Asura’s Wrath hasn’t just had one downloadable content (DLC) pack, there are five different packs for your button mashing pleasure, but, honestly, they’re all pretty much one giant pack. There’s the fourth section of the game (also known as the “real” ending to the original game), two animated mini-episodes and two “lost” episodes. The section is $6.99 and each of the mini and lost episodes are $1.99 a piece. If you want everything, like I did, some quick math makes it about $15.
If you liked Asura’s Wrath at all, buy everything. While I would usually complain that the so called ‘real’ ending of the game was taken out and sold as DLC, I don’t see that as the case here. When you finish the 18th episode, the game ends. The plot seemed so finished that when I heard people complaining about being sold the ending, I was confused. Even with the teaser with the real ending when you play through the special version of episode 18, I had no idea where it would go.
Oh, it goes alright. If you took all of the insanity that was Asura’s Wrath and condensed it down, that would be one of the four episodes in this fourth section. While Asura’s Wrath was often compared to Dragon Ball the way it ratchets up, I would say it’s better compared to the ends of FLCL and Gurren Lagann. It even introduces a new, button mashing mechanic. Now instead of just seeing what button you need to pound, the screen fills with circle or X or whatever button necessary and as you pound they vanish.
While quick time events usually piss me off, there’s something about the physicality of the ones in Asura’s Wrath that give them some weight and allow you to play scenes that I can’t fathom a way of giving you control over otherwise. It reminds a lot of Heavy Rain, but instead of setting a dinner table, you’re punching a planet-sized enemy so hard they shatter.
If there’s any part of the DLC that you could skip, it would be the mini-episodes. These are two beautifully animated scenes explaining what happened off-screen in the main game with quick time button sequences just placed on top of them. It’s a little strange, but the scenes themselves are beautiful and it was neat seeing these characters in a different art style. It just makes me want a full on Asura’s Wrath anime.
The Lost Episodes are only available in Japanese with English subtitles, but they are well worth the asking price even without the English voices considering they somehow make a tie-in with the Street Fighter universe completely possible and logical. They are as difficult as the final boss, but that only made beating them even sweeter, not to mention that the first half of both the Ryu and Akuma fights take place on a 2D plane complete with Street Fighter health bars. The sheer amount of fan service oozing out of every crevice is astounding.
There’s something special about Asura’s Wrath. It’s like Heavy Rain on all of the drugs ever with magick in space, just because it can be. Yet, it’s still so much more than punching comically huge things in the face until they explode. I haven’t been this invested in just seeing what is going to happen next in a story for a long time. Our original excellent review of the game is not wrong, there’s just something about its hands-off gameplay and sheer insanity that I absolutely loved. This DLC is just beautiful icing on my new favorite cake.