Asura's Wrath Review
Asura's Wrath isn't much of a game, but its over-the-top, anime-style story makes it easier to overlook its shortcomings.
- Worthwhile story.
- Uninspired use of quick time events
- Repetitive and lackluster combat system.
Asura's Wrath might seem like a game firmly engaged in the throes of an identity crisis. It balances delicately on the line that separates interactive movie from game in an attempt to buck the negative connotations generally associated with the former characterization and its love affair with quick-time events. But the reality is that Asura's Wrath gnashes its teeth, plants its feet, and pummels that line into a fine powder with a flurry of punches as it confidently declares itself an interactive movie first and game second. Unfortunately, that prioritization means the traditional action parts aren't much of a selling point. The mostly hand-to-hand combat system is shallow and repetitive to the point that it isn't any more intricate than the quick-time events dominating the rest of the game, and the surprisingly satisfying story becomes the sole reason to see Asura through to the end of his journey.
That's not to say the plot is a beacon of originality. Asura's Wrath makes excellent use of inspiration from various forms of Asian mythology, but the overarching themes are typical of popular anime. The dialogue is predictably festooned with non sequiturs from a hero who not only seeks revenge, but also discovers previously untapped power when suitably provoked by those who seek to subdue him. It's a well-worn road traveled by countless heroes and villains before Asura, but it's that familiarity, as well as the knowledge of what's unfolding, that breeds a sense of gratifying nostalgia and comfort.
The question isn't whether or not Asura can defeat the Seven Deities and save his daughter; fans of anime implicitly know the answer from the outset. The real question (and entertainment) comes from how he overcomes the odds when showcased at their outlandish peaks--punching a giant space finger or surviving a stab wound from a sword that stretches from the moon to the Earth are just a few such notable moments.
Asura's use of onscreen button prompts does a great disservice to these otherwise grand events, but that isn't just because they're quick-time events. After all, rhythm games frequently prove that this sort of mechanic allows for creative and effective ways to complement what's happening. Rather, it's the fact that Asura's button prompts rarely ever successfully convey a sense of urgency because they're vaguely related to the action.
They're a distraction, if anything, with the exception of sequences that require the furious tapping of a single face button, which correlates to Asura's infatuation with using his fists to confront life's problems. If the button isn't tapped quickly enough, the virtual tug of war is lost, Asura is eventually defeated, and the rare game over screen then appears. But most cutscenes merely require a simple button tap here or a right analog swish there, followed by a defiant thrust outward on both analog sticks. It's not the most rousing implementation of this sort of interaction and the whole phalange-focused, tap-dancing affair is even less dramatic when failure is often just an inconsequential knock against a skill rating.
Asura's more active combat sequences aren't up to the task of compensating for these shortcomings either because, quite simply, they have plenty of their own. The on-rails shooting segments offer little variety and functionally come down to holding one button down to fire Asura's arm bullets and then intermittently pressing another to fire his arm missiles when target lock-on is achieved. Success is ultimately determined by how quickly this can be done, throwing target prioritization--a key ingredient of a good rail shooter--out the window. Similarly, in the hand-to-hand combat sequences, victory is often a matter of hammering on the punch button while taking the occasional respite to hit the jump button or to engage context-sensitive attacks that also require a single button press.
There's something to be said for the responsive controls and a desire to streamline gameplay mechanics for the sake of accessibility, but what that means in real terms is this: There's no sense of triumph in completing a difficult task. There's absolutely no sense that Asura's godlike powers are ever really at your disposal. There's no sense of accomplishment, save for watching the end credits roll. There's no challenge; no enemies that put up an engaging fight. It's all very safe.
Truth be told, that method of design makes traversing the entirety of Asura's entertaining story relatively painless, but if there were ever an argument to be made against uniform pricing, Asura's Wrath is it. It's a game because its price demands that it be categorized and measured against those relative merits. Yet, when taken for what it really is--an anime film that just happens to use a game engine and some mild interactive mechanics--a price point that competes with similarly themed movies would present Asura's Wrath in a far different, and potentially groundbreaking, light.
