We’re going back to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for this recommendation, so the game may not be the easiest find. However, if you manage to come across it (I finally did in a second-hand store only about a year ago, and there were TWO copies!), Asura’s Wrath is an interesting experiment.
For a good idea of the general aesthetic and emotion, think God of War in a science-fiction-based universe that uses both Buddhist and Hindu mythology. Add Japanese stylings, button prompts, rail-shooter levels and boss fights, and you have what they called an “interactive anime”. That makes this week’s Game Recommendation Asura’s Wrath.
Asura’s Wrath was developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Capcom. Releasing in February 2012, the game had mixed reviews. It’s not hard to see why. The combination of genres isn’t to everyone’s taste. Neither is the story being told in episodic format, like a real anime show, with credits and all. But the intent behind the game “was that [they] wanted to reach out to audiences all over the world”. So this game might have something for you.
Guardian General of Wrath
Asura is much like Kratos in the God of War series (pre-Atreus); he’s a demigod looking for revenge. The story follows his trail of destruction and anger over thousands of years. The gameplay itself is mostly 3rd-person action beat-em-up, with interactive cut-scenes sprinkled between the brawling. But the genre switching comes so fast, you probably won’t have time to get bored of one before it changes to another. The fights have what one would expect– a gauge that fills to unleash a stronger Asura, and button-prompts at specific times to “finish” enemies.
That isn’t to say the game is without its faults– the story can be a little repetitive. For example, Asura “dies” more than once. While he is supposed to be the demigod who uses his anger as a strength, it came off as a little bit too easy. The gameplay could use more depth, as well, as the fights are pretty basic. The boss battles are spectacles, but the only boss that presented any challenge was the final one.
If you are looking for a game that does something different, Asura’s Wrath may be the ticket. It doesn’t stick to a single game genre, throws mythology and sci-fi into a blender to create a unique world, and finishes it with over-the-top cartoonish action. It’s more than likely relatively cheap, and won’t take up a lot of your time.
So if you ever played a Quantic Dream game and thought it needed more control, give it a try. Or if you think God of War is fine but prefer Hindu or Buddhist myths, look into it. It’s a hard game to compare to others, except for its disparate parts. The problem with those comparisons, though, is the parts all come together to make Asura’s Wrath something more than just a combination of those components, which makes this week’s Game Recommendation Asura’s Wrath.
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