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Asura Blade: Sword Of Dynasty (Arcade) artwork

Asura Blade: Sword Of Dynasty (Arcade) review

"To Arms, Fight!...."

Fuuki is a rather small company who hasn't designed too many video games (mostly cutesy puzzle type games) with Asura Blade: Sword of Destiny - a game set in a somewhat Futuristic Medieval World if you can picture that - being their first attempt in the 2D fighting genre. Which actually turned out pretty good.

The gameplay in Asura Blade is very similar to that of Guilty Gear, in fact it's almost identical with a couple of variations. Asura Blade is mainly a Weapon Based fighter, but you have the option of fighting bare-fisted. When you first start a round you'll have your weapon, by pressing A.B.C, to toss it at your opponent to which like in Samurai Shodown you'll have to retrieve it if you wish to fight armed again.

Asura Blade does not have an 'Aerial Launcher or Dust' move, what it does have is a 'Bash Attack' which will either smash your opponent off the ground or will bounce them off the corner wall which will let you do an ES move or some fancy combo. When you get a feel for the control you'll start to pull off some wicked combos. The combo system is like SNK's Real Bout Fatal Fury, in that you do what I call 'Chain-Special' combos, you start with a light attack followed by a medium attack and then you normally (but not always) do a Bash Attack to which you'll most likely do an ES attack.

Asura Blade also has what's called a 'Push Back'. The P.B. will do just that, if your opponent is relentlessly attacking you it'll knock them away from you (letting you rethink your strategy). The gameplay leans on the fast side with a simple and combo friendly system. Even with technique's like the bash attack & push away the gameplay isn't real deep (like KI2). Unlike in some Capcom fighters, when you do an ES special move in Asura Blade they take off as much as some of the supers in the game making the supers almost useless? because ES moves only require a certain amount of energy where the supers need a full bar..All in all the play mechanics in AB are decent (solid) for a 3 button fighter nothing really flashy or technical.

The control in AB is quite simple and is based on 3 buttons: Light, Medium and Strong attacks. As for when performing special attacks and doing combos, the control is very responsive. The backgrounds are interestingly designed with subtle animation to them, have up to 4 layers of parallax scrolling with a few of them having the warping floor scrolling like in SF2, which adds a certain amount of depth to them. Most of the backgrounds are beautiful, like Lightning's [Float Castle], you're fighting in a shallow lake with Float Castle's reflection on the water.

Something that some might not like is the fact Fuuki had some of the characters share backgrounds (Rosemary/Taros, Curfue/Goat/Alice), I don't know, the game game only has 10 characters (including bosses) it wouldn't have been that much more work to have designed 3 more backgrounds?. The characters have a rough (yet NICE) SNK drawn look and feel to them, they're colorful, are nicely animated (just a step under Night Warriors and a step above Guilty Gear on the PS). Most of your specials are your average basic 2D fighter moves, your anti-air moves, projectiles etc..etc.. with your ES special moves standing out the most. The facial expressions when being hit are pretty humorous as well and shows a comical not so serious (a killing time) kind of fighter.

As for special effects, everything is here from the bright flash when do a super or ES move to the flame effects when getting burnt (somewhat) all of which are average looking.

The characters: Goat, Yashou, Alice, Rosemary, Taros, Lightning, Zam-B, Footee, Curfue and S-Geist the final boss (who has a case of GENeralCIDE syndrome, but not nearly as bad) are a pretty rowdy and interesting bunch. The actual designs are a cross between Night Warriors and Guilty Gear, don't get me wrong, they do have their own individual personas, but just don't have that same flair (especially when compared to the Night Warriors cast).

Characters like Rosemary and her demon sword are unique in design, but if you think about it she's nothing more than a female version of Donovan from Night Warriors....I don't know , the more I think about the characters the more un-original they feel. I know most fighting game characters follow a certain stereotypical pattern (you know your Grappler, Martial Artist, Mutant etc..etc..) and aside from Sega's EC-CftDS it seems every fighter thats been released follows this kind of DNA chart, and instead of being different they're pretty much making newer versions of older games adding little tid-bits here and there, making it the same game with a new Visage?.

The sound effects are decent, though a little soft (especially when 2 swords collide, you hear a very faint 'ting'), for the most part their good but some of the sound effects could have been chosen better. The voices on the other hand are Great and bring the characters out. The music is good and fits the backgrounds well (and some of the characters).

Asura Blade is good at best, there's just nothing ground breaking about it. Asura Blade came out about a year after Atlus released Guilty Gear for the PS, and saw a limited release in the arcades, and to add to it more people were interested in Capcom's VS series which just had more flair to them, whether you liked the series or not. AB is not a bad game, and can be quite fun if playing against your friends. If you like 2D fighters and have MAME? give it a shot it won't hurt.


Community review by DEATHSCHILD (February 19, 2017)

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