I had better expectations. The game is fine. The story and action is good but it doesn't worth 60 bucks plus the oncoming DLCs that finishes up the story. So rent the game.
Screw this reviewer and ignore it.. this game is a MUST have. the quicktime events make you feel SO powerful, and the story is to die for. btw he forgot to mention how awsome the boss fights were, and how awsome the music was. KINDA LEFT THAT OUT!!! >:(((( Dont take my word for it guys Go play the DEMO
@Legojake94 No is not. The game is LAME, as the review says the story is worthy but u can watch it in youtube, is a short game with a lackluster combat system, a metacritic of 70 which i dont get it how it score so high and finally it sold 240.000 units only and thats not all it fall way behind with older games like DMC, God of War, bayonetta..in the case these game is hack n slash ( more like an interactive anime but whatever) The good:Music, graphics, videos, animations, VA but thats it u dont make an action game with that.
5.5? I thinks it's pretty low for such an amazing action game. It' s ok if Giancarlo Varanini don't like anime. It's the same as a Star Wars game reviewed by someone that don't like Star Wars background IMO.
Asura's have cool story, amazing soundtrack, and graphics and the voice acting is impressive, the original japanese voices made the difference for me.
I must say that the gameplay it self is average but in my book this game is 8,5/10
I thought this game was actually really great at doing what it was trying to do, really enjoyed it. I personally thought that this product was more of an anime box set than a game, and a very good anime box set at that ! I'd give the Giantbomb review a look for a second perspective. http://www.giantbomb.com/asuras-wrath/61-32688/reviews/
i agree with @edmond_villamor and @Mabrry this game deserve better than this what's wrong with you people 5.5 it's totally unfair i would give it 8.5 anyway am not interested in the game score and say what you want about this game but plz don't forget people whats the meaning of playing games IT'S NOT LOOK AT SCORES NO IT'S TO HAVE FUN AND THIS GAME WILL GIVE YOU MORE THAN FUN SO PLZ GO ENJOY PLAYING THIS GAME
@edmond_villamor I agree completely. Asuras Wrath is definitely something for an anime fan, and for anyone who's interested in mainly an enjoyable story and great overall voice acting, soundtrack, and graphics. And Asura's Wrath has all of that. And honestly, I felt there was enough game play in the game, and that's not just my fanboyism leaking out. It's definitely for a particular crowd, but it does, in my opinion, deserve at least a 7. I'd give it a 8. Why? Because this game is revolutionary. Tell me a game thats like this? When I was done with the game, (took me longer than most, played on hard and went back for unlockables) I was satisfied. And I would be very disappointed if there wasn't a sequel, this game screams trilogy. Good job capcom!
This game does not deserve a 5.5. Its "Interactive Storytelling" at its finest. I wish they'll make a Ninja Scroll much like this, its like playing an anime show. I'll rate this game at at least an 8.0 or 8.5. Its fun to watch and play at the same time and this game opens up a new genre to gaming. Although the playtime to finish leaves much to be desired but its still a very good game.
@HDmatt19 - Asura in capcom vs. series please. These low scoring games are always fun in the end. They just don't warrant the price.
I understand the review score, but I had a blast with this game! I think any fan of anime should give this a go. Yes is it more interactive show than game, and yes $60 is high, but when it comes down I bet this gets a real cult following. The characters alone are done so well, I loved it and can't wait to see Asura in Street Fighter!
@killermoney97 Opinion is an opinion, I just wasn't aware that reviewers took the game's price into consideration when lopping off 2 to 3 well deserved points on a 10 scale. So with this logic, all free games deserve 10 stars right? Because its free
@requul1 - Bah, I think you're over-analyzing there mate. A 5.5 is pretty much a crap score, however you slice and dice it. They give out 7's all day long to games that are ordinary and average. I can't think of one example of a game which gamespot scored a 5.5 or below that I liked, much less loved as much as I did Asura's Wrath. They're way off the reservation on this one. But hey, it happens every now and then. Maybe the reviewer just didn't get it...
