Asura’s Wrath Preview
It’s normal when getting a hands-on demo of a game to have to watch someone else play it for a while, and it’s just as normal to be sitting there silently willing them to hurry up because they’re doing it wrong and they’re hogging it and their turn should have finished ages ago.
What’s not so normal is wanting to go back to spectating almost as soon as your turn starts. That’s what happened with Asura’s Wrath. We didn’t want to keep playing, but we also didn’t want to leave the room and never see the game again. We actively wanted to stick around and see someone else playing more of it. This is quite weird.
See, what we got to play of Asura’s Wrath was two different boss battles, both of which were awkward mish-mashes of cut-scenes, QTEs and brief, mini-game-ish gameplay segments. We were told that what little interactivity there was had been included to ensure that we were engaged with the action, but it didn’t work.
Instead it was more of a distraction than anything else, and we actually felt more involved and entertained when we were just watching. See? Told you it was weird.
In terms of sheer spectacle, Asura’s Wrath is easily on a par with the most outrageous anime we’ve ever seen. At one point Asura punches a giant, fat boss so hard that he stretches its flesh into a long point behind it, then, when the tension finally gives, flicks it into space like a big, tubby elastic band.
The other boss battle is equally ridiculous, taking place on the moon against a deity whose sword extends almost all the way to Earth, but never gets any wider.
Here’s Asura. Hands dipped in God-blood. Now that’s a hangover!
These madcap ideas make for a very entertaining experience, but not one that really feels added to by button prompts and mini-games. This is just the boss battles, though, and we’re assured that, while they are a major component of the game as a whole, there will be regular ‘getting from A to B fighting lots of weaker enemies on the way’ sections in between.
We’re hoping these will balance the whole experience out a bit when playing through the final game, but the fact that Capcom didn’t seem to want us to sample them is a little worrying.