Article first published as PlayStation 3 Review: Asura’s Wrath on Blogcritics.
Those headed to AM2 and Anime Expo in Los Angeles in couple of months have a new sci-fi adventure game from Capcom and .dot hack creators, Cyber Connect2 to help pass the time. Asura’s Wrath while loosely based on Hindu mythology borrows plenty from popular anime series like Full Metal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z and Fist of the Northstar and presents it in a unique hand drawn manga style. Though, like the genre bending Heavy Rain, Asura’s Wrath is not your typical game.
Asura’s Wrath opens like an anime episode and each chapter of the game continues this theme with credits and recaps. Players take control of Asura, one of the Eight Guardian Generals, fighting an evil force known as the Gohma. Make no mistake, Asura is an angry guy and is known for having a short temper and nearly unstoppable rage made even more deadly by his ability to sprout extra monstrous arms. As his enemies quickly figure out, Asura’s not someone to mess with.
The game immediately throws you in the middle of the action, cutting back forth between the narrative video with quick time events and a Starfox type shooter, though the majority of the action is much more a God of War type affair. Asura can move on a dual axis as he plummets down and has both a normal and heavy attack in this introductory battle. Though Asura is the hero of the fight, it’s obvious something is amiss with his fellow demigods.
It wouldn’t be a story without something going wrong and for Asura, everything goes wrong. His wife is murdered, daughter kidnapped and exploited and he is framed for the murder of the emperor. The kicker is that it’s his fellow generals that orchestrated the whole thing. Asura discovers this just in time to be kicked off the boat and left for dead as he falls to earth. Twelve millennia later he awakes in a Hell of sorts known as Naraka with no memory of his betrayal and this is where the story really starts.
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