By Video_Game_King 23 Comments
(Wait a minute.) Didn't I already do this game? Intense character action game, mashing buttons all the time, vague religious base for batshit insanity that ensues? This is totally El Shaddai all over again, isn't it? How fucking lazy of you, Capc-wait a minute! Intense character action game, mashing buttons all the time, vague religious base for batshit insanity that ensues? How could I forget how fucking awesome this game is?
Now I could begin this blog by talking about how pessimistic the game is about gods and people, or how every character is a selfish, petty psychopath, but who gives a shit about all that? What you really want out of this game is the balls-out crazy. It starts off with Asura angrying spaceships to death (all while listening to this), and somehow, hams it up from there. Perfect example: Asura punches his way to the stars. Does it make any sense? Fuck no! But do you care? See the answer to the previous question. This game knows that you're here for some strange shit, and it's determined to deliver, even if that means whipping out some titties. Hell, the game's supposed to be based on Hindu lore (guessing by the title), but you get a Japanese aesthetic and some decidedly non-Hindu names thrown into the mix, like Wyzen and Olga. How much weirder can you get?
Of course, this is all seen best through the demigod/robot/ghost/ball of anger that is, for some reason, called Asura. (Except the name thing, I guess.) He's supposed to be a victim of circumstance, I guess, but it's kind of hard to see that behind all the anger. In fact, it's hard to see anything behind all that anger. When he's not yelling about his anger control issues, he's rephrasing what somebody just said into a useless question. Rephrasing what somebody just said into a useless question? Exactly like that. I mean, yea, it goes back to that "totally fucking nuts" thing from before, and I appreciate honesty in a title, but I have to wonder if the game has more than creative psychosis?
What's that? Quick Time Events?...Somehow, that works out completely well. I guess somebody noticed that this game is more cutscene by volume than Dragon's Lair and decided that if you can't beat 'em, it's because you didn't press Y fast enough. Actually, about that: you don't have to do the Quick Time Events. Should you miss one, the game's still gonna go on. Sure, you won't get a good score, but since scoring is irrelevant to progress, who the fuck cares? (Incidentally, that second half sums up my life philosophy rather well.) So wait, why is this good again? Well ignoring the shattering of illusions with which I began this, the Quick Time Events do a pretty damn good job of supplementing the action. Part of it is just how weird the game is, but a larger part is just really effective timing. I know that this will sound completely disingenuous, but when the game asks you to hit Y, it really feels like you're punching somebody square in the jaw, and when you mash B, it really feels like that last thing, only moreso. They're like the world's best punctuation mark to some already solid action seq-
Oh, right. There's gameplay in this game. Remember that? Sad to say that the gameplay isn't the focus of this game. I mean, yea, the story's pretty cool, especially when you dig into the little details (like how humanity makes no visible technological progress in 12.5 thousand years), but it's still depressing to see said story making the gameplay its bitch. It's a character action game where the goal of every battle is to press buttons until the game wants more cutscenes of Asura being good and pissed. That's the best way I can describe this: just mindless button mashing until the game says it's over.
Though that's not to say that the fighting sucks or anything. Yea, it's mindless button mashing, but what exactly is wrong with that? Sometimes, you just want to punch enemies in the face again and again, and Asura's Wrath gives you just enough to make that all happen. Enough moves, enough enemy types, enough buttons to mash (like, two), etc. And it's not like the fights are the only things there; you also get some cathartic shooting mini games, those titties from before, and....no, that's pretty much it, but the quality of each makes up for the quantity. I'd call it a solid game, but most of it is gaseous cutscene, instead. I'd still recommend it, though. Higgs Boson.
- You have six arms, Asura. At least one of them should be able to hold a stress relief ball.
- And another two are going to be handling all those quick time events.
- The remaining three will punch you in the face. Naturally.
Speaking of destroying planets, somehow, this video fails to do just that.
(Somehow, that video serves as the perfect transition into this game.) After all, it looks fun at first, but it goes on for way too long. Just enough time, however, to realize that the game has only one OK idea to carry it that whole time. Although on that note, this paragraph also seems to act as the perfect allegory for the game. Let's see if I can keep the streak going with the blog itself!
So here's how the game works: there are enemies in this room. Bash them with your magic wand until the game decides you can move on. (I'm not covering the story because all I could say about it is a vaguely ironic 「平仮名は可愛いです。」 ) I know that sounds petty and reductionist, but there's only one button you'll ever use the entire game, so it really is that simple. And that's the problem with this game: it's way too one dimensional. Shooting enemies in some Bomberman/Bubble Bobble hybrid sounds pretty cool, and it delivers on that pretty well, but you need more than that to carry a whole game like this. Different enemy arrangements don't count, either. I need some more mechanical variety in a game, like maybe different abilities or power-ups or whatever. (Granted, the game already has two power-ups, but they're simply "move faster" and "kill everything on screen". Wooh.) Otherwise, it feels like you thought of how long the game should be before you decided what it should be about, and now you're wasting my time out of sheer stubbornness. What else you got, Coron Land?
Bosses?.....OK, that could work. Actually, now that I think about it, these boss fights are pretty cool. They're decently challenging, and each one forces you into enough strategy to be considered fun. (Back of the box quote, right there.) There's just one problem: they're UNGODLY LONG. Every boss has more hit points than they do pixels, and since you only have one decidedly non-upgradeable attack, you're gonna be spending a lot of time with these guys. The final boss is particularly bad about this, constituting about 50% of the game's length alone. Speaking of length, there are only three worlds to this game, confusingly making it both really short and far too long. So yea, this game isn't very good. Its only saving grace is its technical competence, and you can't sell a product on technical competence alone. If you could, my blogs would probably me more popular than they already are.
- It's shooting enemies into bubbles and...that's it, really.
- Yet somehow, the game is longer than two levels.
- Bosses are kinda cool, though.