I love just about anything with over the top insanity. I couldn’t care less what the actual story and emotions are if you present me with a world that is bursting with ridiculous action and larger than life characters. It’s what drew me to animes like Gurren Laggan and Kill La Kill; both are just filled to the brim with the best of shenanigans. For me personally it makes for one heck of a fun ride and every so often you can find this type of insanity in various games. Asura’s Wrath fits this bill perfectly.
Set literally 800 million years ago, Asura’s Wrath is about a literal god named Asura who is seeking revenge after he is betrayed by his other fellow deities. Keep in mind that all of this takes place after a gigantic space battle where a huge fleet, led by the gods, is fighting an army sent by a hate creature that lives in the Earth’s core. This creature pops out of the core, showing its size to be approximately 1/3 the size of the planet, fires giant death lasers, and is then beaten when Asura, who is human sized, punches it really really hard…..and that’s just Level One.
After his space battle, Asura is framed for murdering their emperor/leader/king, his wife is murdered, and his daughter is kidnapped due to her ability to amplify their natural energy source, Mantra. That is a rough day at work. After his framing, he is actually ganged up on and murdered by his now ex-comrades. So he dies….and then is brought back some 12,000 years later, because reasons. Actually there is a good reason for it, but I won’t spoil it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for the insanity that is Asura’s Wrath. However, what else does this game have to offer? Gameplay wise, it is a touch different. Think of it as a kind of hybrid between a shoot-em-up and a beat-em-up, with the game switching back and forth between the two periodically. If you’re wondering how a Punching God can have a shooting element, I refer you to the paragraph about Level One. He shoots energy balls from his 2-6 hands at enemies; yes I said 2-6 hands. Still with me on this one? It does have several quick time events in there, but I don’t mind this since it actually enhances the fun and frantic pace of the battles, as opposed to how that can have an opposite effect in other games.
Another treat from this game is how each level is presented. This game is shown to us as an Anime series, where each level is actually considered to be an episode. It comes complete with episode recaps and “next time on”. It even has eye catches half way through the levels just like other animes do. It’s honestly very well done, and it makes it feel more like an interactive show. Sure this includes a few anime tropes here and there, but that doesn’t really detract from the fun.
If you’re unsure if you are still onboard with this title, I highly recommend trying out the demo since that’s what originally sold me on this game. It includes two levels/boss fights: The first you fight a fat god who eventually becomes larger than the planet and tries to squish you with his finger, and the second you fight your old master who is blind, on the moon, and wields a giant sword with an extending blade. How far does it extend you may ask? Well, at least 238,900 miles, which is approximately the distance from the Moon to the Earth, and yes there is a reason I know that. Seriously do I need to keep selling this to you?
All of these wonderful things said, there is one big negative I have to point out. Remember how I said that this game was presented as an anime with episodes and everything? Well that is still a good thing, and you get 18 episodes in total with the game with an ending upon completion. However, this is not the true ending. In pure Capcom fashion, there are 4 additional episodes available for this title as DLC, which is kind of a crappy thing to do. For the record, I fully believe this was Capcom’s idea and not the actual team behind Asura’s Wrath, so I don’t hold it against them. After finishing these episodes, you will be given the true and final ending to this game and its story. The episodes themselves are actually pretty fun and the final battle was really enjoyable. Though I will say that the epilogue at the end was definitely a sign of the budget running out. It’s up to you if you want to purchase the final chapters, you can still get a happy ending just by playing the original 18 episodes and feel that sense of accomplishment, but deep inside you will always know there is more. It is currently $6.99 on Xbox Live, not super steep but again up to you.
There is additionally DLC that takes place in between different chapters, though they aren’t super important to the plot or anything, these are just fun romps at about 2 bucks a piece.
Overall, this is an under appreciated title and a lot of fun, and while the DLC part is not cool, the game itself is still worth picking up. Gamestop currently has it listed at $14.99 used for both Xbox 360 and PS3 and Amazon has a few copies for $8.95. Both are excellent buys!! Pick this game up, sit back, and enjoy the ride.