Asuras Wrath – PS3/360
Being a huge fan of Quantic Dreams work, namely Farenheit and Heavy Rain, I do not have a problem with Quick Time events being a primary component of a game, provided they are done well. This comes with the proviso that they add to the effect that the game is trying to create, be that by ramping up tension or creating a bond with the character by forcing the player to physically perform the same actions (see the “finger” scene in Heavy Rain)
Asuras Wrath goes above and beyond in this regard.
I have herd the game described as “the best Dragonball Z game ever created” despite having nothing to do with Dragonball Z. Your reaction to that statement will very much dictate your enjoyment of this game. If the idea of lots of insane hand to hand fighting, characters channeling some non-descript energy to throw each other about, and general anime dialog (read as “screaming”) and story has you on board, then stop reading this and go pick it up right now.
This is not a game you go into for gameplay, you are in this for the experience. There are very few times where I sat in front of my TV this year with my jaw on the floor, not quite believing what I was seeing, or what the game was making me a part of. The actual “game” parts of Asuras Wrath are nothing incredibly special. Most game time is taken up by totally competent 3rd person brawling sections, which by the end of the game require some finesse and some quick reactions to handle, especially while hunting for the elusive S rank for each chapter. When you are not beating things senseless, you are flying through Rez style shooter sections, complete with a lock on and rapid fire weaponry, which would be relatively boring were it not for the sheer scale of the things going on around you. The majority of the game instead revolves around what are essentially cut scenes with quick time events layered on top. While attempting to S rank the second chapter of the game, I skipped every non-interactive cutscene, and finished it in 48 seconds. That was only good enough for an A. This sounds like the most diabolically boring game in existence when described as such, and to be perfectly fair I struggle to explain why it was not so.
Suffice to say that in one scene, Asura gets so angry that he screams and takes out a fleet of spaceships. Name me one other game where you can do that.
At this point I am worried I have scared people away from this game. All I can recommend is that you try the demo, and you will very quickly know if you will enjoy this game. When all is said and done, I do not think there was another game that provoked such astonishment in me this year.
Plus I got to punch a spaceship. In the face. You heard me.