Thursday, May 3, 2012

Asura's Wrath Episode Pack Part IV (DLC)

Capcom continues their DLC schedule for Asura's Wrath, this time with an episode pack billed as the "True Ending" to the game. This pack promises to continue where the game's True Episode 18 left off, offering full closure on just what the heck happened at the very end. Fortunately, like the other offerings, this bundle does not disappoint.

Prepare for heavy spoiler tags, because some things are just too cool or interesting to keep to yourself.

Contained within are four Episodes, numbered 19-22. The story they hold feels a lot like a natural extension, showing that no matter how over-the-top you believed the rest of the game was or how crazy you found the revelation with the Golden Spider to be, you should still prepare to have your mind sufficiently blown wide open, because things are about to get even crazier. I don't really want to spoil anything, especially regarding the Golden Spider's true form Chakravartin, but what I will say is that what goes on provided a very satisfactory ending to me and I didn't feel cheated at all for having to drop $7 to see it. It also manages to conclude the character arcs of Asura and Yasha in a way that not only shows what they'll do to save the world, but also just how well they see each other as friends and not enemies. I'll admit that a couple of times, particularly the more silent moments, it was heartbreaking to see their final fates partially because they finally find peace within themselves and are willing to accept how they go out. I also found the after credits sequence to be a nice touch, including the interlude that follows it.

While the graphics and gameplay remain exactly the same, there are still a couple of things different about what you get. For one thing, the button prompts that pop up seem to be more unique and inventive, introducing interesting actions that seem to show that they took some time with this one rather than cut it off to make a quick buck. The fights also consist primarily of ones against Yasha and Chakravartin, though they are fun and engaging and bring something new to the table, including what is perhaps literally the biggest fight ever in a video game, putting Bayonetta and God of War to shame, where Asura becomes the size of a planet to fight off Chakravartin, who throws planets and stars at you as both rapidly pass by galaxies and systems in a ludicrously epic fashion. My favorite one of all though has to be the very last one against Chakravartin, where it not only has the first instance ever where a boss uses their own button prompts against the player, but you also essentially get to have a fist fight with God (in the context of the universe). Graphically speaking though, there is a little more semblance of variety in the effects and I do commend the development team for thinking of ways to keep it fresh when needed.

If there's only one complaint I have, it would be this: occasional skipping. The episodes have a noticeable lag, at least for me, that would sometimes prevent me from hitting the correct button when prompted, resulting in a lower grade. Perhaps they should have ironed out all of the bugs before release.

Overall, I believe that CyberConnect2 did a very great job with Part IV of Asura's Wrath. The story helps give the character more depth, the villain has a genuinely ominous presence, and the way things are wrapped up is very satisfying. On top of all this, there is a sequel hook at the very tail end, which is now brewing some  interest in me for a potential full-fledged sequel to this wonderful game. If $7 doesn't seem like too much to pay for four episodes to do all that and provide a truly epic climax, please download this bundle and witness the True Ending for yourself.

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