Why Asura > Kratos

I'm sure that, given their obvious similarities, comparisons have already been drawn between Asura, the rage-fueled protagonist of Asura's Wrath, and Kratos, the rage-fueled protagonist of the God of War series. But even with that being the case, I felt the urge to add my own views to the argument. Namely, that in terms of their characterizations and despite their similarities, Asura is the better, more realized of the two, even taking into account that Kratos has had more games in which to develop.

Warning! The rest of this article is scattered with spoilery references to things that happen in Asura's Wrath. If you care at all to experience the game for yourself, don't read any further!

Despite that advantage, Kratos's characterization exists more or less on a downward slope. The first God of War is a tale of revenge and redemption as Kratos makes up for being tricked into murdering his own wife and child. But then the sequels only serve to regress him. He becomes less a tragic hero or antihero, and more just straight-up petulant, like an angry teenager. He goes about murdering everything in his path with very few exceptions, and falls into the trap of being more or less defined by his thirst for slaughter above all else, with a side of sex minigames.

You know, because he's supposed to be a badass.

Asura, on the other hand, is a more sympathetic figure. Whereas Kratos's thirst for revenge came from, in general, being a violent fool that pleaded to Ares for power and became a zealot, leading to his family's deaths, Asura is never under any such delusions. From the outset, he's a pawn in a coup enacted by his comrades, framed for the murder of the emperor, and branded a traitor. Further, his wife is killed and his daughter is kidnapped not because of anything he does, but because of the villain's overarching scheme.

As for the nature of their ever-present rage, I've noted before that Kratos's anger, which is at first justifiable toward Ares, grows petulant over time. There's little about it that serves him, other than being his one definable emotional trait. On the other hand, Asura's rage is innate because of his demigod powers. His Mantra is empowered by his fury, but even when he's at his most volatile, he doesn't just lash out at anyone and everyone. Asura saves his wrath only for those that are his enemies, while Kratos would likely stab an innocent to death, and then rip the poor soul's head off, for merely standing between him and Zeus's throne room.

And as for their sexuality, there comes a point in Asura's Wrath that almost seems like it's there to make fun of Kratos's conquesting libido. One of the game's chapters is spent relaxing in a hot spring at the behest of Asura's mentor, Augus. While in the spring, Asura is waited on by a scantily clad, busty beauty. There are even several humorous trophies/achievements linked to this portion of the game, such as one for ogling the attendant's assets. But if the player decides to allow Asura to indulge in too much booze, he can enter Burst mode, at which point he'll get frisky with the lady.

Then he gets shot down in hilarious fashion. No boobies or ridiculous sex minigames for you, buddy. I'd actually prefer it if God of War had this sense of humor; the sort that's willing to put the protagonist in a depreciating scenario of humiliation.

But to get back on track, over all, Asura, despite his anger and his furious ability to do battle with a giant space Buddha, is a man of compassion. Against forces that have absolutely no qualm in killing countless humans, he's the only demigod that comes to understand how idiotic and cruel their scheme is, despite his former allies' belief that they're working toward a greater good. During the entire course of the game, the one thing that sets him off the most isn't some perceived slight against him, it's witnessing the death of a human girl that looks like his daughter; the only human in the game that refuses to accept these mass slaughters as some sort of gift from the gods, and who sympathizes with Asura's desire for revenge. He learns how to channel his rage so that it doesn't consume him; so that he can still look his daughter in the eyes when all is said and done. That's not something that I think Kratos would ever be capable of. Not when his last act of God of War III is to (supposedly) kill himself just to spite the one remaining goddess of Olympus that was in any way his ally.

Asura may be a very melodramatic character (a natural tendency, given the styles of anime that Asura's Wrath is meant to evoke), but in the end, his journey is a far more satisfying one than Kratos's. Where Kratos embarks on what becomes little more than a juvenile power fantasy, Asura's tale is one that features more emotional weight that feels heartfelt. And for that reason, I would much prefer to see an Asura's Wrath II, complete with its crazy mix of cinematics, quick-time events and action, than another romp with Kratos.