@Pizzaman103 People are calling 5.5 an abysmal score. Gamespot's scoring system is more of a bell curve... we'll call it the de jure bell curve. 5.5 is right in the middle. Abysmal is more like Street Sweeper Simulator on PC. The de facto bell curve would seem to support your "Abysmal" qualification since a very small amount of games (5%) get a 5 or less, with 15% getting a 6, 29% getting a 7, 30% get 8, 20% get 9 and 1% get 10. Those are VERY rough numbers and they seem to support the point that Asura is near the bottom BUT if you looked at another review source say... GameInformer. GI's bell curve would be wildly skewed to toward the 8s and 9s. So much so that it would diminish what it means to be a 9. I would say the only thing you can say for sure is GameInformer needs to switch to decaf. Besides, even if GS is wildly off base, one bad review alone does not indict an entire library of work.
People are calling 5.5 an abysmal score. Gamespot's scoring system is more of a bell curve... we'll call it the de jure bell curve. 5.5 is right in the middle. Abysmal is more like Street Sweeper Simulator on PC. The de facto bell curve would seem to support your "Abysmal" qualification since a very small amount of games (5%) get a 5 or less, with 15% getting a 6, 29% getting a 7, 30% get 8, 20% get 9 and 1% get 10. Those are VERY rough numbers and they seem to support the point that Asura is near the bottom BUT if you looked at another review source say... GameInformer. I would say the only thing you can say for sure is GameInformer needs to switch to decaf.
Wow, I just finished the game this morning and enjoyed the hell out of it. I agree with Gamespot 9 out of 10 times, but this is one of the only times I can think of where I believe you just got it flat wrong. If you're on the fence about this game, please ignore the 5.5 score here, which I believe is the lowest on the internet. Rent it, like I did. It was a total blast.
People shouldnt just look at the metacritic score and immediatly think gamespot got it wrong. Metacritic takes loads of reviews seriously even if they are a tad ridiculous, most say the exact same thing as this review but still give the game a 7.5 or so. Personally i prefer gamespot because the majority of their reviewers always seem more concerned with core features such as gameplay and longevity whereas some reviewers seem to care more about the graphics or story. Of course i would like it all but most games dont do that, they sacrifice one aspect for another so pick your who you listen to...
You critics of the critic out there gotta understand what makes the score somewhat justifiable: at the moment, you're paying sixty dollars for a six hour interactive movie. How much is your typical season-worth DVD collection of your favorite anime, and many hours is it? Production values are high, sure, and six hours is a long movie, but sixty dollars for just pushing button prompts and beating up guys until your "i'm gonna defeat you" gauge fills up in a matter of two minutes of gameplay? I think what the game offers is something real special, but even I have to admit that's disgusting.
@fog90 Instead of using derogatory terms, why don't you act like a big kid and tell him stuff like this in a mature matter? I agree that he could've mentioned a few more things, but that doesn't justify calling him a retard (if I get moderated for using that word Gamespot, I swear to god...)
"Asuras' Wrath ----- 5.5 ----- MEDIOCRE" I told you so! Its problem is identity crisis... As a Game or a movie. As a Movie or an anime. As an Asian or a Western. As a Hindu or a Japanese. @Chaos_Dante_456 True, I too saw this review score after I saw the series of trailers.
@Pizzaman103 well price is a legitimate factor to a score, price for any product is usuually suppose to denote some quality to match the price if the product is below quality of the price that is a problem. A game that feels beneath it's value can sour an experience.
Well I can't say I didn't see this coming...it did look flashy and epic but the demo/videos pretty much already revealed that there wasn't much to manual combat and there were hell of alot of quicktime events.. I don't know why so many people were convinced this game was just gonna be the best game. The character designs are good and visually impressive but it probably would've been better off as some sort of anime
"mmm...metacritic 7.2; users 8.1 what happened here?" I think it's called a "different opinion". I'm glad the reviewer went with this rating. The reviewer clearly explained the position and reasons for scoring the game as such. The cutscenes are good, but the game is mediocre. I would say a 5.5 expresses that.
i cant see the point of anyone playing a garbage like this. If you like anime, just turn on your tv, go to Cartoon Network and watch the real thing
Gamespot is completely right, why do we need so much quick time events, and so much video cinematics, a "VIDEOGAME" is meant to be PLAYED and watched at the same time, so if you just want to watch, buy a movie or any anime, but when you rip out game-play from a videogame it means you killed it....too bad because that game could be so much better, lets hope for a second one that lives up for the expectations...
