To coincide with the release of Asura’s Wrath in Japan, Capcom has blessed the US market with a PSN/XBLA demo; a demo I’m afraid, which will not appease anyone with a hatred for quick-time events and constant anger groans. Hours were spent breaking down the demo in hopes of finding what makes this 2012 character-action brawler tick, why it exists, and what it has over this years competition.
Stylistically, I like the look of this game, even though the character design feels like it was ripped straight out of Street Fighter IV. During my demo breakdown, I could not kick the feeling that Akira Toriyama, famous for his work on Dragon Ball, had been channeled during the development of Asura’s Wrath; the level of absurdity minute to minute and constant groaning could have something to do with it.
On the controller end of things, Asura’s Wrath plays well. I had no gripes with control and little to no issues with timing my button-presses during combat. Combat, since I’m on the subject, is pretty scarce in this two episode demo though. All of your time here is spent battling two god-like boss figures , which wasn’t an issue with me but rather feathered the question of “Is this what the game is going to be; constant boss battles?” If so, count me in, I mean who needs to spend time smashing through cannon-fodder just to get to the good stuff?
Luckily, I’ve never had a problem with quick-time events, because if I did I wouldn’t have made it more than 3 minutes in. QTEs and rapid button mashing seem to be a staple in the gameplay. One thing I did notice during these QTEs were a circular timing-gauge that, as far as I could tell, did nothing in the demo besides tell me I perfectly timed a button-press.
Ultimately this demo hasn’t sold me, nor do I see any sign of mechanic that separates this game from the rest in its genre; besides having 6 arms to pulverize foes with, I saw no in-game mechanic that made those arms important. I will admit that I’m curious of how the game progresses through its chapters…erm, I mean episodes. Come to think of it, the loading screens do resemble commercial-break sequences found in most popular anime, and if they are using the term “episode” over “chapter” maybe there’s a theme going here. See for yourself, and download the demo tonight. Asura’s Wrath arrives States-side on Feburary 21st.