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Posted by Hailinel

I'm sure that, given their obvious similarities, comparisons have already been drawn between Asura, the rage-fueled protagonist of Asura's Wrath, and Kratos, the rage-fueled protagonist of the God of War series. But even with that being the case, I felt the urge to add my own views to the argument. Namely, that in terms of their characterizations and despite their similarities, Asura is the better, more realized of the two, even taking into account that Kratos has had more games in which to develop.

Warning! The rest of this article is scattered with spoilery references to things that happen in Asura's Wrath. If you care at all to experience the game for yourself, don't read any further!

Despite that advantage, Kratos's characterization exists more or less on a downward slope. The first God of War is a tale of revenge and redemption as Kratos makes up for being tricked into murdering his own wife and child. But then the sequels only serve to regress him. He becomes less a tragic hero or antihero, and more just straight-up petulant, like an angry teenager. He goes about murdering everything in his path with very few exceptions, and falls into the trap of being more or less defined by his thirst for slaughter above all else, with a side of sex minigames.

You know, because he's supposed to be a badass.

Asura, on the other hand, is a more sympathetic figure. Whereas Kratos's thirst for revenge came from, in general, being a violent fool that pleaded to Ares for power and became a zealot, leading to his family's deaths, Asura is never under any such delusions. From the outset, he's a pawn in a coup enacted by his comrades, framed for the murder of the emperor, and branded a traitor. Further, his wife is killed and his daughter is kidnapped not because of anything he does, but because of the villain's overarching scheme.

As for the nature of their ever-present rage, I've noted before that Kratos's anger, which is at first justifiable toward Ares, grows petulant over time. There's little about it that serves him, other than being his one definable emotional trait. On the other hand, Asura's rage is innate because of his demigod powers. His Mantra is empowered by his fury, but even when he's at his most volatile, he doesn't just lash out at anyone and everyone. Asura saves his wrath only for those that are his enemies, while Kratos would likely stab an innocent to death, and then rip the poor soul's head off, for merely standing between him and Zeus's throne room.

And as for their sexuality, there comes a point in Asura's Wrath that almost seems like it's there to make fun of Kratos's conquesting libido. One of the game's chapters is spent relaxing in a hot spring at the behest of Asura's mentor, Augus. While in the spring, Asura is waited on by a scantily clad, busty beauty. There are even several humorous trophies/achievements linked to this portion of the game, such as one for ogling the attendant's assets. But if the player decides to allow Asura to indulge in too much booze, he can enter Burst mode, at which point he'll get frisky with the lady.

Then he gets shot down in hilarious fashion. No boobies or ridiculous sex minigames for you, buddy. I'd actually prefer it if God of War had this sense of humor; the sort that's willing to put the protagonist in a depreciating scenario of humiliation.

But to get back on track, over all, Asura, despite his anger and his furious ability to do battle with a giant space Buddha, is a man of compassion. Against forces that have absolutely no qualm in killing countless humans, he's the only demigod that comes to understand how idiotic and cruel their scheme is, despite his former allies' belief that they're working toward a greater good. During the entire course of the game, the one thing that sets him off the most isn't some perceived slight against him, it's witnessing the death of a human girl that looks like his daughter; the only human in the game that refuses to accept these mass slaughters as some sort of gift from the gods, and who sympathizes with Asura's desire for revenge. He learns how to channel his rage so that it doesn't consume him; so that he can still look his daughter in the eyes when all is said and done. That's not something that I think Kratos would ever be capable of. Not when his last act of God of War III is to (supposedly) kill himself just to spite the one remaining goddess of Olympus that was in any way his ally.

Asura may be a very melodramatic character (a natural tendency, given the styles of anime that Asura's Wrath is meant to evoke), but in the end, his journey is a far more satisfying one than Kratos's. Where Kratos embarks on what becomes little more than a juvenile power fantasy, Asura's tale is one that features more emotional weight that feels heartfelt. And for that reason, I would much prefer to see an Asura's Wrath II, complete with its crazy mix of cinematics, quick-time events and action, than another romp with Kratos.

