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LONG BLOG

A Father's Fight: Asura's Wrath is Awesome

   0

BURST!

The right trigger glyph flashes on the screen as Asura's blazing anger reaches yet another limit break, flames licking the chrome on the thin and understated health/rage meters. I slam my index finger against the button with more force than even necessary. Asura's Wrath has got me invested in action of play. I'm not just tapping to a rhythm or plainly meeting a quick time requirement. CyberConnect2 has managed to make me care about this angry character and his ever growing struggle against righteousness gone wrong. Good fiction asks you to care a little. Great fiction manages to make you care.

I was surprised by how effective this game is at creating that investment. The core gimmick is pretty transparent, with the game giving you a prompt that you simply have to match. Its an easy and age old mechanic the rules the overall flow of the game. However, there's a hearty plate of content built around those basic play elements. There's a third person 3D shmup in Asura's Wrath. There's a well rounded brawler in Asura's Wrath. There's even a basic Test-Your-Strength button masher in Asura's Wrath. And draped over all of this, there's a serial fiction narrative in 4 parts holding it all together.

Smart people shouldn't fall for this, right? Surely, a mature gamer with a mature gaming palette should get one good bite of this and realize she's done this and she's far above it from an emotional and gameplay dexterity consideration.



As it turns out no. No, not at all. In the same way adults end up liking tart juices and maintain an unhealthy sweet tooth, so too does a raw sweet treat like Asura's Wrath splash against my old-enough-to-be-your-dad's game-buds and trigger all the senses necessary for an appreciation filled “MMMM!” to slip my lips.

No one part of Asura's Wrath makes the experience. The shooter sections benefit from the very active background and enemy elements. The brawler sections have the player managing a simple palette of moves against two overdrive meters. The animation-like artstyle comes alive through excellently on point sound design. However, the story content made a big impact on me mostly for the beats that hit me as a new father.

To take nothing away from the execution of the story, the main theme of the game is Asura's battle for the safety of his family, and the happiness of his daughter. As Asura grows 4 arms and punches the infinite square in the jaw, I relate to the anger just a little bit more than I would have 4 months ago. I get the frustration against things that can't be controlled and understand the release of rage that Asura seeks. The story feels personal and real, impossible physics and meta-physics aside. Everything matters just a little bit more.

Asura's Wrath may not look like the most engaging game, and it may look excessively simple with an extreme anime flare. What Asura's Wrath actually delivers is a finely crafted, digestible burst of gamecraft that I wish I had played sooner, though I'm glad to have had the extra bit of context to really enjoy.
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About Tubaticone of us since 2:45 PM on 11.13.2006


-Super Meat Boy regarding Super Meat Boy

Hey. Follow me on Twitter! I'll tweet about games! Promise!
Twitter - TubaticPrime

Highlights from my blog include:

-2010 Sucked: Fable III Exemplifies the Year in Disappointement*Promoted Blog
-Keep It Complicated, Stupid
-What Wii Gaming is Like for Me*Promoted Blog
-I, The Author: How I Stole the Declaration of Independance*Promoted blog



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Way of The Samurai, Shadow of the Colossus, Castle Crashers, Jet Grind Radio, ICO, Super DodgeBall, Canabalt, FTL, Final Fantasy VI and X-Com are some of the finest games ever made in ever

Xbox Live: Tubatic
PSN: Tubatic
Wii Console Code: 3554-2775-5012-0810
Tatsunoko Vs Capcom Code: 2107-0561-3043
Brawl Friend Code: 1762-2359-5359 "Tbatc"

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Players can elect to summon "cartoony" versions of bats, bombs, guns, and flamethrowers. These types of items can be used to destroy objects or even other summoned items (e.g., a club can be used to hit an animal; steak can be attached to a baby to attract lions; rockets can be lobbed at a man).

-From the ESRB description of Scribblenauts

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"Right after getting back to Japan, [Miyamoto] suddenly said: "You know we're including golf now." Apparently he'd stated in an interview that this time round golf shots would be determined by the backswing, even though at that time a golf game didn't exist in any shape or form!"

-A Nintendo Staffer explaining why Golf was added to Wii Sports Resort

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"I have seen the Summa that everyone talks about. And I want to pour gasoline on him and cut off his ear. "

-Pendleton21 after listening to the disavowed Podtoid 94: So Baller

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"question, did you play with controller or keyboard?

because controller is unplayable"
-Luc Bernard re: the first release version of Eternity's Child on Steam

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"Just because u like a game doesn't mean u have to give it a high score"
-excerpt from the epic trolling on the Prototype review, inFamous/Protoype Wars, June 2009

Xbox LIVE:Tubatic
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