by gaeanprayer on January 13, 2009
Asura Blade: Sword of Dynasty is the first game in this short but enjoyable series. The games are untranslated, so I can't speak to storyline, but this doesn't hurt the enjoyment of the game.
First off, the graphics are absolutely beautiful, and for a pre 2k game can easily stand up to the later KoF and Street Fighter games with lush colors, crisp detailed backgrounds and memorable characters. Your character roster is wide and varied, including the beautiful Rosemary and her magical sword, Alice the necromantic little girl, Taros the robot of huge proportions (takes up most of the screen!), and Lightning the dual wielder, just to name a few. While the choices are paltry compared to the games we are used to today, each character looks and plays differently, making the experience memorable, enjoyable and far from repetitive.
The gameplay should appeal to both newbie and veteran alike, with relatively easy combos (three attack buttons of A, B, and C, used in different orders and successions) that can easily combine with jump/duck attacks and special moves to form various, more open-ended combos, rather than any one character having specifically designed combos. Most of the super moves are easy to pull off, though they lack a lot of the dazzle we may be used to; while still satisfying, they largely consist of a large string of punches and kicks, with a few of the more magical characters using flashy blasts. The combat itself moves very, very fast, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on your opponent; some of the later enemies will be all over the stage and up your ass before you can say "WTF?". The fast-paced combat is welcomed however, and keeps you on your toes.
I almost never give a game a 10, so for all intents and purposes a 9 is the highest score one can expect from me. The only reason Asura Blade does not get a 10 is because of the translation, where the storylines and endings that come with the characters are lost and unreadable, hurting the enjoyment and connection I may have otherwise had with the characters. If you're a fan of 2D fighters, I definitely recommend this game, especially if you like quick, combo-based combat.