Posted by Brendan

I want to play another God of War game more. That's the catch for me.

Posted by BrockNRolla

They're both pretty dumb when you get right down to it, but I get the feeling that the creators of Asura knew that, and in my book, that counts for a lot. I endorse your opinion.

Posted by believer258

I haven't played Asura's Wrath (and don't really plan to, I don't have an extra $60 on hand at the moment. Well, not for that), but I have played various God of War games. I must say that I liked Kratos much more in the first game than I did in any of the others. I guess he's all right in Chains of Olympus since that's a prequel, but after he kills Ares I just couldn't feel for him anymore. Zero Punctuation touched on this - Kratos was no longer relate-able after the first game's events happened.

Don't get me wrong, the ones that take place after that event are still very fun and well made games. But the first game had a good story to back it up, something with some actual weight to it. Afterwards, Kratos was just a cosmic asshole solely because he could be. Instead of, y'know, learning his lesson.

Posted by EvilTwin

You can't lose a race you don't compete in.

Posted by Apathylad

I haven't read this blog because of the spoiler warning, but I agree.

I never liked Kratos.

Posted by LordXavierBritish

But who would win in an angry yelling contest.

Edited by Hailinel

@Brendan said:

I want to play another God of War game more. That's the catch for me.

But would you say that Kratos is a better character than Asura?

@BrockNRolla said:

They're both pretty dumb when you get right down to it, but I get the feeling that the creators of Asura knew that, and in my book, that counts for a lot. I endorse your opinion.

I'm with you there. I'm certain that the creators of Asura had to know exactly what they were doing. Just as Saints Row: The Third is like an amalgam of tropes and set-pieces from '80s and 90s movies, Asura's Wrath was obviously made by people that were raised on very distinct genres of anime.

@believer258 said:

I haven't played Asura's Wrath (and don't really plan to, I don't have an extra $60 on hand at the moment. Well, not for that), but I have played various God of War games. I must say that I liked Kratos much more in the first game than I did in any of the others. I guess he's all right in Chains of Olympus since that's a prequel, but after he kills Ares I just couldn't feel for him anymore. Zero Punctuation touched on this - Kratos was no longer relate-able after the first game's events happened.

Don't get me wrong, the ones that take place after that event are still very fun and well made games. But the first game had a good story to back it up, something with some actual weight to it. Afterwards, Kratos was just a cosmic asshole solely because he could be. Instead of, y'know, learning his lesson.

I won't deny that the God of War games are well made. I just wish that the writers could have done a better job of writing to not make Kratos into a consummate asshat.

EDIT: Removing a double-negative, because oops. Also:

@LordXavierBritish said:

But who would win in an angry yelling contest.

I submit that Asura would win. Kratos may have good angry shouting lunngs, but Asura roars with every fiber of his being.

Posted by Encephalon

Kratos suffers from the Bourne Ultimatum problem of being too far removed from the initial transgression. Yeah, I get that you're out for revenge, but its been like three sequels since you were first wronged. I no longer sympathize. I suspect Asura's franchise won't run into that problem, but that's beside the point.

Can't really say I'm fond of Asura either, though, but I'm just not a fan of the shonen archetypes they are cribbing from. At least there's a measure of self-awareness there.

Posted by Brendan

@Hailinel: I can't speak with personal experience for Azura, but if I was to go by your blog than I would agree with you. I thought that Kratos was an interesting character until commercialization turned him into a repetitive excuse to have some fun beating on dudes.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@Hailinel it all comes down to how has the best angry scream. I 
Posted by DeF

when talking about these two, especially Kratos, you need to WRITE IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME BECAUSE WE'RE ALL SCREAMING!

I could never stand Kratos and thus the whole story had no impact on my. His rage felt ridiculously exaggerated. Sure, you go nuts if you lose your family but the extremes they go to with him kill all the potential sympathy I might've developed for him.

