- Asura’s Wrath is an action game developed by CyberConnect 2 and published by Capcom.
- The game’s exciting set pieces and boss fights lead to moments that eclipse many modern games in sheer spectacle.
- With Capcom reviving its old franchises, it is now the perfect time for Asura to rise again.
Over the years, Capcom has accumulated a lengthy line-up of lost or forgotten IPs, with the likes of Lost Planet, God Hand, Okami, and Dino Crisis, all of whom are equally deserving of another chance in the spotlight, and I could write an equally lengthy piece about why they deserve a comeback. However, this is about a specific game from Capcom that I finally got the opportunity to play after much anticipation.
But as always is the case with these, here is a little backstory.
Getting Into Anime
I really love anime. I grew up watching shows such as Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z, which I really cherished, but as life goes, things happened; I stopped watching anime before eventually rediscovering it through a friendly recommendation of Death Note. A fantastic show, seriously; if you want an anime to introduce you to the medium, watch Death Note.
But being in the anime community, there are certain hierarchies, as it goes with other communities about other mediums as well, where the more vague and “out there” stuff you watch, the more “intellectual” you appear.
As an adult, however, this pseudo-intellectualism was just that, fake. Nowadays, I enjoy deep, complicated plots just as much as I enjoy the simplicity of a great, good guy vs. bad guy showdown. It’s also why I deeply love shows such as Demon Slayer despite many having a distaste for it because of its tried-and-true Shonen plot.
All of this is why I discovered Asura’s Wrath at the perfect time. It was a game I had always been curious to play but playing it now without any insecurity about the kind of shows I enjoy; I got to enjoy the game on its own terms without being forced to look at anything from a critical point of view, which, sadly is something I very much would have done at one point.
Sure, the combat sucks, and fighting droves of enemies at certain points can get increasingly tiring, but the monotony helps heighten each moment outside of it. You come to really appreciate fighting a battle-obsessed God on the moon backed by Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 blasting in the background after you spend the past 20 minutes beating the ever-loving shite out of pathetic fodder enemies (or Gohma as the game calls them.)
But the point is, it really doesn’t matter that the combat isn’t very good. The game asks you to approach it with the same mindset as its protagonist Asura, just power through everything juiced up by nothing but unbridled rage and unfiltered pulsating adrenaline. The combat rewards playing as fast and as aggressively as possible to see the true meat of the game, its spectacle.
Asura’s Wrath, A Studio Trigger Production
That’s really what Asura’s Wrath is all about; imagine a Studio Trigger anime translated into a video game. You have a group of bad guys who have wronged you, and you will have to take them down one by one, come hell or high water. With pacing that’s almost always dialed up to an 11, each chapter slowly escalates the scales and the stakes of the story until, like (almost) every Trigger anime, you take on a giant space entity.
The game is so quintessentially anime that not only is the entire thing divided into episodes, but each episode has these anime-style intermissions that give you a little break between exciting moments. Each episode ends with a “To Be Continued,” followed by a preview of what’s going to be in the next episode, and each new episode starts with a recap of the previous episode.
Now personally, I don’t think some of these ideas probably work as well as intended, but there is a vision behind them. There’s a genuine artistic intent to convey a certain feeling, and I honestly respect it.
Would Asura’s Wrath be a better game if it didn’t have constant interruptions every 15 or so minutes? Yes, undoubtedly, but would it also be a less interesting one? That’s…debatable. See, I like flaws in my games. My favorite games aren’t traditionally 10/10 hyper-polished focus-tested AAA giants from big publishers; it’s notably unpolished games, like No More Heroes, The Witcher 1, and Earth Defence Force to name a few.
When I play a game like No More Heroes, where I constantly have to grind monotonous mini-games frequently to get to the “good part” of the game, I respect the intention and commitment made to emphasize the game’s themes. Many people love No More Heroes 2 more than the first game because it takes away the monotony entirely, which ironically ends up making it the least interesting game in the series for me.
This is exactly how I feel would be the case if you remove the mid-episode intermissions in Asura’s Wrath. I’m getting off-topic here; I haven’t even mentioned what Asura’s Wrath is.
Asura’s Wrath is an action game published by Capcom and developed by CyberConnect 2. In it, you play as Asura, a disgraced God seeking revenge against the gods for wronging him and kidnapping his daughter so they can utilize her power against the power of an unknown entity called the “Gohma.” It’s a phenomenal Kill-Bill-style setup while introducing a roster of villains that you will individually take down throughout the game.
Throughout the game, you take control of Asura and another character while taking down each of the Gods, each of whom nearly — and sometimes successfully — kills Asura. The first major boss of the game, Wyzen, is a giant multi-planet-sized deity who crushes Asura nearly to death with a single finger, upon which Asura — in the most anime way imaginable — gains incredible power through the convenience of flashbacks and destroys Wyzen.
Again, I feel like I should emphasize that this happens merely in the first hour of the game, and it only escalates from here. From planet-sized deities to gods wielding lightning to battling an entire space fleet by himself, Asura’s Wrath does not let up for even a second. In fact, the climax of Asura’s Wrath might be an all-time classic; it is so good that I dare not spoil it even here.
Throw in some insanely satisfying Quick-Time Events (QTEs) and incredibly framed cutscenes, and you have a game that’s as satisfying to look at as it is to play and offers an action-packed experience that serves up a fantastic storyline. You also have a game that rivals some of the best action anime in the medium. It’s a title made by anime fans through and through, only more telling because their past games were the Naruto Ninja Storm series.
To Be Continued…?
CyberConnect’s proficiency in crafting phenomenal spectacle and uber-satisfying Quick-Time events has only gotten better over the years, reaching a pinnacle with the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, an adaptation of the final arc of the Naruto Shippuden storyline. However, for me, their strongest work will always be Asura’s Wrath.
With Capcom bringing their dormant franchises back from hypersleep, it is time that Asura’s Wrath made a return, especially considering that the original game ends on a cliffhanger…if it can be called that.
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