You should have played… Asura’s Wrath
All games involve a suspension of disbelief. The average game features a staggering amount of events which could never happen in real life. In an FPS you heal a thousand times faster than in reality, you can survive falls that would leave you with shattered ankles and you can survive 100% more bullets to the head. Actually, thats not quite right. You can survive infinitelly more bullets to the head.
In this way games allow us to gloss over all the unwelcome aspects of reality and in return we get to live out more exciting fantasies. Its not really possible to jump higher by shooting a rocket at your feet but it is a lot of fun. When this technique is applied in reality though, the results may remain entertaining but its certainly not an effective strategy to apply to real world combat scenarios.
Some games try to increase the levels of realism to make the game world more immersive. If a game like ArmA II could talk, it might say to Asura’s Wrath, “I’m one of those types of games that values realism”. If Asura’s Wrath could talk, it might reply, “I’m the other type.” It would then Dragon Punch ArmA II into the moon.
It can be hard to describe the sheer OTT spectacle of Asura’s Wrath. Instead of trying, I’ll showcase some personal high points. As you work your way through this post, my goal is to make you stop reading. You may be saying, “Well that’s a strange goal Tom”. Well not really. Smart arse. You’ll have stopped reading because you’ll be saying, “Shit, I gots to get this game!”.
Before I do that though I’ll offer some provisos. Asura’s Wrath is not for everyone. If you don’t like anime and ridiculous fight scenes you might like to bail out now. Similarly, if you are looking for value for money then know that this is a short game AND the last chapter is DLC that’s not included. Additionally, the parts that most closely resemble a game often feel like a cut price God of War with none of the balance and even less depth. Despite all that, it is a stunningly original and ridiculously bombastic title. Let me show you!
Lets start with the rather good trailer. You see those parts where Asura flies towards an enemy and powers up a huge punch before sending them flying into the distance? That’s called a “Burst”. In Asura’s Wrath, when you charge up a Wrath Meter you have the chance to use a Burst. Generally this involves some epic moment of Asura flying forward in slow motion before punching an enemy over the horizon. Not always though. Sometimes you have your arms ripped off. When this happens, you head-butt them over the horizon instead. Also, you see that part where a buy the size of a planet tries to squish you with a continent-sized finger? That happens at the start of the game…. when things haven’t got too crazy yet.
You know those moments in a martial arts movie or manga or anime where the big fight that the story has been building towards is just about to kick off? Well nothing handles those moments quite so well as Asura’s Wrath. Its rare that a game makes me talk to myself out loud when alone, but over and over again during these tense moments just before a big battle, an “ooooooohhhhhhh shiiiiiit” would slip out. At times, this built all the way up to a, “Fuck yeah!”. As this clip isn’t in English, let me set the scene: Asura has just awoken from a 10,000 year coma and in that time the seven generals have increased in power to become more like Gods. Despite their power, Asura defeated the first of them but at the expense of his arms. He must now fight his rival Yasha, now far more powerful than he ever was before. Yasha’s theme music is very reminiscent of movies about the old west, and you can hear it throughout this clip overpowering Asura’s theme in the same way that he overpowers Asura in combat.
Insane Capcom Cross Overs
Now’s the time to bail out. If you really haven’t played Asura’s Wrath yet then you should leave now and go play it. Have you left? No? Go Dammit!
Fine then, stay. But if you’re really never going to play Asura’s Wrath you still need to see this shit. So it turns out *massive ultra spoilers* that Asura’s Wrath is set 870 million years before the present day. In fact, it seems that its (kind of) the origin story for the world of Street Fighter! Or something! Its weird anyway, check it out:
If this wasn’t enough, DLC was then released featuring Street Fighter characters travelling back in time. Even more insanely, the Ryu DLC basically plays like Street Fighter 4 for the first half. Ryu then gets punched all the way to the moon and proceeds to fight within the gameplay of Asura’s Wrath. Mind ultra-blown!
So basically this game is nuts. Nuts in a way that so many modern titles aren’t. Its the kind of thing that shouldn’t come from a big studio. Its too weird and original and unpolished, and that’s what makes it brilliant. BURST!