Having seen barely anything (trailers and the QL) of Asura's Wrath, I already like him more because he simply seems more like a caricature. It doesn't take itself so seriously as a God of War seems to do.

Edited by Vegetable_Side_Dish
@Hailinel:  
I don't think it's very difficult to write a better character than Kratos..nor any sort of achievement. 
Posted by Hailinel

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@Hailinel: I don't think it's very difficult to write a better character than Kratos..nor any sort of achievement.

All I'm saying is that given their similarities, Asura is the better character.

@Brendan said:

@Hailinel: I can't speak with personal experience for Azura, but if I was to go by your blog than I would agree with you. I thought that Kratos was an interesting character until commercialization turned him into a repetitive excuse to have some fun beating on dudes.

I think that Kratos was largely hamstrung by the fact that he had fulfilled his primary character arc by the end of the first game and the developers had no real way to continue his story in a meaningful way.

@The_Laughing_Man said:

@Hailinel it all comes down to how has the best angry scream. I

"I" what?

@DeF said:

when talking about these two, especially Kratos, you need to WRITE IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME BECAUSE WE'RE ALL SCREAMING!

I could never stand Kratos and thus the whole story had no impact on my. His rage felt ridiculously exaggerated. Sure, you go nuts if you lose your family but the extremes they go to with him kill all the potential sympathy I might've developed for him.

Having seen barely anything (trailers and the QL) of Asura's Wrath, I already like him more because he simply seems more like a caricature. It doesn't take itself so seriously as a God of War seems to do.

Asura's Wrath takes itself seriously to the extent that the characters, despite all of the melodrama, the screaming, the ridiculous, over-the-top fighting, and everything else, are incredibly likable and somehow relatable. Nearly everyone is built as an archetype of a shounen anime; the enraged protagonist, the old mentor that loves the thrill of the battle more than anything, the effeminate psychopath, and on down the line. They're all caricatures and exaggerations, but it's the way that they're depicted with such conviction that make them so likeable, or in the case of the villains, that makes them the sort that are loved to hate.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@Hailinel said:


I think that Kratos was largely hamstrung by the fact that he had fulfilled his primary character arc by the end of the first game and the developers had no real way to continue his story in a meaningful way.

@The_Laughing_Man said:

@Hailinel it all comes down to how has the best angry scream. I

"I" what?


Meh. Guess I hit the "I" Button when I was done. 
Posted by zombie2011

Kratos became a really dumb character especially in God of War 3. That game had such a dumb story, in the end i actually wanted Zeus to win because i disliked Kratos so much.

Posted by James_Giant_Peach

Kratos is a far better character than Akuma Asura.

Posted by MikeGosot

I like Kratos more. Maybe that's because it became my nickname, maybe it's because i like God Of War more, i dunno. I just like Kratos more. It's hard to argue that he's a better character, but still, i can't help but think that Kratos is more awesome than Asura.

Posted by Hailinel

@James_Giant_Peach said:

Kratos is a far better character than Akuma Asura.

And your reasoning for this opinion is...?

@MikeGosot said:

I like Kratos more. Maybe that's because it became my nickname, maybe it's because i like God Of War more, i dunno. I just like Kratos more. It's hard to argue that he's a better character, but still, i can't help but think that Kratos is more awesome than Asura.

Your nickname is Kratos?

Posted by MysteriousBob

Kratos has actually appeared in a decent game so thats +1 for him.

Posted by Hailinel

@MysteriousBob said:

Kratos has actually appeared in a decent game so thats +1 for him.

Some people have actually found Asura's Wrath to be more than decent.

And as early in the year as it is, the game is easily a personal top ten GOTY candidate.

Posted by MikeGosot
@Hailinel said:

@MikeGosot said:

I like Kratos more. Maybe that's because it became my nickname, maybe it's because i like God Of War more, i dunno. I just like Kratos more. It's hard to argue that he's a better character, but still, i can't help but think that Kratos is more awesome than Asura.

