Redefining The Action Genre

I’ve been playing the Asura’s Wrath demo on my PlayStation 3 (PS3) for awhile, and I’m glad the full version is finally out. The game follows the story of a once-revered deity who was betrayed and banished by fellow deities for crimes he did not commit.

Developed by Capcom and CyberConnect2, this game is not like any other you’ve played before, as it introduces a brand new style of gameplay that redefines the action genre. It’s interactive entertainment that I would describe as living, breathing anime. If you’re expecting hardcore role-playing game elements, you won’t find them. Going through the game is a comic book narrative filled with emotional vividness as you feel Asura’s extreme anger.

That’s all right, though, because your attention will be captured by the game’s framework as it blends science fiction and Asian mythology while integrating galactic armadas, demonic beings, a giant Buddha weapon and various other aspects. The animation gives you a 3-D feel the intense angry eyes, overly huge fists and entire planets blowing up.

As Asura, your wife was murdered and your daughter was taken from you as you lay in waste for 12,000 years. Utilizing your relentless rage, you return to show your vengeance on those who betrayed you and unravel their web of lies. Each battle seems to have the same structure. As you beat down your foes, you become angrier and angrier, and eventually unlock the “Burst Gauge.” This Burst is key to quickly defeating a group of enemies.

The fights seem to be repetitive, yet the details in the background are always eye-catchingly different. I’d say about 60 percent of the game you’re actually just watching cutscenes to see what unfolds rather than playing the game. Despite this, when you’re in the action, the light and heavy attacks change depending on the context, and they all look cool. The focus on each scene is to build up enough rage to initiate your Burst, which pushes you into a Quick Time Event (QTE) sequence, advancing the story.

It will probably take you about six to seven hours to complete the 18 episodes within the game (maybe only about two hours of actual gameplay if you count the cutscenes). Perhaps the soon-tocome downloadable content will make up for the shortness of the gameplay. The first two download packs will explore what happens between episodes from the full game. Additionally, you’ll be able to battle with the world’s greatest warriors such as Ryu from the popular game Street Fighter.

I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and if you’re a Japanese anime fan, you will too. Although somewhat short, this game is worth having in your collection. Since Asura’s Wrath is rated T for Teen, it’s not for the young kiddies. I have to be careful not to play this when my 2-year-old is around.

Asura’s Wrath retails for $59.99 and is available for the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Find at your nearest Toys n’ Joys (Kaimuki or Aiea), GameStop ( or Target (