Easter Eggs: Asura's Wrath

By Marc Hollinshead, 4 years ago
Welcome to Easter Eggs, where the TA Team shines the spotlight on games that many gamers might have missed, perhaps hidden away behind the millionth copy of Call of Duty or FIFA. Much like a gamer who finds an Easter Egg hidden away in a game and proceeds to trumpet it from the highest hills and forums, the TA Team is going to be featuring these Easter Egg games on the front page for all to see.
Once upon a time, gaming used to consist of going down to your local arcade and having a whirl at the games available there. Although there were number of console systems, arcade gaming was still very common. In that arcade, each game was simple. You paid for a round and played some sort of mini-game to survive as long as you could. There wasn't usually a story to help guide you along; all you knew was that there were bad guys and you shot/punched them into oblivion. If you died, then it was game over for you. Nothing more, nothing less.

Gaming has taken a humongous step since then. Nowadays, people say that games are verging into movie territory, where story, characters and emotion are plentiful and that they're just as important as the gameplay itself. The Walking Dead is a shining example of this. Whereas the gameplay may be seen as lacking to some, it's the story that's the focus here and it has been praised across the globe as a masterpiece of a game. Gaming isn't just about killing bad guys anymore, and today's Easter Egg is going to prove that story-heavy games deserve a spot in the industry. I give you Asura's Wrath, an engrossing tale of a demigod who has the world's worst temper.


The Basics

While Asura's Wrath could be seen as an action game, it doesn't really fit into any genre. Due to its focus on story, you'll be investing in this game for that reason. The world of Gaia is under a constant threat from the Gohma (strange red monsters that take on the forms of all sorts of animals), Vlitra (the biggest and worst Gohma of them all), and even the will of the planet itself rears its head every tens of thousands of years which makes things even worse. To help defend the world from this threat, the Eight Guardian Generals battle it out with them to send Vlitra back into the dust. This is where Asura comes in. Being one of generals, you begin the game with a giant space battle against Vlitra and the Gohma, and you have the other generals fighting along your side. The source of their power is Mantra, a mysterious energy that literally gives life to Asura. Asura's daughter, Mithra, is the only one who can manipulate Mantra and amplify its power for the generals' needs, so with her help, the generals are able to gain incomparable strength on the field. There is something wrong, though. An evil plan is underway and Asura is right at the heart of it. In the game's first episode, you will soon find out that the demigod's life will be turned upside down and those who he once fought beside will become his greatest enemies, in the form of The Seven Deities.

Throughout the game, you will be watching a huge amount of cutscenes and partaking in a number of player-controlled action sequences. It sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? There's a bit more to it than simply watching a TV show.

Easter Egg 1

The Hook

One thing you've got to be prepared for when starting up Asura's Wrath is that you'll be doing a heck of a lot of watching. Much of the game is made up of cutscenes with a multitude of button prompts and quick-time events to move the story forward. For example, you will be witnessing Asura in one of his trademark tantrums and suddenly you will have to press "Y" or nudge both sticks in a certain direction. Most of the time, these prompts don't do anything to actually influence how the scenes play out, but instead they will alter your rank at the end of the episode. Think of these prompts as pressing buttons in rhythm to what's occurring in a specific cutscene. Sometimes, though, certain prompts are there to cause Asura to move so they aren't completely useless. This way, you won't simply be staring at a screen but looking out for those prompts constantly. Be warned, the "B" button gets a lot of attention in this game and you will spend a great deal of time destroying your thumb as you spam it in time with Asura's insane punches. It's incredibly fun to unleash your anger on your own controller as the wrathful demigod unleashes his supreme rage.

While there are plenty of these interactive movie-type scenes, there is actually some gameplay to be found. You will regularly find yourselves engaged in battle with the Gohma or warriors of Shinkoku, the unified nation represented in the game. The fighting segments basically act like arenas where waves of enemies will surround Asura. Again, the "B" button is your friend and you will use it in different ways to create a number of devastating combos on your opponents. While Asura himself has a health bar, the enemies do not. Instead, every bit of damage done will cause the Burst Gauge to increase. Once it's filled, that's your cue to activate the ability and let Asura go nuts which in turn progresses the story. The bosses work in exactly the same way. You'll go one-on-one with them and aim to damage them enough to fill up the Burst Gauge. As is typical of video game bosses, there will be different phases and so don't expect Asura's god-like powers to vanquish them so easily.

