(E3 Footage HERE)
Today I decided to sit down and watch some of the demo footage from this year’s E3.
While I’ve been (halfheartedly) following some of the news from E3, truth be told; today marked the first instance in which I actually watched any footage from it.
At first glance, the game seemed pretty decent; but within the span of literally 2-3 seconds, my impression of it changed dramatically.
In case you’re wondering, the character designs were the one major positive I took from the videos I watched.
The 2-3 or character models (2 if you only include major characters, 3 if you count generic enemy fodder) featured in the trailers were all striking and wholly unique, with some pretty fluid animations to boot.
Outside of the character models though, everything I’ve seen from Asura’s Wrath managed to rub me the wrong way.
Despite the beauty of the characters, the backgrounds and scenery were bland and simplistic; bearing a color palette of the Gears of War 1 style “gray and brown.”
The voice acting is atrocious, not only in terms of quality of performance, but also in terms of the actual sound of it.
Also on the audio side of things, the music was mindblowing-ly lazy, with about 15 minutes worth of “intense” in-game footage playing host to a boring drone akin to the early seasons of the American Dragonball Z dub.
Speaking of Dragonball Z, Asura’s Wrath clearly seems to draw a lot of inspiration from it, not just in terms of aesthetic, but also in terms of pacing.
Basically, the formula goes:
Inane and indecipherable dialogue, followed by manic action scene, followed by another inane indecipherable dialogue scene, followed by power-up scene, followed up by dramatic epiphany, followed by even more dramatic power-up scene.
I swear, all they needed to do was insert a cut away or 2 of grass blowing in the wind, and Asura’s Wrath would straight up be Dragonball Z.
Maybe it’s just because I’m older, but for whatever reason; I just can’t play along with these old fashioned anime tropes anymore…
So far I’ve spent this whole article harping on Asura’s Wrath from face value alone.
Truth be told, that’s where most of my complaints lie, however I do in fact have a gripe or 2 about the gameplay (from what I could derive from the in-game footage).
First and foremost of these complaints is of course:
Is there any gameplay?
While it’s of course far too early to make any serious speculation, from what I could tell from the footage I viewed, Asura’s Wrath has a God of War/Devil May Cry/Ninja Gaiden/Bayonetta/Heavenly Sword/Dante’s Inferno/Etc. action mechanic.
There are attack buttons, there is a shoot button, and there is a context sensitive counter button.
With the exception of the counter button, these buttons are used maybe 5 times over the course of the trailer.
It was actually kind of funny watching the player use the shoot button, as he never really seemed to get the hang of the aiming mechanic; which resulted in him taking damage whenever he tried to use it.
Not that the game ever really seemed to offer any sort of challenge that required him to…
The vast majority of the 15-20 minutes of footage that I viewed, all taken from a boss fight mind you; involved extremely simplistic quick time events.
By “extremely simplistic,” I mean, “if you fail one of these, congratulations; you are a retard.”
The point is, I spent 20 minutes watching in-game footage of a game that looked kind of cool, sounded really dumb, and only asks you to touch the controller once every 5 minutes.
Worse yet, most of the “gameplay” I saw basically involved repetitiously countering or performing a menial task in order to fill a gauge of some sort, activation of which basically rewards you by sending you to the next repetitive portion of the gameplay/cutscene.
Note the repetition of the word “repetition.”
Like virtually everything to come out of Japan, ever; Asura’s Wrath is very high on style, but seriously seems to lack in substance.
Other than the cool visuals, and distinctly anime-like cinematography and pacing, I really can’t figure out what would make it fun to play.
Bayonetta and God of War were quick-time event heavy, however they also had extremely robust gameplay mechanics to one to play around with in between it all.
Again, it’s far too early to make any serious speculation as to exactly what kind of game Asura’s Wrath is, but as of now; my opinion is largely negative.
At this point I’m still just wondering, what’s the deal with Asura’s Wrath?