Friday, May 11, 2012

Asura's Wrath Lost Episode 1 (DLC)

With Capcom nearing the end of their announced DLC schedule for Asura's Wrath, they've now released Lost Episode 1, which I'll of course be covering here. As with my other DLC reviews, I probably won't have very much to say given the amount of content. However, I would still like to throw my thoughts on it out there anyway to give you an idea of what it's like.

This episode isn't meant to explain anything, since it doesn't appear to take place at any point within the canon of the game, save for going to the moon post-Augus battle. That's not a bad thing at all really, since the player gets to play out a battle between Asura himself and Ryu from the Street Fighter franchise. Personally I found this to be incredibly awesome, mostly because the first half of their struggle uses the Street Fighter IV (SFIV) fighting engine to have them duke it out. I also liked it when in the second half they fight on a fully three-dimensional plane, since it allows the player for the first time to see what Ryu's attacks look like in this realm (perhaps a preview of what's to come with the upcoming Tekken X Street Fighter?).

On that note, it's really cool how they managed to inject SFIV into the Asura's Wrath formula anyway. While using the former's fighting engine, Asura's controls are adapted to suit the controls of a fighting game, minus blocking it appears, while still using his very simplistic controls and for the first time allowing him to combo heavily against an opponent and even perform air juggles while against a wall. The Ultra gauge is instead his own gauges conformed to the required shape, which made it even more fun to fire off a round of Burst. What really helps also is not only making the button prompts match specific moves from SFIV (specifically the Shoryuken and Raging Demon), but also keeping Ryu's character model from his native series on top of the graphics original to Asura's Wrath, giving it a unique crossover blend that's appealing to the eyes, especially since there's no shortage of over-the-top action scenes (including Evil Ryu being strong enough to fix the moon!). I think I should also point out that the episode explicitly states that the dialogue is only in Japanese, something I didn't really mind anyway as I felt it contributed to the non-canon vibe of the whole thing.

As a fan of both Asura's Wrath and Street Fighter, I think that this offering is really awesome. Fanboyism aside though, I think that Lost Episode 1 had a very solid presentation that felt unique and exciting with some crossing elements to help keep things fresh and fun at a bargain price of only $2. If paying that much for about 10 minutes of content doesn't seem worth it to you, especially for a cool crossover like this, then hopefully the extended replay value that comes from the SFIV-like Mission Mode will suffice, since it kept me busy for a good hour longer. Overall, this is a fun offering I can recommend and now I really can't wait for them to put out Lost Episode 2.

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