Your nickname is Kratos?

In school, yeah.
Posted by dabe

I can't speak for Asura as I don't intend to play the game, but I was always under the impression that the creators wrote Kratos to be a total & utter repugnant prick. So, mission accomplished surely?

I always though he was petulant, opulently destructive and not someone the player should indelibly empathise with by design (going beyond the general anti-hero label purposefully). Isn't he meant to be a representation of hate/anger and all the rest of it, ergo it would seem unfeasible to portray him in a more humanistic manner (rounded/depth et al).

Either way, anybody that isn't just a vessel for one emotion is probably better than him.

Posted by Hailinel

@dabe said:

I can't speak for Asura as I don't intend to play the game, but I was always under the impression that the creators wrote Kratos to be a total & utter repugnant prick. So, mission accomplished surely?

I always though he was petulant, opulently destructive and not someone the player should indelibly empathise with by design (going beyond the general anti-hero label purposefully). Isn't he meant to be a representation of hate/anger and all the rest of it, ergo it would seem unfeasible to portray him in a more humanistic manner (rounded/depth et al).

Either way, anybody that isn't just a vessel for one emotion is probably better than him.

If it was truly the intent behind God of War's writers to write the most reprehensible protagonist that they could possibly conceive, then well, sure. I just don't see that being the case.

Posted by dabe

@Hailinel: That's fair enough. I would disagree, but only to have some kind of redeeming feature in what I find a generally dour experience. Also, I've only played the first game so can't speak of the apparently worsened sequel material.

Posted by Little_Socrates

I really, really disliked all the writing in Asura's Wrath that I've witnessed in the demo, the Quick Look, and a couple early stages of the game. As a result, I really struggle to agree with you. While is arc is more well-managed than that of Kratos across all three God of War games, Kratos in that first God of War has a pretty nice arc. The writing is strong enough to support it in the first game as well. Asura seems to have a nice arc based on what you've written, but it suffers from the incredibly weak writing of Asura's Wrath and the fact that, well, God of War was already very similar seven years ago.

Edited by MordeaniisChaos

Buddy was playing while our group was skyping. Hearing Asura screaming to apparently "destroy an entire fleet" was pretty cool. Kratos probably can't do that... That said it's probably a matter of taste. I think Kratos is pretty bitchin, myself.

Also, I think the regression of his character was mirroring his actions leading to his tragedy. Perhaps some day there will be a "Vader throwing the Emperor down a shaft" moment for Kratos, but he keeps falling into the same thing, ie shit tons of slaughtering fools.

Posted by Hailinel

@Little_Socrates said:

I really, really disliked all the writing in Asura's Wrath that I've witnessed in the demo, the Quick Look, and a couple early stages of the game. As a result, I really struggle to agree with you. While is arc is more well-managed than that of Kratos across all three God of War games, Kratos in that first God of War has a pretty nice arc. The writing is strong enough to support it in the first game as well. Asura seems to have a nice arc based on what you've written, but it suffers from the incredibly weak writing of Asura's Wrath and the fact that, well, God of War was already very similar seven years ago.

What about the writing was weak?

Posted by Enigma777

One game vs 5 games... We'll talk when Asura has 5 games.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@Hailinel said:

@Little_Socrates said:

I really, really disliked all the writing in Asura's Wrath that I've witnessed in the demo, the Quick Look, and a couple early stages of the game. As a result, I really struggle to agree with you. While is arc is more well-managed than that of Kratos across all three God of War games, Kratos in that first God of War has a pretty nice arc. The writing is strong enough to support it in the first game as well. Asura seems to have a nice arc based on what you've written, but it suffers from the incredibly weak writing of Asura's Wrath and the fact that, well, God of War was already very similar seven years ago.

What about the writing was weak?

It was really hammy, constantly relied on anime tropes, refused to explain what was going on or why I should care, and the first two chapters didn't really give me a proper sense of who that giant space-slug was, why I was fighting it, why Asura is a problem for those two other guys, etc. It all seemed like empty boasting. I like anime, and I even sometimes like anime translations, but I wasn't a fan of what was in Asura's Wrath. Well, at least as far as I've seen, based on the demo, QL, and the two first stages.

