I take all forms of entertainment (video games, films, books, TV shows, comics, etc.) and review it for the delight of the readers of this blog.
Asura’s Wrath ReviewFebruary 26th, 2012 at Sun, 26th, 2012 at 7:02 am by andrewnisargand
My god, a review of a brand new game from me? This is a rather new concept. I mean honestly, most of my reviews are of games and movies that were released years ago. But let’s do this shall we? Okay so one thing that I generally find interesting about more modern video games is the fact that a lot of games from this era have taken to using ancient (or occasionally modern) mythology as a general basis for the ideas, world, characters, and plots within their games. Bayonetta, Dante’s Inferno, Assassin’s Creed (to an extent), God of War, Too Human, and so on. Asura’s Wrath is one of the few games I had actually had on my watch list for the past couple of months for this exact reason. It’s a combination of eastern mythology (pretty much all of it thrown in a blender) spliced with Sci-Fi action. It just sounds utterly ridiculous and amazing at the same time. The question though, is how it would fare against the others in it’s genre (God of War, No More Heroes, Bayonetta, etc.). Let’s take a look.
The plot to Asura’s Wrath is shockingly deep for something of this genre. Most of the time it’s just this person has x attribute, which causes them to fight or they want to get revenge on x because they killed their best friend/family/master/other-cliched-relation (Bayonetta notwithstanding). Asura’s Wrath takes place in…I’m just gonna go with Alternate Reality Earth, because that’s the only way this stuff makes any sense. Essentially there is a race known as the demigods which reign over mankind and Gaea (the planet). There is a force they fight against known as the Gohma (those who know anything about eastern religions know where this is being taken from). You find the General Asura in what will be known as the War of Creation. Him and the other seven Guardian Generals are all waging the final battle upon the forces of Gohma and manage to subdue the beasts. The narrative goes from there to Asura being betrayed by his fellow Guardian Generals (as Asura’s daughter works as the power source for the Demigods and he is deemed too dangerous) and eventually to Asura’s rise from Naraka (Hell) 12,000 years later. It’s a simple tale of revenge put into a rather interesting philosophical debate.
The gameplay is…interesting. It’s really actually hard to review this. I know I seem to say that a lot and usually just say to go out and try the game but this time I’m honestly lost. There is no way to adequately describe it. Sure there are combat sections which involve building a rage meter which will cause you to activate Burst Mode which will take you to the next stage of the level in a very traditional format. And sure there are bosses that you must destroy to continue your journey. And sure there are Quicktime events that do occur (and are in my opinion one of the best parts of the game because (to quote Ben Croshaw) “QTE’s can be effective when they are the basis of the gameplay”). However, the fighting ends up being the most visceral, brutal, and outright exhausting combat system I have ever had to deal with in a game. Each fight left me as exhausted as Asura. This isn’t just with a wiimote or something either, where your body physically moves, but through simple buttons the programmers managed to give each attack weight, each opponent strength and make me as tired as the protagonist would be after each battle.
The art style is one thing that really sets this game apart from anything that modern games have produced. This game reminds me of Okami, if it’s art suddenly started being semi-realistic rather than just calligraphy. It’s striking and vibrant and gives the game this amazingly unique feel that is unattainable outside of the game. I still want some of the art from this game framed and on my walls. This game is truly a feast for the eyes.
Once again, I find myself discussing the score. The score to this game is one of the greatest scores that gaming has ever produced. Let me put it this way: every single musicians has their own individual credit at the end of the game. Every. Single. One. You wanted to know who was playing the trumpets during that fantastic part in the fight with Wyzen where they blasted, alone, as Wyzen burned that village? Yeah. You can find that out. The music is on par with some of the best classical music I have ever heard and for only the second time in my life I am considering paying for a game’s soundtrack.
This game is, simply put, an interactive myth. It is the pure glory of the psychotic stories of the Greek Gods given life in an interactive medium. Combine that with Eastern myth and art, science fiction, one of the greatest game soundtracks ever made and sheer unadulterated insanity and you get a game that I would legitimately use to argue for the medium being an art form. I’ve beaten it and yet I crave more. I want to go back, beat it on every difficulty. Unlock everything and crush that too. Buy all the DLC and crush that as well.
Let me explain this game through an experience from it. I have fought one of the Seven Deities, on the moon, while using six arms, have assisted in the moon being cut in half, been spiked back into Gaea with the same blade, all to the glory that is the 4th Movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony. All in one fight. How, in video games, can you possibly top that? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s possible. This game is easily one of the best experiences the medium can offer and is an easy 5 out of 5. If you have a 360 or a PS3 you owe it to yourself to play this. You’re in for a true wonder.