Whatever happened to your legitimate rating system Gamespot? It used to be graphics, sound, gameplay, tilt - or something to that effect. Now you drop a game by a huge percentage because of its price? I agree, the game is shallow and repetitive, but you guys shouldn't be giving games a pretty abysmal score just because they're overpriced. If GTAIV was $450 when it came out, would you have scored it any less? And by this standard, NARC on Ps2 got a better score, that game released for a discounted price (and was almost completely unplayable). I guess a developer just has to invest a bit more in your stock.
I am not a huge fan of Anime but i did dig the extraordinary style and the extremely high quality of animated cut scenes. i have never seen anything like it! would be nice to see how many people who gave it low scores, actually finished the game, because i am sure most did and it should be credited for that. i agree that there is lots of room for improvement, but i am eager to see it in a sequel. it is a very experimental idea of a game but it deserves well more then a 5.5, i would never finish a game with such low ratings.if you'd rather call it an interactive digital grafik novel, then it would be a groundbreaking new style... i knew it's more an anime then a game, and i actually enjoyed watching, eating popcorn and releasing asura's wrath on normal difficulty for about 6 hours... and i want to play it again to see the extrachapter.
combat system its not problem i find it fun not what bad on game like what it say up for example boss when i met him i get much kicked or hurt next time i know how i control battle better i got archivement u cant touch these ) its fun things cant judge from just playing demo or review it
hi guys first game is epic i dont care if its short there games are shorter these game is not like most games style its uniq something new make u feel inside action it may low score from or what ever gamespot cuz its short will game can be play agine for better score and if see ppl score its high i give it 10/10 for fantasy style and new thing to feel
@im-a-roustabout 3 hours of gameplay ?? seems like a waste for consumers to spend $60, plus tax.....$65.
Unlike those who bashes Giancarlo, I can say that after played the game, the score is about right. It is a mediocre, shallow game. It does boast some impressive art and relatively okay story ( which is another subject, considering how low the standards are for a story to be considered ''good''). But still, if you're totally okay with a Dragon's Lair type of interactive movie, then the game is great. But around those cutscenes, there should have been actual levels and gameplay.
i usually trust gamespot reviews but this time after playing the game i can say that the 5.5 score is crap! it does deserve more than that!! ok so maybe the controls are pretty basic and it does seem more like an anime, but clearly that was meant to be the idea! and it's a nice change of pace for most games out there that nowadays seem to keep up the same formula to guarantee success. the texture of the animation and visual look is very cool and different and sucks you in. ok so it's not the common standard but hell it's fun!! the story is cool and entertaining and even more to do some butt kicking in an anime kind of way.
I was hoping there would be more honest reviews like this on this "game". Thanks for actually telling us that this is just a lack-luster game hidden midst a Chinese story Giancarlo.
@Abolfazl3007 The fact that you could say something you know nothing about and still get five thumbs up proves to me just how old I must be getting and how kids these days have zero knowledge and yet will stand behind it just because they so desperately need to feel right. A true Gamespotter would know that Giancarlo is OLD school Gamespot, yet five morons actually thumbed you up? I wouldn't mind seeing that feature taken away just to help mitigate bandwagon! This was a well written review and I love anime as the next basement dwelling geek out there but this is not a game! I played it, beat it in three hours while eating popcorn. Your average consumer that doesn't have money to blow around is out sixty bucks. This review tells smart consumers to save there money for a GAME not an anime with QTE'S that rarely even match the action on screen!
The whole game was broken, the demo wasn't any good either, there is no comparison between God of War and this.