Full of in your face violence and action-packed anime-like sequences? This sounded like a game for me. I was strolling through my local GameStop and stumbled upon this. I had heard of it but never watched anything on it. I'm glad I did so I wouldn't spoil anything. I watch many anime series and read some manga, as well, so it's fair to say that this game is much like that. Full of epic punches and impossible feats, any fan of the genre should get their hands on this game.STORY & CHARACTERS
I felt many emotions throughout the entire game and it tugged me the right way all the time. You'll learn to love some characters while hating others, only to realize their own hidden agendas or secrets and switch your opinion quickly.
Enter Asura, our "Destructor", who is a powerful being endowed with godlike abilities and fueled by Mantra - a magical energy source. Asura is among many other immortal individuals and is a General among an army facing their eternal enemy - the Gohma - and their hive mind leader, Vlitra. Asura's strength is fueled by his rage at the enemy and appears to never really be calm unless around his family.
Throughout the campaign Asura undergoes many hardships and impossible feats in order to get his revenge upon those who have betrayed him among his ranks. His main goal is to rescue his daughter, Mithra, who has been taken captive and used as a fuel source to harness Mantra for the other godlike beings in order to face the Gohma. He overcomes many strong enemies, who clearly outrank him at the beginning, but the soon realize how much power Asura can create due to his overflowing wrath. Too much for even himself to be able to contain.
The Gohma are a natural and violent species. Constantly ravaging the land whenever they're in a rage, destroying mortals and immortals alike. They have the appearance of many different animals, mammals, prehistoric dinosaurs and even can take the form of large comets which are battleships and even Gaea's crust itself, Vlitra. A huge mouth literally bursts from the ground and takes up half the globe... Yeah, it's very massive. Makes you wonder how they'd ever be able to destroy it, doesn't it?
Not only do you play as Asura, you play as a fellow immortal named Yasha. Yasha goes through struggles of his own with moral decisions and whether or not what his path is one of righteousness or folly. It's interesting to see from two different points in this story instead of just one. If it strictly stuck to Asura's point-of-view I believe a lose in interest would have happened very quickly. Asura may be awesomely powerful and doesn't care who's face his punch lands on, but his single-mindedness can get pretty bland quickly. Yasha presents a more sensible and related view to the constant inner struggle that all of us go through.
Yasha doesn't like ugly people.
Though the story is amazing, and you really emulate Asura and Yasha alike, it'll lose its grandeur after the first play through. Sure, you may have missed something on the first playthrough and found it interesting to see the finer details on the second but after a few more you'll begin to lose interest. Like watching anime over and over again. To grind this game in order to beat it on the other difficulties will be arduous. There's one scene that many people will like to play through over and over again, which includes many scantily clad women serving Asura and his master in a spa.
Without spoiling anything I will let you know that the true ending comes in the form of downloadable content. Something that upset me when I first played through but I was going to buy the DLC anyway. I've got to say the DLC is worth getting though. The true ending is truly epic. GAMEPLAY
The few times per episode that you get to play are featured as beat 'em up style and includes many, MANY quick time events. Asura has many different forms he goes through as you progress through the campaign but the controls are basically all similar. It only changes when you have certain parts of the game where Asura is engaging bosses or enemies at high speeds (whether flying or running) and targeting certain areas and shooting powerful blasts at them. These portions of the game are usually bland as you're constantly shooting just to build up your Burst meter.
The point of these fights is to build your Burst gauge, this will then activate a series of QTEs in order to get through a scene or weaken a certain boss. It's very interesting and keeps the dynamic going with artistic scenes during battles. A point that's not needed to complete the story but helps in getting high ranks is going through the quick time events and being synchronous about it. As the character's hit is about to connect with enemies' poor faces, it'll prompt you for a button on the controller or a direction in which to direct your joysticks and as a circle closes in on the button you press it concordantly in order to achieve a rank on how close you came to hitting it perfectly. A failure to hit these buttons result in a fail during the scene and can even cause you to die.
You'll find that the boss battles are very grande, in retrospect. Some of these bosses are so powerful and so huge that you can't possibly imagine beating them. But just like God of War, you feel like Asura can take down these godlike figures. The boss battles are great, you'll find yourself fighting them normally and then through many QTEs hitting them in a big way, bringing down their health. Some boss battles can be dragged out and tire you out, as you're not accustomed to constant battle. You'll find yourself watching most of the campaign but some QTE portions can be difficult or you just might not pay attention to them because you're so distracted by the scene.
After a playthrough I'd advise trying out the episodes again with different tweaks to the gameplay, such as switching your gauge. They can range anywhere from giving you less health to making it easier to build your Burst meter. It changes the way you play and, if you choose a handicap, can add a lot of tension.
Yasha plays like Asura, but with a bit more elegance in his violence. Since he's a very fast character you have many levels like Asura's shooting levels except with him racing against time in order to try to get somewhere to stop something. There's one battle that you'll wish you got to take part of that's off screen with him, it's shown later in an illustrated video featured in the DLC. ACHIEVEMENTS & UNLOCKABLES
Asura's Wrath has a wide variety of achievements in terms of how to attain them. You have the achievements for completing episodes and collecting unlockables for completing those episodes by achieving a high rank. One of the things is that many of these achievements will have to be obtained through many playthroughs. The game is pretty long since you're unable to skip through cutscenes and what not. Considering many cutscenes contain QTE portions so it's impossible to get through the story quickly. Having to go back and completing each of these on HARD difficulty along with trying to achieve an S rank on them should lead to a long session of grinding to achieve 100% in this game.
There are many achievements based on how many successful QTE moments you have, how many names you've activated Burst mode, how many times you've countered successfully and so on and so forth. These you'll normally earn through repetitive gameplay and grinding for the other difficulties (as difficulty achievements don't stack). There's some secret achievements as well for that steamy spa scene I mentioned earlier. You'll probably find yourself earning them on your own instead of searching up what you need to do. We men are flawed, after all.
Throughout the campaign you unlock many extra features, this includes: gauges that change gameplay, CG art, illustrations and unlocked movies and interludes.
For those of you looking for an easy completion look elsewhere as this will take you many playthroughs and cause stress when trying to achieve a perfect synchronization with QTEs, good rank in fighting and beating the level in a certain time limit. SUMMARY
Asura's Wrath is an amazing game that is overlooked by many. For those of you looking for something with more content in terms of gameplay I'd look elsewhere but otherwise if you're looking for an engaging experience and a fantastic storyline you should pick up this game. Just be prepared to dish out some extra cash for a true ending. It's worth it, though!