Asura's Wrath Reviews

  • HWNDarksideHWNDarkside888,865
    16 Mar 2012 16 Mar 2012
    55 7 17
    Asura's Wrath is definitely going to split opinion. Its story-driven approach, heavily reliance on Quick Time Events (QTEs) and limited game/play-time is not going to appeal to everyone. But it's a game that everyone should try at least once. There's little originality in gaming these days so it's been a pleasure to play something truly in a league of its own. It is unique, completely bonkers and utterly brilliant.

    Set on Gaea, the story focuses on Asura, one of eight demi-gods charged with defending the humans of Gaea against the Gohma (nasty red versions of apes/elephants/fish etc). Asura is betrayed and ends up in 12,000 year battle for vengeance. I'm not going to spoil the story for you, but needless to say you are Asura, and you have some very challenging anger management issues. It draws on many Asian myths and legends and ends up playing out a bit like Monkey on acid, directed by Takashi Miike. As the game hinges around the story it's good to know it's a corker and probably the best executed tale I've seen in video game format (bar maybe Enslaved).

    The presentation is absolutely flawless; everything from character design to the music fits perfectly. Levels are split into 3 chapters, and 18 episodes, 19 if you include the hidden one. Each episode is beautifully presented, each with their own opening credits, mini interval breaks, "to be continued" and what's coming next, and it feels like a proper anime serial. There are also hand-drawn summaries to help fill in some of the back story. It's all totally gorgeous and would be worth a watch even if there wasn't game sandwiched into it. Your interaction in this epic show is based around QTEs, plenty of fighting and some Panzer Dragoon inspired shoot-em-up.

    Love them or hate them, QTEs work in Asura's Wrath. Inputs aren't random button mashing, they are measured to include you in the story. If you miss one you don't fail, so there are no annoying fail-repeat-fail loops, the game continues on, but you might just be missing the opportunity for a higher score (see S Ranks). I felt I was participating in the story rather than being punished for my occasionally slow reflexes.

    The hack-and-slash sections are good fun. Your main objective here is to dispatch hordes of enemies to charge up your battle gauge to unleash your Wrath on the game's mini-bosses and bosses. Asura is one angry SOB, with enough cans of whoop-ass to supply Tesco, and a tap of RT is all it takes to unload it. It is AWESOME laugh

    The bosses, just like the game, are totally completely over the top. A giant tortoise? Giant elephant? Giant flying fish? How about a demi-god bigger than the planet? Or fighting a demi-god without any arms and only a very angry head butt to attack with? It might feel like a bit of button-masher at times but the depth in the fighting mechanics becomes more apparent on the later quests for S Ranks as you'll need to juggle time/damage/reaction time to get the best scores.

    The shooter sections are probably the weakest link but still playable, if a little pointless maybe?

    No doubt achievements will drive you back through the game for the 1000 points and you'll need another 3 or 4 playthroughs to polish everything off. It's then you realise there's not actually that much game here. Skipping the through the cut-scenes and story reveals levels of 3 or 4 minutes in length, some with no more than a few button presses to complete. The S Ranks can be troublesome so expect a bit of a grind to 100%. The good news is no collectibles!

    None of my descriptions above really do the game justice in case you're thinking "this sounds a bit shit". The first playthrough is stunning. You will grabble with the QTEs, spend time learning the fight system and hopefully just enjoy the ride for what it is - a game unlike anything you'll have experienced before (unless you've got a Japanese Xbox maybe).

    In a world of prequels, sequels and threequels it's easy for developers to churn out cookie-cutter games with little innovation. It takes balls to do something different, and Asura's Wrath has very, very large cojones indeed. It's not going to be for everyone but for me it's Game Of The Year so far.
    5.0
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    General JouryThat was a entertaining read, and I agree. Asura's Wrath is an amazing game. I loved the crazy fight mechanic, Asura's never-ending spirit. The humor and the batrayals, but mostly the friendship between Asura and Yasha (Especially after the Nirvana DLC, that was insane! And also pretty emotional)

    If you haven't played the Nirvana DLC yet, I highly suggest you do. It reveils the actual ending of the game. (Yes you read that correctly, the game ending is not the real one)

    This game is also one of the best I have ever played.
    Posted by General Joury on 27 Feb 13 at 15:08
    Team JNPRyou good at this
    Posted by Team JNPR on 19 Sep 13 at 17:16
    Marc PilkingtonOk, I definitely have to get this game. It has a focus on story, it's completely nuts, and you compared the main character to Monkey. I NEED THIS!
    Posted by Marc Pilkington on 03 Feb 14 at 00:28
  • Limerent DeathLimerent Death294,254
    01 Aug 2013 04 Aug 2013
    15 1 4
    Overview

