The demo for Capcom’s upcoming action game Asura’s Wrath hit XBLA and PSN on January 10, but I’m just now getting around to it. Thus, here’s my delayed Demo Impressions.
There are two parts to this demo, both parts of boss battles. You can play a portion of Episode 5 and a portion of Episode 11. These are titled episodes because, well, the game plays out like a television series where there’s a cliffhanger leading into the next episode. I’d imagine once you beat the game, you’ll be able to play any episode whenever you want, so this is a pretty cool little layout.
One thing the demo does not explain, much, is the story and the lead up to what you’re about to experience. And that’s the case with most demos, but this demo actually makes you want to play the game just to see what’s going on and what leads up to these quite epic boss battles.
In Episode 5, you’re battling some huge Buddha looking stone god. A lot of this is cinematic and relies on quick time events, but there are moments of actual gameplay here (basically running, aiming, and shooting). As odd as it may be, it’s actually a lot better than I expected after playing the first couple of minutes. I figured the quick time events would get old… that I’d want to play a game and not take part in some interactive cinematic. There’s elements of both, and it works surprisingly well. What gameplay is here that isn’t a QTE is more akin to a shooter than a beat-em-up. Near the end of Episode 5 demo, the Buddha looking dude is knocked into space and transforms into some huge creature bigger than planets. It’s absurd, and the dialogue to go with it is equally laughable, but it was actually quite fun.
The demo for Episode 11 doesn’t rely on as many quick time events. This one is more straight forward action gameplay; you’re jumping, dodging, and spamming an attack before repeating, all while trying to fill up your burst gauge. The gameplay here isn’t shooter based, it’s more traditional third person brawling like a regular beat-em-up game. This one does have its fair share of quick time events though, and they work very well to keep you glued to the screen to watch these over-the-top action cinematics. The battle rages from the moon, through space, and down to earth. There’s a ridiculous sword in this episode… it goes through the earth sticking out on both ends. That’s hilarious. I found this episode to be more enjoyable from a playing standpoint.
Asura’s Wrath seems like a crazy Japanese game… which is exactly what it is. The demo looks great however, and everything appears to be top notch. The question left unanswered by the demo is exactly how the gameplay will be during the episodes while leading to the boss battles. I’d assume we got a small taste of that in the two episode demos (both shoot-em-up style and beat-em-up style), but we do know the actual boss battles, while different, do rely on a lot of quick time events. The game appears to have an interesting story, and while it has been compared to God of War by some people, I’m just not seeing the comparison based on this demo.
Asura’s Wrath does look like a game to keep a very close eye on though, as right now I can see it either being very good or very bad. The pacing and variety is on the “good” side for the demo, but it’s the kind of thing that could easily fall apart over the course of an entire game. If you haven’t tried the demo yet, make a point to do so. The demo has me liking it and interested in seeing exactly what the full game has to offer.
Asura’s Wrath hits store shelves on February 21st for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, and is rated T for Teen. Pre-order it today at Amazon.com by clicking here.