConnect 2 has ever created. But forging a new way always comes with dangers. Did Asura’s Wrath overcome those dangers and create a truly good title? Let’s go over it.
The story of Asura’s Wrath surrounds eight demigod generals as they fight to defeat the impure Gohma, who threaten to destroy all of Gaea, their home. Vlitra, the largest and most frightening of the Gohma stands tall and strong, and he truly is frightening. Can Asura, the most brash of the generals defeat him? And what secrets lurk beneath the organization of the eight generals?
Seems simple enough, but as the story goes on some very philosophical themes are addressed. Godhood, praise, unyielding loyalty, and many other concepts are brought into the light.
This story is executed in episodes, each with a focus, and true anime-style visuals and cutscenes. If you ever wanted to play a game that was entirely story, this is a good pick.
Despite this, the mechanics are strong as well. Fighting, while a bit repetitive, incorporates elements like screen shake and feedback in a way that really adds weight to some of Asura’s attacks. The reverse health bar element makes for a creative combination of hoards and scripted sequences, ending in a flurry of quick time events that force you to face off in grandiose finale’s to each god level clash.
The biggest flaw of Asura’s Wrath comes with the ending. The game ended in a cliffhanger, teasing a sequel, but that ending ended up being packaged as DLC. I won’t lie, I splurged and purchased the DLC, and the ending was truly amazing, but it’s pretty awful that I had to pay extra money to see the end of the story.
This game excels thanks to many features, but perhaps none are as universally incredible as its beautiful soundtrack. From the main theme titled “In Your Belief” to the music that plays while fighting, the music in this game could bring tears to your eyes.
The visuals are also awesome. The stylized combination of ancient eastern art with futuristic mechanical settings make for a unique atmosphere but one that works well. Airship fleets, lava squids, molten rhinos, and more make this game unique in artistic vision, and the visuals compliment that quite a bit.
As an anime fan, I felt right at home in the game’s structure. But the level of immersion I got from the game, despite its linearity, was something truly special for a title not at all rooted in reality. The fun of Asura’s Wrath comes from watching events unfold with the suspenseful nature of an episodic story, without the fractures in play sessions. You could probably finish the game in 12 hours or so, but it’s bound to be a grand 12 hours.
Again, flaws in the game come from its somewhat repetitive combat, and in some ways the translation feels slightly lacking. Some of the characters are very uninteresting, and more interesting characters need a little bit more time to shine.
Asura’s Wrath is a game made for anime fans, and with the developers behind the “Ultimate Ninja Storm” series of Naruto fighting games, combat feels fun and smooth. Cutscenes are awesome, the scale of combat is infinite, and the soundtrack is simply beautiful. If you’re looking for a game to play on PS3, Xbox 360, or the PS Now rental service, this is a good one that a lot of you may have missed!