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Asura’s Wrath may not be the best game you’ll ever play, it certainly won’t be the longest game you’ll play, and it definitely isn’t the most interactive game you’ll play. But it is still worth a play. After hearing the things I’ve already said about the game, you may be asking “Why?” and I don’t think you are crazy to wonder that.
So let me explain. Simply put, the game offers a fun and unique experience unlike any other. In all actuality, Asura’s Wrath is closer to an interactive anime as opposed to an action game, like God of War III. In fact, I think Dragon Ball Z deserves a place amongst contemporaries just as much as the God of War games.
Asura’s Wrath’s roots as an anime can be seen in the game’s presentation. One thing that the game does to mimic the anime experience is present itself as episodic content, rather than one continuous story. The episodes are even broken up with little manga like segments and a “On the next episode of…” type of transition. Don’t forget the over-the-top action in both the gameplay and cut scenes, which are a staple of almost every anime.
Then there is the ridiculous, but entertaining storyline which may seem like your cliché tale of betrayal and revenge. Still, it has its own unique flair that separates it from all the other, more mundane plotlines. After all, where else are you going to take on a giant Buddha in space? So now you have a chance to enjoy a piece of visual media that combines all of your favorite aspects of anime/manga, and video games, in one tight, concise package.
While bursting at the seams with action, the parts where you are actually fully in control seem few and far between the segments of cinematic storytelling and Quick Time Events. Not to mention, the action is quite shallow. Your main source of damage output is the Light attack combo, which involves pressing square with the occasional triangle, which unleashes a heavy attack that changes based on context.
There are also cool counter attacks that change based on which faceless grunt’s skull you are bashing in at that particular moment. Bosses don’t have health bars, which makes these potentially epic duels reminiscent of your favorite anime’s battles. They are little more than a vehicle to get to the next cut scene. You just fill up your “burst” meter by bashing everyone’s face in, and when it’s full, you “burst” into yet another QTE that will shove you along to the next part of the story.
Asura’s Wrath’s style is by far one of its best traits. The game is also certainly beautiful to look at, and it is both very, very unique and very, very odd. Not to mention it is also incredibly and unashamedly over-the-top.
Everything looks good and is complemented by a unique art style.
Asura’s Wrath’s music is fantastic and does a great deal in sucking you into the action. The voice actors also do a pretty good job of delivering their lines and making them feel authentic.
Think of God of War III. Now think of God of War III with less complex actions and more QTE. Now you have Asura’s Wrath: satisfying gameplay with no “wow factor,” and a heck of a lot of interactive cut scenes. This applies to at least the first two-thirds of the game. The final third takes a page from Panzer Dragoon’s playbook, and turns into a similarly styled shooter.
1. Lasting Appeal
Let’s be honest here, single-player games almost always offer less value than games with multiplayer, and the divide is even greater when the single-player experience only lasts 6 hours. Asura’s Wrath isn’t quite justifiable with its $60 price tag, so either find a friend or two to split the bill with, rent it or wait until it is less than $40 is my personal recommendation.
Final Score: 3.5/5
This game is a great game, but it simply has a hard time justifying you spending your hard earned dollars on it. So while I do think it is worth a play, I think it isn’t worth it at this time. I am also to inclined to note that if you aren’t in it for the spectacle and are more concerned about the gameplay, then chances are that at the very least you will be a little disappointed.
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