Dark Thoughts: Asura’s Wrath Demo Impressions
As some of you know a playable demo for the upcoming Capcom action title Asura’s Wrath was released last week on XBLA and PSN. It contains two levels from the game, Episode 5: Hollow Victory and Episode 11: The Final Lesson. Seeing as how we’ve never really done a full on impressions thing I’ve done (no, I am not counting the Vanquish thing I did in 2010 ’cause it sucked now shut up) I figured I would just run down what happens in the two episodes and my thoughts on those things. That’s how these work, right?
Well, let’s start with Episode 5. The episode is just one fight between Asura and a member of what I can assume are the antagonists of the game. He’s the big Buddha looking motherfucker that’s the size of the planet in the trailer. But he doesn’t start out that big. He just starts out building sized. He rants on for a bit about how Asura is weak and to look at the power that the person who I can only assume is Asura’s daughter.
Hollow Victory is broken into two separate gameplay types. The first is a Panzer Dragoon style shooting sequence with some one button combat and the second is the QTE section. This is the main gameplay gimmick. Both chapters have enough QTEs in them to put Yu Suzuki to shame. You do the QTEs until a meter is filled then you Burst, which either launches another QTE set, a cutscene or one of the shooting sections. On the shooting sections, I do like them. They have very swimmy control with the targeting reticle being controlled separately from the movement.
When shooting there are two different firing modes. You can rapid fire the weird energy shot things that he has that follow the reticle and lock-on shots from painting the target with the reticle. Like I said, Panzer. But while this is happening, dudes are falling down from the sky trying to get all up in your shit. The combat with these guys is the worst part of this demo. It is just kind of boring. You just hit the B button (since I was playing on the 360) until the bad guys die. I know that sounds like just about every game but when there is a giant stone Buddha running in the background shooting magical missiles at you just hitting one button over and over is kind of bland. After all that the Buddha fucker grows to the planet size from the trailers and you pretty much just play the trailer from there.
Throughout this episode we see cutaways to the past from what I think is the beginning or pre-beginning of the game where a guy who looks insanely like Ganondorf and his friends kidnap some priestess girl while Asura is on the ground in pain.
Moving on to The Final Lesson, you’re on the moon. Just let that sink in for a second. This game has a story arc that leads you from a temple in feudal Japan-y style places to fighting a giant stone Buddha looking guy who’s belly still jiggles like a fat man weirdly enough, to fighting someone on the fucking moon. And not just any someone. The guy is Asura’s former teacher, so you get that. You get to fight a guy who trained the guy you’re playing as who can grow six arms and destroy planetoids with those arms. Plus the guy looks like a cross between Akuma and, oddly enough, Ganondorf.
So this episode also has the kinda boring one button combat but aside from the scenery there isn’t much to distract you from the fight. So while it isn’t as engaging as some games it’s better than it was before. Like in the previous episode you do the required actions until a meter fills then you Burst, which leads to a QTE sequence which ends with either you punching him in the face or him punching you in the face. Halfway through the fight he pulls out his gigantic fucking sword and tries to hack you up with that. But it’s pretty easy to avoid. Just gotta hit the button to not die. When he pulls out the sword we are treated to a cutscene explaining that Asura is super badass, in case you didn’t know. The chapter ends with you and Akumadorf falling into the Earth’s atmosphere while he tries to stab you with the aforementioned gigantic fucking sword. Akumadorf then proceeds to stab his sword through you. And the planet. You know, just ’cause. Then it ends.
When I saw that original trailer I was not sure what to make of the game. Sure the trailer looked bad as shit, what with it being concentrated Japan on video, but it didn’t speak much the actual gameplay. But with the demo we have that gameplay and it’s one quarter pretty boring fighter, one quarter Panzer Dragoon shooting sections and one half QTEs. I am still a little hesitant about the final product but at this point I am really excited and hopeful to get my hands on this game at some point within the year. Maybe I will get some money on my birthday.
Asura’s Wrath comes out February 21st in North America, 22nd in Japan and 24th in Europe. We will do our damnedest to bring you some coverage on it.