Posted by Hailinel

@Little_Socrates said:

@Hailinel said:

@Little_Socrates said:

I really, really disliked all the writing in Asura's Wrath that I've witnessed in the demo, the Quick Look, and a couple early stages of the game. As a result, I really struggle to agree with you. While is arc is more well-managed than that of Kratos across all three God of War games, Kratos in that first God of War has a pretty nice arc. The writing is strong enough to support it in the first game as well. Asura seems to have a nice arc based on what you've written, but it suffers from the incredibly weak writing of Asura's Wrath and the fact that, well, God of War was already very similar seven years ago.

What about the writing was weak?

It was really hammy, constantly relied on anime tropes, refused to explain what was going on or why I should care, and the first two chapters didn't really give me a proper sense of who that giant space-slug was, why I was fighting it, why Asura is a problem for those two other guys, etc. It all seemed like empty boasting. I like anime, and I even sometimes like anime translations, but I wasn't a fan of what was in Asura's Wrath. Well, at least as far as I've seen, based on the demo, QL, and the two first stages.

Like I said, the story and characters are melodramatic. They are meant to be melodramatic, and that it's heavily inspired by anime should come as no surprise given that the game is structured like one, right down tot he inclusion of commercial bumpers. And as for things being explained, it's a story that lays out information as it progresses. It does not info dump everything at the start because the explanations are spread out through the full game.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

@Hailinel: "It's inspired by anime" isn't a good reason for it to fall into the same dark holes many anime find themselves in. Darksiders was basically Zelda but avoided a lot of the things people are less than thrilled with in Zelda games.

That being said everyone I know who's played a significant chunk of it seems to really enjoy it so who knows. Either way though, that's no excuse for poor writing.

Posted by Hailinel

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Hailinel: "It's inspired by anime" isn't a good reason for it to fall into the same dark holes many anime find themselves in. Darksiders was basically Zelda but avoided a lot of the things people are less than thrilled with in Zelda games.

That being said everyone I know who's played a significant chunk of it seems to really enjoy it so who knows. Either way though, that's no excuse for poor writing.

When I say it was inspired by anime, it was inspired by very specific types of anime. Series in genres ranging from space operas to martial arts. This is the sort of story that I would expect if you took Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball Z, Z Gundam, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, mixed them together with references to Buddhism and other eastern religious philosophies, and then set it against a mixture of gameplay from God of War, Panzer Dragoon, and Heavy Rain.

The writing is not poor. It evokes exactly what it sets out to evoke, and does so with aplomb.

Edited by Doctorchimp

I feel like if God of War was made by Capcom and Asura's Wrath was made by Sony Santa Monica this blog would be about how much more Kratos is fully fleshed out and how God of War is a parable for the testing of someone's faith.

And I'm not talking about the design of the game changing, like the game would be the same but a different developer/publisher stamp.

Posted by Hailinel

@Doctorchimp said:

I feel like if God of War was made by Capcom and Asura's Wrath was made by Sony Santa Monica this blog would be an inverse.

And I'm not talking about the design of the game changing, like the game would be the same but a different developer/publisher stamp.

Nope, because Asura would still be the better character. I'm not sure what would make you think I'd think otherwise.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

@Hailinel said:

@Doctorchimp said:

I feel like if God of War was made by Capcom and Asura's Wrath was made by Sony Santa Monica this blog would be an inverse.

And I'm not talking about the design of the game changing, like the game would be the same but a different developer/publisher stamp.

Nope, because Asura would still be the better character. I'm not sure what would make you think I'd think otherwise.

Obviously they'd be different if completely different people had created and developed them. While you say that Asura is written in a certain way with certain goals, the character's are included in that, and so Kratos would be written to serve that way rather than the intentional way that Kratos and the God of War series was written.