    Asura's Wrath is a strange game. It is a highly detailed and well-crafted interactive anime, on the other hand is is also light on traditional gameplay albeit quick-time events and simplistic action fighting. If you are a fan of stylized, unique gameplay with rich worlds then you are in for a treat. If you are centered on gameplay, which to be honest is a high point as this is a VIDEO GAME(!), then you might be turned off though enjoy it anyhow. All comes down to personal preference and how forgiving you are of certain factors.

    Plot

    I am mostly spoiler free so I will summarize what the game is about without ruining any plot points.

    The game takes place on Gaea, a world inhabited by humans that worship Demigods known as the Seven Deities (formerly known as the Eight Guardian Generals, before our namesake protagonist was betrayed and outcast from the union by his peers). The Deities all represent a certain Mantra (characteristic): Greed, Lust, Sloth, Pride, Violence, Melancholy, Vanity and Wrath (Asura's dominant trait). The characters are defined and made as archetypes to the characteristic they portray. This is why Asura is angry about 90% of the game.

    Case in point, Asura is betrayed by his brethren and banished to Gaea mostly stripped of his power. The world is infested with the Gohma, a monstrous horde of destruction that resembles real life animals (such as elephants, rhinoceros, gorillas, etc.) that threaten mankind and Asura. In order to harvest power to rid the land of the Gohma, the Seven Deities take human sacrifices and use raw energy from Asura's daughter, Mithra. Asura's mission is to use his unquenchable wrath to seek vengeance on the Deities and rescue his daughter. I may have revealed a few spoilers but nothing that isn't already known coming into the game as summarized by the case and manual.

    The game is steeped in Japanese lore, artistic influence from manga/anime and traditional Japanese references. It's killer.

    Disclaimer

    The game has three parts and a DLC part which translates to Part IV. Part IV is additional story and a more fleshed out idea of the story's end after Part III of the game. The DLC episode series is recommended but not a must buy. It does however end and send the game off on a good note.

    Graphics

    The graphics in this game are uniquely crisp and resemble that of an interactive anime. The characters in game resemble what they do in cutscenes almost exactly. Titles cards, bumper artwork and interlude films are drawn by hand and beautifully rendered. There is not much else to state on the matter. The game looks great and performs the same way.

    The boss battles are bad ass to the max and the music is breathtakingly beautiful and fearfully true to the mood. You won't forget the fight against Augus...I guarantee it!

    Gameplay

    The game is very, very light on gameplay. The vast majority of the game is on rail shooting segments, cutscenes interspersed with quick time events and extremely simplistic action segments akin to most third-person/action games such as God of War, Devil May Cry, Dante's Inferno, etc. The combat is very limited and features a few different attack combos but nothing you can't learn in a few minutes. The on-rail shooting parts work well and are short mostly.

    The game is lacking on traditional gameplay but the meat of this game is the story and the light gameplay works incredibly well with the story which makes it flow nicely and in an unique experience that you won't forget—for better or worse.

    Achievements

    Most of the achievements can be obtained through natural progression and replays. Several are story related and quite a few are for doing certain cumulative things during the course of the game like synchronization masteries, killing X amount of enemies, unlocking items, ranks, burst time activations etc. The playthrough of hard mode and getting an S rank in all episodes on that difficulty will definitely be the hardest achievements in the game. The rest take a short, yet still lengthy amount of time to unlock.

    Replayability

    The replayability on this game is moderate to high depending on how much you like it. Once you beat the story there isn't much need for someone to return to the game unless they strictly want achievements, all unlockables/gauges or ABSOLUTELY LOVE this game like myself to warrant multiple playthroughs.

    There's tons of videos, concept art and CG artwork to unlock that come with normal progression but to unlock all items you need to unlock the secret episode which has the true ending and only done by certain criteria.

    This game deserves praise for how well the story is. It's been a long time since a game is so involved with its story that the gameplay takes a backseat to it. This is one of the strangest, most beautiful and unique games you'll play. Whether you love it or hate it all comes down to personal preference. The originality, art, lore and mythos is why I rated this game the way I did.
    5.0
  • MrYes7erdayMrYes7erday354,320
    31 Mar 2012 01 Apr 2012
    15 3 1
    Asura's Wrath is a game like none other- less of a game and more of an interactive anime chock full of likable characters, epic battles, great music and all around badassery.

