Asuras Wrath is one of those polarizing games that you either love or hate. There is little middle ground as some may fall in love with the over the top anime stylings while others will loathe it’s simplicity and see it as an endless string of quick time events with very little to qualify it as a game in the first place. For my part I absolutely loved Asuras Wrath, and as I can count the number of anime series I like on 3 fingers, I see that as a testament to the story, action, and visuals Capcom has assembled with their little experiment. Over the next few months DLC will be trickling out to flesh out (and rewrite) some of the story, plus some extra goodies. Here are the details for the DLC release schedule and a review of the first piece of DLC available now!
To kick off their DLC releases Capcom is releasing 2 subchapter episodes:
Episode 11.5 is available now for 160msp/$2
This episode takes place just after episode 11 which immediately follows the epic battle between Asura and his former master Augus. After losing his arms in that confrontation Asura finds himself back on Earth facing down an army of Gohma bearing down on the little girl he has been protecting.
The DLC is very light on story elements that relate to the overall tale, dealing more with the action packed battle between an armless Asura and an endless sea of Gohma. What we do see is the first glimpse of how powerful Asuras wrath can actually make him. There are also a few throwaway lines during the interlude at the end which flesh out the character of Deus a bit more. Though nothing story changing is revealed we do learn more about Deus’ mantra of pride and it sets up his character and ambitions. Though again, if you never see these events you aren’t really missing anything.
What is interesting about this DLC is that it doesn’t use the in game engine! This DLC is much closer to it’s older brothers Dragons Lair and Space Ace, as it is actually an animated cartoon with button prompts. While it is sad to see the beautiful in game graphics absent from the chapter, the animation presented does an adequate job of keeping up with the action. There is no denying that Asuras Wrath is a full blown anime series and this style choice merely cements that home. Because it is fully animated though don’t expect any free form battles or even story instances changing when you miss button prompts, the game just continues on as if you didn’t miss the press at all, you just get a lower score.
The good news here is that Capcom for once isn’t really trying to rip you off. At 160msp I don’t think they could have charged any less for this (via the rules of XBL) without it just being free. If you absolutely love Asuras Wrath and want to see a little extra fleshed out story you could do worse for your 2 dollars. Of course you could also just watch the segment on youtube for free and get the same experience. While I don’t fault the story for using a fully animated sequence and being a button press chapter (of which the full game has many already) I do hope that future chapters go back to the in game graphics and give us a bit beefier gameplay (free battles, boss battles, and rail shooting) especially with the proposed ambition of what’s to come.
Remaining DLC details:
Episode 15.5 is slated to be released on April 4th for 160msp/$2
I presume this will be the same as episode 11.5, an animated sequence that slightly fleshes out the story.
Beyond that we get a little more ambitious and this is where I want to see full gameplay return. At the end of April a chapter pack will be released comprising a brand new chapter 19 – 22 for 560msp/$7
Capcom has stated these chapters will comprise the “real” ending (watch out Bioware!) to Asuras Wrath, a game that already has two endings! Hopefully these chapters diverge much further from the originals than the secret ending did.
Past that will be some cute “what if” style DLC that is more of a bonus than story addition:
On May 9th for 160msp/$2 will be a DLC chapter chronicling a battle between Asura and Street Fighters Ryu
On May 16th for 160msp/$2 will be a DLC chapter showing the epic battle between Asura and Street Fighters Akuma
These two final pieces should hopefully follow the excellent boss battle system already existing in Asuras Wrath and should be a fun little extra for Capcom fans.