- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: CyberConnect2
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: Action
- Pros: Anime-style presentation; interrupting enemy monologues; nice graphics and sound; lots of cool stuff happening constantly
- Cons: Not a ton of actual gameplay; short
Asura's Wrath tells the 12,000-year story of a group of 8 demigods tasked with defending a planet from a dark force called the Ghoma hell bent on killing the humans that live there. After a tough battle, 7 of the demigods hatch a plan to grab power. They kill the Emperor and frame the remaining demigod for the murder. Betrayed by his former comrades who then kill his wife and kidnap his priestess daughter, this demigod, Asura, is struck down and thought to be dead. And he was dead for 12,000 years, but through the sheer force of his anger he returns. Turns out the 7 demigods have been using his daughter's unique abilities as a priestess to harvest human souls for 12,000 years to power a super weapon. Their intention is to use the weapon to deal a final blow to the Ghoma leader who, like Asura, has been slumbering for the last 12 millenia and is going to wake up soon. Their goal is certainly admirable, but their methods of achieving it are pretty darn evil. And it makes Asura very, very angry.
The story is broken up in 18 episodes with each episode being set up like a shounen anime. There are opening credits, the characters yell at each other, eyecatch images in the middle of each episode, a "To Be Continued" at the end of each episode, and even a next episode preview. It is actually pretty neat. The story is pure anime through and through and ramps up in scale exponentially each episode (kind of like Gurren Lagann minus the galaxy tossing) right up until the crazy climax.
This anime-style format is certainly very cool, but it results in a rather brief experience that is pretty short on actual gameplay. It only takes about 6 hours to play through the game (including a hidden episode), but there is maybe only 2.5 hours of actual gameplay in that 6 hour total. Instead you are just sitting back and watching as crazy cool stuff happens onscreen.
Now, normally, QTE's are a bad thing. They pop up unexpectedly, you only have a tiny window to hit them, and if you miss them you usually have to restart. And if they are overused, like in Jurassic Park: The Game, the game just isn't fun. In Asura's Wrath, however, the QTE's are kind of inconsequential. They pop up, give you tons of time to hit them, and even if you miss them the game keeps chugging along like nothing happened. Despite not really even needing to do the QTE's most of the time, you'll still hit them more out of instinct than necessity. The results of these QTE's are usually pretty cool, though. Asura dodges huge energy blasts, deals brutal death blows to enemies, and generally does awesome stuff that wouldn't be possible during normal gameplay. Even better, you can occasionally interrupt long winded enemy monologues with a punch to their stupid faces. One fantastic episode takes place at a hot spring bath (the only anime trope it is really missing is a trip to the beach) where all you look at girls and drink sake. Good times.
As cool as everything is, though, it all still boils down to barely more than two hours of gameplay where you are actually in control. It is replayable to an extent if you want to improve your ranking on an episode or use some of the unlockable gauges (sort of like cheat modes built into the game), but most people will probably be satisfied with one playthrough. For a $60 game, that is a bit hard to swallow. It is definitely a good game, but the value just isn't here.
Graphics & Sound
The sound is also very good. Solid music with some particularly memorable tracks in the latter half. Good sound effects. And good voice acting in both English or Japanese (including Rie Kugimiya as, you guessed it, a loli).