    Asura: "You never taught me how to STOP MY FISTS!"

    Story-
    I won't go into too much detail here but for the curious- Asura's been done wrong by his former demigod comrades and 12,000 years later he's back to settle the score. His old crew is still at war with the Gohma; the glowing red animals wreaking havoc on Gaea; and Asura returns to often find himself as the odd man out in the middle of an ongoing power struggle. His old buddies have gone dark side and basically use the Gohma as an excuse to harvest the souls of the humans under attack which they send back to the homeland for use in a super weapon which will destroy the gohma once and for all. This "breakin a few eggs" method just adds to Asura's wrath. Asura will knock around a few gohmas to pass the time but the main plot point is revenge- but then.... what about the Gohma? I've said enough here- the story has writing as good as any great anime series and the dialogue, voice acting and character expressions are all top notch. You will not be disappointed!

    Graphics-
    Not much to say here- it looks as good as you'd expect from a current gen title. They do this little shading effect on everything that makes it look even more like it was all hand drawn. What really stands out is the facial expressions on the characters- it's like CGI movie quality good.

    Gameplay-
    There isn't much of it but when there is it's tightly executed. The actual battles have you busting out a couple of different combos and finishers, a projectile move, counters, and your standard dashes and dodges. These are fun but usually don't involve leaving a small battlefield 'til the next scene so don't expect to see any parkour or platforming here. Then you have the rail shooter segments involving your character automatically flying/running forward while you dodge around, dragging a reticle shooting various targets and charging a up a lock-on combo- there are more of these than I expected and they're OK for the variety factor. Then you of course have a slew of QTEs that mostly involve tilting the Left analog, timed hitting of the Y button, and the ever popular MASH THE BEJESUS OUT OF THE B BUTTON. Seriously your B button will hate you after playing this game! Regardless the QTEs are fun and make you feel like a star when you deliver some of the greatest beatdowns in video game history. A bit more than halfway through you get to control a second character which was great- you're not even close to sick of playing as Asura and they go and mix it up even more!

    Sound-
    Sound effects are spot on- the punches, sword slashes, and explosions all hit the mark and never get annoying. The voice acting is high quality and never sounds cheesy.. some of Asura's dialogue is kinda stale but it fits the character well and definitely adds to the anime feel of it all. The music really stands out which is expected for a story driven game such as this and it cuts in and out at all the right moments making the most epic scenes even moreso. One of the most memorable pieces, and even though they use it a lot, it never got tiresome is Yasha's theme. It's amazing. Great soundtrack.

    Achievements-
    I would definitely categorize this as an "easy 1000" but it will take some time as even though the game is short, and some cutscenes can be skipped (you'll be mashing the back button A LOT to figure out which) it does require 3-4 playthroughs and then some clean up at the end for any S ranks you missed. I found myself getting challenged by boredom more than actual difficulty a few times and took numerous breaks in my run for the full 1000 just to avoid getting a bad taste in my mouth from an otherwise great experience. No collectibles (praise the sun) and while looking at the achievements some may seem daunting- but this is a lot like the 1000GS in Bayonetta where they look bad at first but turn out to be a cinch thanks to an unlockable item that makes you damn near invincible.

    The Verdict-
    It's a wild ride. I would recommend it for sure. If you like anime this is the game for you. For everyone else well I'd hope you'd find it refreshing to see a game like this doing something unique and doing it well. There's some DLC on the way (this IS Capcom we're talking about here) and you will be getting it if you want to see the TRUE ending.... thats really the only thing I didn't like about the experience as a whole. There is an ending but also a cliffhanger that pushes the DLC ...which is reasonably priced I will say. For such a short game you only wish they'd have put it all in-
    WHICH is why, and I hate to say it, I can't give this an outright "BUY IT" because for 60 bucks? Sadly, no. It's a great game- a must-play even- but the replay value just isn't there and it's too short. (To spell it out- one of the 18 levels can be finished in 45 seconds when you skip the cutscenes)
    It's a highly recommended "RENT IT" or wait til it drops to $40 or less.
    4.0
  • smokin cheezsmokin cheez242,865
    07 Mar 2014 06 Jan 2015
    12 1 2
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!
    4.5
  • Danny Dubs 86Danny Dubs 861,211,650
    17 Oct 2014
    6 8 1
    Originally posted on my blog at http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/

    As much as I rant about the value of a good story, I still want my games to feel like games. When the cinematic-to-gameplay ratio starts to approach 2-to-1, I start to lose interest. Those games aren't as entertaining as just watching a movie because the narrative tends to be more drawn out and gets broken up by spurts of gameplay. They aren't as fun as playing other games, either, because I find I get dumped into a cutscene just as the action picks up.

