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I guess I just like liking things

Back in February I picked up the game Asura’s Wrath during a sale week on Xbox Live. Here’s what I had to say about it back then, after playing for a half hour or so:

I… don’t know what this is. I’m a sucker for third person action-adventure games, but I don’t know what’s going on here. One description I read of this game (after buying it) said it was very much like anime in game form. I don’t read anime, and I’m thinking that might be fundamental to understanding what’s going on here. I’m 15 minutes into it and there’s guys without spacesuits standing on the outsides of space ships and hitting other giant space things with their fists and making them explode. I’m a little out of my element here.

I have now finished the game and would like to reiterate: I am a little out of my element here. Lets take a look at Asura, shall we?

Yes, he has six arms in this shot.

Yes, he has six arms in this shot.

See, in that screenshot Asura is very angry. When he gets very angry, he pops out four more arms. I think this is why he doesn’t wear shirts. He’s angry a lot, so he’d be going through shirts at a rapid clip.

In his defense, Asura has a lot to be angry about. He was part of a group called “The Eight Guardian Generals,” who went on to betray him and enslave his daughter for 12,000 years. Yes, 12,000. Actually, by the end of it, it’s more like 12,500, which is even worse. Asura comes back from the afterlife a few times and pursues and fights the Generals (who are demigods now – 12,000 years is a long time to level up). They swear they’re doing good things, protecting the planet Gaea and all, and they need his daughter because she can channel the power they need. Asura has two problems with this:

  1. They’ve enslaved his daughter Mithra to do this.
  2. They’re harvesting people’s souls to turn into the power they need.  It’s… a little strange.

Asura’s method of dealing with things is to punch them, and the player’s main goal in each stage is to punch enough things to make the burst gauge fill up. Once the burst gauge is activated, a quick time event (QTE) activates, and successfully managing that causes Asura to punch things in an even more devastating manor. QTEs also show up during cutscenes and affect your rating for each episode, so don’t try to skate through with passive watching.

Here are a few of the crazier things that happened during the game (spoiler alert, I guess?):

  • As I already mentioned, the game starts with Asura and the other Generals standing on the outside of spaceships in space while fighting.
  • Asura climbs up out of Naraka (the afterlife-ish area) via columns there
  • Again: when Asura gets really mad, he pops out four more arms.
  • But then Asura gets even angrier, he turns into an all-black version of himself that is even crazier, but this only happens once.
  • The Gohma (the creatures the Generals are ostensibly protecting Gaea from) are red-and-black bigger versions of things like apes, turtles, stingrays, elephants, and those lantern fish found at the bottom of the deepest parts of the ocean.
  • More than once Asura punches the ground hard enough to launch himself into space.
  • At one point, Asura (and a partner who joins him near the end) is basically fighting the planet itself.

I played through the game mostly with a furrowed brow and a headshake – “What is going on?” was my most-asked question. I sorta figured most of it out, but was often frustrated by some boss fight or another that included unblockable or undodgeable attacks. But I finally got through it!

…sort of.

In reading up on the game some more, it turns out there’s a secret episode that only unlocks when you get an S rating on all 18 episodes. The secret episode is the actual ending. And then there’s DLC which some report is the real actual ending. I’m invested enough in this crazy game at this point that I’m considering playing through again on Easy to try for the S ratings so I can see this last episode. If I do, it’s almost a sure bet I’ll have to get the DLC, too.

I’m glad I didn’t pay a lot for the game, and I didn’t hate all of it, I just didn’t understand what was happening at some parts. I will say that it hasn’t convinced me to start reading or watching any more anime than I already was (none).



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