How appropriate that a game as bonkers as Asura's Wrath was mailed to me on a disc that only contained some chapters from its middle. Who cares how this game begins? It's not like it would suddenly make complete sense.
Having only played the game's middle, I know little about who Asura is. He is a man-god who has a daughter and a temper, both of them exceedingly terrific and one of them out of control.
In the first middle chapter I played of this game, I fought some red gorilla-bodied enemies, bashing them with light and heavy attack.
They were the appetizer. The main course was a rampage against a massive elephant. (Not pictured here, sadly.)
In the next chapter, my main event enemy was a giant turtle. I punched it good. (Also not pictured, sorry.)
Some time before or after -- the frenzy of it all muddled my notes -- my Asura was in perpetual motion as he chased another monkey-foe who he could only shoot godly lasers at. The game was, at the time, on rails.
A snap later, I had Asura fighting belly-flopping Buddhas and, later, bazooka-toting Buddhas. (There is a reason for this.)
Briefly I had Asura in the sky, shooting his god-lasers at an enemy armada of impressive aircraft.
Some other time, I watched Asura climb a very tall pillar while a mechanical spider taunted him.
Once, Asura was encased in stone.
Many times, Asura growled with rage.
The game always looked terrific, all cross-hatched as if rendered simultaneously as a three-dimensional video game and as a series of pen drawings.
The game often was not at all interactive.
The knock on Asura's Wrath is that half of the game appears to be quick-time-events, meaning you pound on an enemy until you get a button prompt and then follow the prompt to do something absurd, like punching a skydiving giant Buddha in the belly or leaping upon a massive turtle and bending its beak.
The real knock on Asura's Wrath should be that apparently it doesn't matter if you get distracted by a text message while playing the game and you fail to press the proper button prompt. The quick-time event might happen anyway.
Are you even playing this game? Are you in any more control of it than Asura is of his temper?
Wrath is nuts, but, hey, it's also the only game about fighting giant elephants and turtles and divine armadas scheduled for release this year (aside from the next Call of Duty, of course.)
So... if you like ridiculousness and can stand a lot of growling, sure... make yours Asura's Wrath.. It will be out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 21.