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Asura’s Wrath Hands-on Preview

I honestly never thought I would play a game that could out-anger the seminal Dragonball Z franchise, but Capcom has stepped up to the plate with Asura’s Wrath. Think of this game as a fusion between Hindu mythology, dramatic boss battles, and a healthy dose of cinematic quick time events called Synchronic Impacts. Asura’s Wrath is a fun, over-the-top title that only our friends at CyberConnect2 could come up with.

At last week’s Capcom event, we were given a bigger insight into the actual gameplay of Asura’s Wrath. Taking place over thousands of years (seriously, the chapter breaks between two levels is 12,000 years), the story follows Asura as he takes revenge against seven other demigods who betrayed him, murdered his wife, and kidnapped his daughter. This game is a simple tale of revenge as he, over millenniums, battle these seven other deities in crazy fashion.

Asura's Wrath Screenshot PS3 360

Boss battles are already well-known affairs. One of them is a massive fight where Asura is actually crushed into the earth by a deity bigger than the planet, and another one is a lunar fight where a deity skewers him with a sword so long that it punctures him on one side of the planet and exists the other side. This game is over the top and outlandish, and it appears that the developers relish the opportunity to go more and more over-the-top.

Asura's Wrath Screenshot PS3 360

For this event, however, the team wanted to show off some of the lesser-known aspects of the game—things that are not boss battles. Two scenes played out, both of which involved humans and animal demons called ghoma. After becoming encased in stone for 500 years after one of his fights, Asura awakes to find a human girl who looks much like his daughter. They are quickly attacked by an ape, manta ray, and turtle ghomas, black animal demons with red veins that pose a substantial threat. Many battles alternate between crazy fights and chase sequences that often end in character and plot-specific QTEs. These fights are fun and exciting, but they can get a little button mashie.

Asura's Wrath Screenshot PS3 360

Later on, however, we see a sequence where Asura has actually lost his arms and must defend a tribe of humans from bombardment from one of his fellow deities. For this whole sequence, players control an armless Asura who only fights with his legs and head, and is not hindered at all by his lack of arms (except he loses his projectile attack).

What’s clear is that Capcom and CyberConnect2 are trying to make a game as outrageous as possible. I think they may very well succeed. While I doubt Asura’s Wrath will be a deep game, it certainly looks like it will fit the needs of gamers who want to see some mindless action in an unbelievable way. Look for Asura’s Wrath in North America on February 21, 2012.

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Ben PerLee
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