The lights are on
I'm going to start off by saying ASURA'S WRATH's biggest problem is it's length. It took me somewhere in the ballpark of three hours to complete it on normal, and that includes all nineteen episodes. That alone takes a full point away. The remaining quarter of a point is taken away because, at such a short gameplay length, the $60 dollar price tag feels kind of steep.
That out of the way, I thought ASURA'S WRATH was magnificent fun. The fighting is as intense as any GOD OF WAR title, mixing in moments of pure action with moments of timed button sequences. In between, you get lengthy--and I must say well-done--moments of cinematic storytelling, where you're incapable of putting the controller down in case of the occasional button press. In essence, ASURA'S WRATH plays out like an anime where you get to control the action moments. Even the presentation is like that found in anime, complete with credits, commercial bumpers, and episode teasers. So clearly, if you're a fan of anime, then ASURA'S WRATH is a great title for you.
After that, ASURA'S WRATH has an endearing cast of characters as well. All have a personality of their own, easily recognizable and likable (or unlikable as the case goes), which makes the extended cinematics all that more easy to follow. You'll find yourself enjoying certain characters, cheering for them when the time is right, and when the plot twist happens not only will you be satisfied, but you won't feel it's contrived or forced. And, it's not terribly predictable, as anime story lines tend to be.
Finally, there are the graphics. It's a rare moment within ASURA'S WRATH that things aren't exploding, images aren't zipping across the screen, or larger-than-life enemies aren't attacking Asura. ASURA'S WRATH handles all this action beautifully, with a unique graphical style. In fact, the art style reminds me a lot of Borderlands, only more Japanese, if that makes any sense.
There really aren't many titles out there to compare ASURA'S WRATH too, besides, and this is a stretch, HEAVY RAIN. The game is definitely cinematic first, with gameplay second, and certain sequences can be changed according to how you respond (i.e. shutting a bad guys monologue up, or looking around a hot spring when all you really need to do is finish a few drinks). Still, ASURA'S WRATH is kind of a one of kind. If not for how short the game was, this'd easily been a 9+ for me. It's definitely not perfect, and I would never recommend outright purchasing it at retail. But as a used or rental game, it's perfect.
Excellent review, thanks.
I entirely agree with your review. While i was a little disappointed with this in a "game" aspect, what i experienced was a fun, memorable idea that can be taken further if they choose to do so. The gameplay (where present) tied in well with the QTE's and the characters blew me away.
The only thing I disagree with you its the length of the game, Yes its, not even 10 hours long, which seems too see the standard of today games, but 3 hours, means you skipped the movie cuts (come one just the 1st episode its about 20 minutes long if you dont skip anything)
Also about the gameplay, for what Asura meant to be its simple enough and perfect, and if you really wanna feel a challenge from the game itself play it on hard.
Also as a big Anime fan Myself, I love all the References, even if they were the by mistake or intentionally, (Asuras wrath form was from Naruto, the 1st fights between Augus and Asura its DBZ, How you beat augus its from Teh end ofthe fight between Scar and Pride in FMA: Brotherhood, Yasha Remind me of Shiryu from Saint Seiya) and the whole Vlitra VS Asura/ Yasha (Vlitra, not Vlitras core) Was Way A W E S O M E
Asura as it is its a great game, but that doesnt mean It cant improve, SPOILER!!!, after the episode 19, the game just hint that they might do a Sequel, If they stick to the formula I wont mind cause it was Awesome, But if the Would add some Free roaming and a little deeper fighting system, The game will certainly reach 9+ or 10
I mean, If the game have had something like.. Go from the Palace To Asuras house in Episode 3 (no rail shooter but GoW style), and make Some kind of dungeons (Kalrow Ship, Shinto City, Karma Fortress) or After you wake up from the 12.000 slumber, Let you walk aroound the land (and fight some Ghomas in the process) till you reach the Village,(even the little spider said: "The world its ur play ground...or something like that) Some things like that would have make AW an Instant 10
How did you complete the game in 3 hours when the total time of just the cutscenes alone is well over 3 hours? Are you just adding up the time total it gives you at the end of the chapters which doesn't include the length of the cutscenes and saying that's how long it took you?
im sure hes counting the time played, not including the time spent watching movies. i hate games that are like that. i felt like MGS4 was a lot like that. i dont pay $60 to play an interactive 10 hour movie. if i buy an rpg i want a minimum of 20 hours of gameplay to beat it, not including side quests. thats why skyrim rocks. 100+ hours and im not done with it. it should lose another point just because it isnt skyrim. all future reviews should start with -1 because it isnt made by bethesda
I couldn't agree more