Capcom's latest is one of those offerings in which people either love it or hate it. There's really no middle ground here. When approaching the game, two questions come to mind.
Do you like anime? Are you short for time?
As noted once already, Asura's Wrath is in many ways Japan's take on God of War. To layout the story, you're basically one of eight demigods who have the people's faith as protector of Heaven and Earth. After yet another hard day’s work, Asura is summoned by the Emperor, but instead of getting some sweet metal for your dedication and valor, you discover the big boss's body and get the blame.Your family life in shambles, you're kicked out of Heaven and find yourself stuck on Earth some twelve millennia later.
Storywise, it's nothing brilliant, but how it's told is another matter. As mentioned previously, the basic set-up is in the form of an anime, with each chapter presented as an episode of some show that's currently airing in Japan. There's even breaks, with accompanying title cards where the commercials should be wedged in-between.
The game presents a good deal of pathos, perhaps too many for its critics. For those who aren't fans of the repetitive button mashing of God of War, Asura offers some context to all the proceedings, even if there's an over abundance of it. Though the major complaint is how there's not a lot of action to begin with. The action is good, it's just over a little too quickly.
You've got seven big bosses (more or less) to take down and that's all there is to it. Playtime, it's honestly no longer than six hours with not much in the way of extras. This could be seen as a positive though for gamers looking for a concentrated experience that's a blast for a few hours, rather than something that simply drags on. The story is pretty solid for this type of game, though the eye-popping visuals are what really stand out.
But what about the most important part of any game, the gameplay? Asura basically functions how you'd expect him to: there's a normal attack and strong attack, both of which can be augmented via jumping. There's also a shot attack, which somewhat makes the game feel like a third person shooter. The problem is that it feels a tad bit loose. This is something that I struggled with early on, and never became fully comfortable with by the end. It's this lack of tightness, paired with camera controls that seem to be the key differentiation between Asura's Wrath and God of War.
The game is hardly perfect, but it’s totally up the alley for those with a hectic schedule looking for a few short hours of fun. For those who want finely tuned action with no silly side quests, and have a soft spot for Dragon Ball Z, Asura's Wrath is your first must play beat 'em up of 2012. Xbox 360, PS3