Your argument for why one is better than the other is totally interchangable based on what you want out of a story. I personally find the notion of a character essentially going mad from a combination of shit luck, fucking himself over, and massive quantities of power pretty interesting. If you killed the people you loved, and then went to get revenge, and kept getting shitted on by all of these entities to which you are almost a child, then yeah, you'd probably be pretty mad with power and rage at that point, and just want to fuck shit up. That's how villains are created. Loss, ability without stature, ambition, power.

Posted by Spoonman671
@Hailinel said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Hailinel: "It's inspired by anime" isn't a good reason for it to fall into the same dark holes many anime find themselves in. Darksiders was basically Zelda but avoided a lot of the things people are less than thrilled with in Zelda games.

That being said everyone I know who's played a significant chunk of it seems to really enjoy it so who knows. Either way though, that's no excuse for poor writing.

When I say it was inspired by anime, it was inspired by very specific types of anime. Series in genres ranging from space operas to martial arts. This is the sort of story that I would expect if you took Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball Z, Z Gundam, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, mixed them together with references to Buddhism and other eastern religious philosophies, and then set it against a mixture of gameplay from God of War, Panzer Dragoon, and Heavy Rain.

The writing is not poor. It evokes exactly what it sets out to evoke, and does so with aplomb.

Kratos is inspired by classical Greek tragedy protagonists, and fits the mold pretty damn well.  Does that compensate for his shortcomings?
Posted by chrissedoff

@Doctorchimp said:

I feel like if God of War was made by Capcom and Asura's Wrath was made by Sony Santa Monica this blog would be about how much more Kratos is fully fleshed out and how God of War is a parable for the testing of someone's faith.

And I'm not talking about the design of the game changing, like the game would be the same but a different developer/publisher stamp.

Nailed it.

Posted by Hailinel

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Hailinel said:

@Doctorchimp said:

I feel like if God of War was made by Capcom and Asura's Wrath was made by Sony Santa Monica this blog would be an inverse.

And I'm not talking about the design of the game changing, like the game would be the same but a different developer/publisher stamp.

Nope, because Asura would still be the better character. I'm not sure what would make you think I'd think otherwise.

Obviously they'd be different if completely different people had created and developed them. While you say that Asura is written in a certain way with certain goals, the character's are included in that, and so Kratos would be written to serve that way rather than the intentional way that Kratos and the God of War series was written.

Your argument for why one is better than the other is totally interchangable based on what you want out of a story. I personally find the notion of a character essentially going mad from a combination of shit luck, fucking himself over, and massive quantities of power pretty interesting. If you killed the people you loved, and then went to get revenge, and kept getting shitted on by all of these entities to which you are almost a child, then yeah, you'd probably be pretty mad with power and rage at that point, and just want to fuck shit up. That's how villains are created. Loss, ability without stature, ambition, power.

His point was that this blog would be reversed if everything about the games were the exact same except the name of the developer on the box (which is in my mind untrue).

@Spoonman671 said:

@Hailinel said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Hailinel: "It's inspired by anime" isn't a good reason for it to fall into the same dark holes many anime find themselves in. Darksiders was basically Zelda but avoided a lot of the things people are less than thrilled with in Zelda games.

That being said everyone I know who's played a significant chunk of it seems to really enjoy it so who knows. Either way though, that's no excuse for poor writing.

When I say it was inspired by anime, it was inspired by very specific types of anime. Series in genres ranging from space operas to martial arts. This is the sort of story that I would expect if you took Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball Z, Z Gundam, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, mixed them together with references to Buddhism and other eastern religious philosophies, and then set it against a mixture of gameplay from God of War, Panzer Dragoon, and Heavy Rain.

The writing is not poor. It evokes exactly what it sets out to evoke, and does so with aplomb.

Kratos is inspired by classical Greek tragedy protagonists, and fits the mold pretty damn well. Does that compensate for his shortcomings?

Does that mold fit him beyond God of War? Seems to me that they left that behind when they made God of War II.

