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by Nick Zverloff - March 6th, 2011

The Asura Series, by a little known company called Fuuki, consists of Asura Blade and Asura Buster, two very good weapons-based 2D fighters that were only released on arcades. Being released in the late-90s, they were more than a bit late to the fighting game gravy train of the years before, leading them to be greeted by little more than apathy. Arcade boards are hard to come by and arcade cabinets are even scarcer. Fuuki did not make many other games besides the Asura series. Even though Fuuki came and went in the blink of an eye, their Asura series are surprisingly decent, Darkstalkers-like games with deep, but easy to grasp systems and very cool character designs. There isn't technically much to set it apart from more prominent titles, but both they're smooth and attractive games.

Characters

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)



Asura Blade: Sword of Dynasty (アシュラブレード) - Arcade (1998)

Japanese Arcade Flyer

Asura Blade is the first of the two Asura games, taking place in a bizarre post-apocalyptic future full of floating castles, robots, lots of swords, and plenty of magic. The plot involves the villainous S. Geist trying to use the power of the Asura Blade to summon a dragon. Supposedly, the dragon was going to be a secret boss, but it was dummied out and incomplete. There's a dragon sprite left in the game, but you cannot fight it and it is only accessible through hacking.Asura Blade has excellent graphics. The backgrounds are lush and stylized, particularly War After and Central Geo, one being a mass graveyard and the other being a beautiful temple in a desert. The character sprites also look great, all of whom are animated very well.

Arcade mode has you traveling through a map and fighting every character in the game before a showdown with your shadow, which is just your chosen character, but invisible. After that, you move on to face Curfue and S. Geist. All characters have the same ending, so arcade mode is only really worth playing through once and maybe a few other times if you need to get used to a certain character.

Asura Blade

One of Asura Blade's more interesting features involves how it handles special moves. All characters have a pop-up attack that throws the opponent into the air and is good for setting up combos, similar to the Marvel Vs. games and Guilty Gear X. All special moves have a strong, medium, and weak version. For example, if you perform a quarter circle forward with Goat and press strong attack, he pulls out his mace and swings it very slowly. If you do the same motion and hit the weak attack, however, he swings his mace much faster, but it does less damage. Asura Blade adds in something called EX attacks, similar to those found in the Darkstalkers games. They take up around half of your super bar and are performed by doing an attack motion, but hitting two buttons at once. This can make move pools seem much larger by comparison, even though most characters only have one to two super moves.

Another interesting feature is the ability to fling your weapon by pressing all three attack buttons at once. By throwing your weapon, you get a ranged attack that does a lot of damage at the expense of being unarmed. Most characters play completely different unarmed, Goat being a particularly good example as he no longer hits hard, but he becomes very fast. You can pick your weapon back up by simply squatting down and hitting an attack button. It's a pretty cool feature that can add a lot of depth to the game, moreso than Samurai Shodown, which had a similar feature but didn't change the characters so drastically. The computer apparently does not know how to toss their weapon, though, because it never does this.

Even though Asura Blade is very fun, there are a few rough spots. The character roster is far from balanced with Footee and Goat being clearly more powerful than most of the other characters. Curfue is also a very cheap boss, as he never stops using his annoying laser cannon. If you have a bad version, Asura Blade will inexplicably speed up on certain levels, making combat much faster and more brutal. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how fast you like your fighting games, but it is a bug in some versions - potentially only the emulated versions - and was not intended to be in.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Fuuki Co., Ltd

Publisher:

Fuuki Co., Ltd

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Anime Style


Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)

Asura Blade (Arcade)



Asura Buster: Eternal Warriors (アシュラバスター -エターナルウォーリアーズ) - Arcade (2000)

Asura Buster

Asura Buster is the sequel to Asura Blade, fixing many of the problems with the first and streamlining the fighting system. The graphics are brighter and crisper, the character roster has been increased substantially, and the bosses are no longer cheap. Asura Buster is in general better than Asura Blade, but is far scarcer due to it being only released in Japan.

Asura Buster's story in completely in Japanese, but involves an insane king that can transform into a powerful behemoth that must be stopped. The rest in unclear and is dependant on which character you choose. The story also introduces Chen Mao, Leon, Sittara, Zinsuke, Rokurouta, and Nanami as playable characters.

Combat has been streamlined immensely. Controls are tightened up and you can no longer use throws or fling your weapon. Additionally, all characters have different sized super bars. Chen Mao has a small super bar, so she can do EX moves and super moves very often. Yashou on the other hand, has a very long one and it takes time for him to fill it up all the way.

Asura Buster

Many of the returning characters play nothing like they did in Asura Blade, with only Yashou, Rose Mary, and Zam-B being mostly the same from one installment to the next. This is mostly due to balance reasons, as Goat was severely overpowered in the first game. Taros was changed for no discernable reason, but is still very fun to play. Alice was changed to reflect that she had learned more magic than necromancy and can now control dinosaur bones and has obtained The Necronomicon. Classic Alice is playable through a code.

Asura Buster also adds a mini game, involving a horde of two-headed dogs which need to be defeated as they charge at you. If you get hit, you only get stunned, which leave an opening for another two headed dog to hit you. This very bizarre mini game was supposed to be in Asura Blade, as the two headed dog sprite was in, but must have been cut at some point.

After the Asura series, Fuuki went on to make a puzzle game for the arcade and two adventure games for the Game Boy Advance before going out of business. After that, the Asura series would have faded into obscurity for having no console ports and being barely known, except the MUGEN community seems to have taken a liking to some of the characters, particularly Goat.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Fuuki Co., Ltd

Publisher:

Fuuki Co., Ltd

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Anime Style


Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)

Asura Buster (Arcade)




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