DLC Round 1 – Episode 11.5: Forging Ahead – 160MSP, $2US
The first piece of DLC for Asura’s Wrath is an animated episode showcasing the battle between Asura and the Gohma Crusher. Due to the episode being entirely animated rather than in the game’s engine there is no opportunity to participate in the game’s 3rd person or on-rail combat. This is kind of disappointing because while QTEs (quick time events) are the focus of the game it is nice when they are split up combat as opposed to the only gameplay method.
One interesting thing that is added by this though is that in this episode you can get a game over by screwing up to many QTEs. The battle is pretty epic, but it would have been much better if it was done in the game’s engine. The animation seemed to be going for some sort of artsy look that was just weird, with colors constantly changing and mixing it actually became hard to look at in one or two instances. The price is really cheap but the episode could have been animated a lot better and there is no real need from a story standpoint to see it, so you can pass this one up.
Round 2 – Episode 15.5: Defiance – 160MSP, $2US
Like the previous add-on this is a fully animated episode. Luckily unlike 11.5 this one was animated really well and actually looks like an anime that you might see on TV. It made it much easier to watch but once again it pales in comparison to the look and feel of the actual game, which was fantastic. To be honest I don’t really know why these two weren’t done in the engine since all of the character models in both were already generated for the main game.
I guess they might have thought it would be cool for fans to see, since it is so heavily inspired by anime, but personally as a fan I like watching the in engine footage more. My other problem with this is that in the episode environments get destroyed or damaged that are completely fine when you show up to them in the game right afterwards. Why would they animate a scene where characters are trashing a place that isn’t supposed to be trashed? Not to mention, once again this is unnecessary filler from a narrative standpoint. It isn’t bad and it is cheap, but you can pass this one up as well, we’re about to get to something better.
Round 3 – Part IV: Nirvana Episodes 19-22 – 560MSP, $7US
The biggest piece of DLC adds the final act to Asura’s Wrath and is necessary if you want the full story or as the game calls it “the true ending”. In it we get a full resolution to every character’s story and we get to see what happens after the massive cliff hanger the game leaves on in its extended ending. One thing that really surprised me was that the experience continued to feel fresh thanks to new additions to the way that the quick time events were displayed, the compelling story and interesting bosses including one battle that actually used the ground combat mechanics while you and your opponent fall through the air. Unfortunately there was one battle that bothered me and actually felt broken.
Luckily it was the least significant battle so they didn’t ruin any of the major battles they were building to, which were all a lot of fun. In fact the other battles were among the greatest in Asura’s Wrath and you would be hard pressed to find a better four episode run anywhere else in the game. If you enjoyed Asura’s Wrath like I did than this is not to be missed, not only for the closure provided but for the great story told within and some of the best scenes and battles in the entire game. If you thought the battles couldn’t get any more grand or climatic then think again.
Round 4 – Lost Episode 1: At Last, Someone Angrier Than Me – 160MSP, $2US
This is the first of two crossover episodes with Street Fighter. This episode contains two battles between Asura and Ryu. The first battle is modeled after Street Fighter IV and Ryu battles just like he would in that game (you can only play this scene as Asura though) and he has the same moves and bar to measure his health and special moves. Asura’s bars change to match those in SFIV, but he still plays like he does throughout the entire game, just in a 2D environment now. The battle is pretty basic and not as deep as a real SFIV match because you can’t block or perform as many moves, you just charge in and mash attack with the occasional special when prompted.
There are also 5 missions tied into this battle that can be tried once you have completed the episode. The missions fall along the lines of landing a combo of a certain size or wining with only half health in order to add some more challenge and replayability. The second battle returns to the standard Asura’s Wrath battle system and yet doesn’t feel quite right. There are almost no opportunities to counter Ryu, which is a big part of the game’s combat, and he has two special moves that are near impossible to avoid and really devastating.
In fact when playing on hard mode if Ryu lands his melee special, which instantly connects if you are within the radius, then lands his ranged special, which is fast enough that you can’t run or roll away from it because it will follow and catch you and continues long enough that if you jump over it you will still get hit by the majority of it when you land, it’s gameover. Most of the characters in the game can be countered when doing some of their biggest moves and I feel that was lacking in this match. It would have improved the follow of combat and quite frankly made the match easier.
Also on a challenging yet awesome note the match ends with the most ridiculous QTE in the game and for those who didn’t appreciate the lack of consequence on the game and its story when messing up the QTEs, if you fail this one you lose. While the two battles included may not be the best that the game has to offer the amount of fan service thrown in is amazing and I feel that even if you aren’t familiar with Street Fighter, as long as you like Asura’s Wrath this is worth your money.
DLC Round 5 – Lost Episode 2: The Strongest Vs. The Angriest – 160MSP, $2US
The second crossover with Street Fighter and the last downloadable offering for Asura’s Wrath picks up right where the first leaves off, with the arrival of Akuma. This episode is set up just like the one before it, the first battle is modeled after Street Fighter IV and contains 5 missions to do afterwards, and the second is a regular Asura’s Wrath ground based boss battle.
This battle feels a lot faster paced and energetic than the one in Lost Episode 1 because of the fact that it has multiple counters to keep the action going. It lacks the incredible QTE at the end but makes up for it with a great cutscene that contains quite a few QTEs and a spectacular finish. Once again this is an add-on based purely around fan service and I think they did a great job making it totally worth the inexpensive price tag.
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