Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why 'Asura's Wrath' could become my favorite game ever

I don't get really hyped for many games, the only one's in recent memory that I got really hyped for were Bayonetta, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Now, I have a new game that I'm really hyped for: Asura's Wrath. The reason? Because I think it could be the most satisfying game I've ever played, thereby making it my favorite game ever.

I know it's pretty dumb to get hyped for a game that has only two trailer out, but I can't help but see what AW is capable of. Now, a lot of what makes me excited is knowing AW is from the same team behind the Naruto Storm series. The action in those games is visually incredible, but it has a pretty simple execution. CC2 has confirmed that AW will be pretty hard and very un-free, both elements that tell me the game won't be one of those games that simplifies it's gameplay to make it more accessible, something the Naruto games need to be considering their audience.

The trailers also speak a lot about the game. Right away, the graphics are absolutely mind-blowing. Not only is AW easily the best looking Unreal Engine 3 game I've seen, but it's possibly the best looking game I've ever seen. Just witnessing the mass amount of spears hurling toward Asura is a sight to admire. And knowing CC2, we can expect scenes that eclipse this one in magnitude throughout the game. The game also animated just as beautifully as the Naruto Storm games, if not better.

Also, quickly apparent, are the QTEs. I'm not a hater of QTEs, I actually think they can be really fantastic when executed well, and AW's look to be the best I've ever played. I was instantly impressed by the QTE pushing the left and right sticks upward to pull spears out of Asura's legs. The control sequence reflects the on-screen action perfectly, something I never seen in a QTE (though I've never played Heavy Rain). I'm sure AW will be filled with QTEs, which makes me very excited.

Next comes the music, which will be composed by Chiyako Fukuda. The music in the trailers wasn't too impressive, but considering his superb soundtrack for the dot//HACK and Naruto games, I'm excited to hear what he will develop for AW, a game that is supposed to be about pure drama and rage.

Now, the core gameplay, which can be seen in the second trailer. The game looks diverse without being overly complicated. The element of grabbing enemies and parts of the environment has me excited as well. It also looks like it will have counter attacks as well. This is the area where I know the least, and unfortunately, it's also the area that I care most about. Hopefully, this turns out to be the game's best factor.

Another element is virtually unknown at this point: story. At the moment, I'm more looking forward to how CC2 will execute the story, rather than the elements of the story itself. The way CC2 executed some of the story sections in Naruto Storm 2 were excellent in portraying the emotion of the situation. I hope AW has many dramamtic scenes like Naruto Storm 2 did. CC2 has experience in developing storylines, as they are the people behind the entire .HACK story-lines. I have high hopes for the story.

And, finally, the execution. All of the elements I mentioned above aren't just individual factors, they are all executed together in perfect harmony. I hope that the entire game reflects trailers execution, and if the Naruto Storm 2 is anything to go by, then it will.

So how does this all translate to AW being my potential favorite game ever? Because AW looks to take action games to a whole new level, a level even higher than what Bayonetta took it. By combining the visual and aural elements of a fantastic presentation with immersive and satisfying gameplay will provide elements of a perfect execution. That immersion is key. Bayonetta's gameplay was intensely satisfying, but it was more traditional in it's visual execution (behind-the-back perspective). But with AW, if it uses the camera like Naruto did, then AW will be like playing an action-drama straight out of Hong Kong cinema. Asura's Wrath may finally be the game to break down the barrier between the game and the player.

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