Game Guys review - Asura's Wrath

2:15 PM, May 16, 2012   |    comments
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  • 'Asura's Wrath' from Capcom.
  • 'Asura's Wrath' from Capcom.
  • 'Asura's Wrath' from Capcom.
  • 'Asura's Wrath' from Capcom.
  • 'Asura's Wrath' from Capcom.

Let's face it:  Sometimes game developers get a bit too overzealous when it comes to cut scenes within their games.  Nowhere is this more evident than in Capcom's Asura's Wrath.

The game, which is really more of an interactive mini-series than a game, follows the adventures of a fallen demi-god known as Asura.  A revenge tale at its core, the player controls this easily-angered brute as he squares off against the seven other demi-gods who betrayed him, killed his wife, and kidnapped his daughter.  While it does stand to reason that Asura wouldn't be all too pleased with the turn of events that spurned his wrath, there is only so much rage that can be presented before the emotion begins to lose its punch.  By the end of the game, Asura's attitude is so played out that the biggest thing the player will get out of the game's conclusion is not having to observe and participate in Asura's vengeance any longer.

Gameplay is, in a word, chunky.  The player is given an acceptable number of different moves and maneuvers that Asura can perform, but it feels almost like combat (which is the only part of the game in which the player actually participates) is chunked together and is held up with duct tape.  The really sad part of it all is that the fighting is nothing more than a means to an end; in this case that end is either a quicktime event or the triggering of Asura's absurdly overpowered "burst" mechanic.  Either way the battle is over in Asura's favor and the player is left wanting.  Episode after episode, this formula remains largely unchanged as the game becomes less and less appealing to complete.

When it comes to presentation, Asura's Wrath is hit-and-miss.  The way the game is layed out works well enough for an interactive movie with each level presented as a television show complete with commercial breaks (no joke).  Unfortunately, this layout, coupled with the immense number of sometimes lengthy cut scenes, also breaks up gameplay so much that the player loses the motivation to continue on to the next episode.

Asura's Wrath's art style leaves quite a bit to be desired as well.  While quality-wise it's mostly clean, the inconsistency in character appearance is rather distracting.  Asura, for example, sometimes looks as if he were wood carved, while his daughter's complexion is soft and clean.  These contrasting appearances are a bit jarring, though they prove only to be a distraction while watching the game's various cut scenes.

The game's audio is of similar overall presentation quality.  Heavy with sound effects, the combat-friendly soundtrack that plays during combat scenes works well.  Voice acting, on the other hand, isn't all that great and is akin to a moderately-good English dub of a semi-obscure sci-fi anime.

Asura's Wrath is one of those odd games that would be good for the right person.  For the gaming audience at large, it should be extremely polarizing.  Those expecting hours of non-stop action will find themselves disappointed, but a gamer who prefers automated plot progression coupled with not-too-hard combat mechanics might find a good rental with this title.

Final Game Guys grade: C-

(Capcom provided a copy of this game for review.)


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