    It sort of feels like the worst of both worlds.

    Asura's Wrath is the most recent offender I've played. With a heavy emphasis on a disappointing story, it leaves a lot to be desired.

    Let's get this out of the way: a big reason I'm not much of a fan of Asura's Wrath is the pacing. While the game features some pretty cool episodic storytelling, where each chapter is presented as an installment of a tv show (complete with opening credits and previews for the next episode), very little happens along the way.

    It's definitely in the tradition of classic anime series like Dragon Ball Z, where long periods of slow buildup lead to epic (though often quick) confrontations. That style always felt awfully niche to me, and it was never really my thing. If you're like me in that way, Asura's Wrath is unlikely to hook you.

    The story itself definitely has potential, but it falls short because it doesn't really go anywhere. Asura is one of eight demigod generals defending the planet from the corruption of the apparently evil Ghoma. That conflict is never explained in any detail, cheapening what could have been a very interesting backstory.

    Instead, the bulk of the game focuses on the other generals betraying Asura and his ensuing vengeance. That betrayal is slightly better explained, but it still doesn't flesh out the game's universe enough to draw my interest.

    Yes, there are awesome fight scenes (and the game is beautiful, so they're particularly awesome), but I was never invested in it. There's a lot of failed potential in this one.

    And the gameplay doesn't pick up the slack. Part of that is because it relies pretty heavily on quick time events. You'll need to be quick on the draw during cinematics to follow on-screen inputs and common button-mashing sequences if you want to get a good ranking in each chapter. It also means that many of the cutscenes are unskippable, so multiple playthroughs become a huge chore.

    The rest of the gameplay lacks focus, as it is split almost evenly between two genres - third-person beat 'em up and rail shooter.

    The beat 'em up gameplay isn't anything mindblowing. You use simple combat abilities to dispatch a decent variety of enemies while filling your "burst gauge," which allows you to unleash a super-cinematic attack (another strong parallel with Dragon Ball Z). Battles are usually spamming affairs, where your best tactic is to wail on opponents indiscriminately. Higher difficulties require more strategy and precision, but the hardest fights generally devolve into tedious exercises in pattern recognition rather than flowing combat.

    My favorite bits of the game, on the other hand, were definitely the rail shooter stages. During these sections, Asura will automatically rush towards some objective. You control his lateral movement to dodge incoming attacks and fire projectiles to take out enemies along the way. There is generally not much riding on these sequences (it is pretty hard to fail in most of them), but they were reasonably entertaining.

    To be fair, I think nostalgia is the reason I preferred those stages; they evoked memories of games like Panzer Dragoon, making me wish more games like that were on the market these days. Whatever the reason, those sections of the game were the ones I was most excited about.

    Despite an uninspired story and rather shallow gameplay, Asura's Wrath is one of the most beautiful games I've played in a long time. The cutscenes are gorgeous, featuring charming art direction overall. The soundtrack is similarly fabulous; there were definitely times that the background music amped me up more than anything else. It's a fantastic presentation, even if the content is a little lacking.

    As for achievements, the game is a bit of a grind. Full completion requires a minimum of 3 complete playthroughs, though you're likely to need to go back and improve your rating on individual stages. It's more tedious than anything else, as persistence is able to win out against the game's tougher challenges, and the unskippable quick-time event cutscenes can get mindnumbing. It's not the worst achievement grind I've ever played, but it sure stops being fun about a third of the way through.

    In the end, Asura's Wrath was more of a niche title than I had expected. It's really just an interactive action movie. The plot is little more than an excuse for big fight scenes (though it drags on in a lot of places), and the gameplay touches on quality genres but never delves into them. It's decently entertaining at times, but it failed to hold my attention for the full 6-8 hour campaign, and I have virtually no desire to play through it again.

    Asura's Wrath will likely appeal to gamers looking for a Dragon Ball Z-style story, but for others, it's unimpressive.

    My Rating: 3/10 - bad.

    (For more info on my rating system, including overall stats, see http://takeaimandgame.blogspot.com/p/reviews.html)
    1.5