Easter Egg 2

Alongside these interactive cutscenes and interesting gameplay mechanics, the game also has another unique quality. Whenever you begin a new episode, a narrator tells you of the previous episode's events and there are even interludes halfway through as though you're about to watch an ad break (don't worry, you don't literally have to watch a load of adverts). When an episode ends, the narrator comes back in and teases what's to come in the next episode. Luckily for us, we don't have to wait a week for the next one and we can jump straight in! Some episodes feel longer than others, but it really does feel like you're engaging with a fully fledged Japanese anime. Right at the end of these episodes, you will be presented with these vibrant illustrations that tell more of the intriguing tale. These may consist of conversations that weren't shown in the gameplay or act as extra portions of an episode just to whet your appetite even more for what's to come. A beautiful piece of music plays with these illustrations and you are given all the time you need to read the text and marvel at the fantastic artwork. It's obvious how much work went into every illustration and it makes this experience all the more unique.

Easter Egg 3

One thing that has angered the community with this game is that one DLC is literally the game's true ending. The main game has its own "true" ending, but Part Four, which in fact holds the REAL ending needs to be bought separately. While this may sound like a truly unprofessional decision by Capcom, it's lucky that these episodes are worth the money. If you enjoyed the main game, then this DLC will shock and surprise you in extremely positive ways. The events that unfold are epic in scope and you will be subjected to some jaw-dropping revelations. It's all about an epic and emotional story in Asura's Wrath, and the final part of it in the form of the DLC delivers it in bucket loads. There is also two other DLC's which are very peculiar indeed. Lost Episodes One and Two put Asura in an unlikely situation where the player will be subjected to fights in the form of Street Fighter battles. It's not in canon with the main game and so you can enjoy this at your own leisure.

The Achievements

The achievements in Asura's Wrath may look intimidating at first glance, but they really aren't. Once you acquire extra abilities and gauges, attaining the top rank in each episode is a breeze. The Deity achievement sounds tricky, but by the time you're playing the game for a third or fourth time, you'll realise that it's not so hard to accomplish. Much of the list will come as you play through the game multiple times, but it requires some patience if you aren't a fan of those 3-4 full playthroughs. Luckily for this game, cutscenes can be skipped which cuts the length down considerably but due to QTE's, you will find yourself spamming the skip button too see if the game will allow you to quickly move on. The A Rebuttal of Fists and An Everlasting Clash achievements may have you ripping your hair out, though, due to the nature of the DLC's and strict requirements needed to complete them.

Easter Egg 4

The Stats

At the time of writing, 12,153 TA'ers have aimed to quell Asura's Wrath and 640 of them have completed it (which includes DLC). That amounts to 5.27% with a TA score of 2,333.

The community has given the game a 3.9 rating whereas Metacritic has rated the game at 71 which is still commendable.

The Price

If you're in the U.K and fancy snapping up a brand new copy of the game, you will only have to fork out £11.86 when shopping on Amazon. If you dwell in the States, then you can get a new copy for $29.99 or $19.99 for a pre-owned copy from Gamestop. This was another one of those downloadable titles on sale when this writer bought it and it was most certainly money well spent.

The Verdict

As you may have guessed from this article, it's quite hard to sum up Asura's Wrath in just a few words. While it has been classed as an Action title here on TA, it's more of a unique hybrid of action, adventure and visual novel/TV show. Because of the story being the main focus of the game, it's important that I only give you the bare bones. Many reviews have agreed with me in the fact that it is one-of-a-kind and there is simply nothing else like it because of what it is. It's one of those "see it to believe it" kind of experiences, and I say experience for a reason. Due to its episodic and TV-like nature, it has pushed the boundaries of what gaming has become. No more do we need to stare at a pixelated screen of explosions and fists meeting other fists. Gaming is much more than that and Asura's Wrath is proof that it works. I urge you, if you like anime and story-heavy games, go try this out. Heck, if you just want to see what it's all about and play something different, then try it as well. It triumphs in how fantastically it tells the tale of a loving father and his vulnerable daughter and nothing else can match it. There's much more that could be said but for uniqueness alone, but it's a must buy. Jump into the powerful body of Asura and see if you have what it takes to end his vengeful wrath.

Easter Egg 5

If there's a game you'd like to see featured in Easter Eggs, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.