Edited by MordeaniisChaos

@Spoonman671: His shortcomings as a sentient being, or his shortcomings from a writing perspective? He's a flawed character, he's not a good guy. That's intentional.

Are you saying you think he's a poorly made character or that he's an asshole?

@Hailinel: Ah, that makes more sense, if that's what he meant.

Posted by President_Barackbar
@Hailinel said:

@Doctorchimp said:

I feel like if God of War was made by Capcom and Asura's Wrath was made by Sony Santa Monica this blog would be an inverse.

And I'm not talking about the design of the game changing, like the game would be the same but a different developer/publisher stamp.

Nope, because Asura would still be the better character. I'm not sure what would make you think I'd think otherwise.

Because you have a tendency to dismiss Western games as being shallow and have made it pretty clear in the past that you absolutely favor Japanese game design. I'm not saying there is anything invalid about your opinion or that you don't actually think Asura is a better character, but I can see where someone would get the idea that you might be arguing for Kratos if he was from a Japanese game.
Posted by Spoonman671
@Hailinel said:

Does that mold fit him beyond God of War? Seems to me that they left that behind when they made God of War II.


When viewing God of War II as the beginning of the God of War 2/3 story, which it is, then he absolutely follows the appropriate template.  When considering God of War II on it's own, his behavior is mostly an excuse to make a second game.
 
@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Spoonman671: His shortcomings as a sentient being, or his shortcomings from a writing perspective? He's a flawed character, he's not a good guy. That's intentional.

Are you saying you think he's a poorly made character or that he's an asshole?

@Hailinel: Ah, that makes more sense, if that's what he meant.

I'm saying that claiming writing is a successful imitation of a stylistic paradigm is not the same as saying it is of good quality.
 
As for Kratos, I think he absolutely is an asshole, and is pretty much written exactly as he was supposed to be.
Edited by MordeaniisChaos

@Spoonman671: I'm just not sure what the point of your question was, if you don't believe it is poorly written, then you're pretty much just agreeing with what I said?

Edited by Spoonman671
@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Spoonman671: I'm just not sure what the point of your question was, if you don't believe it is poorly written, then you're pretty much just agreeing with what I said?

Was it you who said it or was it Hailinel?  Maybe I should review these reply trees.
 
EDIT: Yes, I'm pretty sure you and I are making the same argument.
Posted by MordeaniisChaos

@Spoonman671: lol ok.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@Hailinel: If there's really that much info that needs to be dumped as to why I should care about any of these characters, then I'll believe you. As for the anime tropes, other anime-focused franchises at least do their best to not make direct analogues to these tropes in most of their characters, making them at least a bit of a mystery to identify. Melodrama is one thing that often works; God of War, in fact, is melodramatic. It's really that they fail to have strong lines for that melodrama to source itself from.

Posted by Hailinel

@President_Barackbar: It's true that I tend to like Japanese games more, but I'm not exclusively partial to games from there. At the same time, arguing about hypothetical scenarios such as "If Kratos were a Japanese character, you'd like him more," is an empty argument because there's nothing in it that can satisfactorily answer that question one way or the other. It's a fantasy scenario with no resolution.

Posted by NegativeCero

I wonder how a Burst meter in God of War would turn out. About the topic, I can't say because I haven't played Asura's Wrath, which is why I didn't read your post. I do give Asura points for having an actual purpose to his rage, as opposed to Kratos wanting to murder everything.

Posted by President_Barackbar
@Hailinel said:

@President_Barackbar: It's true that I tend to like Japanese games more, but I'm not exclusively partial to games from there. At the same time, arguing about hypothetical scenarios such as "If Kratos were a Japanese character, you'd like him more," is an empty argument because there's nothing in it that can satisfactorily answer that question one way or the other. It's a fantasy scenario with no resolution.

I'm not saying it was a GOOD argument, but you said "I'm not sure what would make you think otherwise". What I said is what would make people think otherwise.
Posted by Vinny_Says

Oh....another Japan is better than the west thread..awesome. Both of these characters are garbage btw.

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