Light, digestible (indie) game reviews.
Good luck beating the end boss.
*Based on updated Steam total play time.
I love the mashup of Indian mythology and action RPG in Asura - it's vibrantly visceral. The combat is fluid and easy to learn. Loot is varied, fun to use, and come with Diablo-esque stats attached to them. You will need this loot, because the enemies in this game will tear you apart if you are ill-equipped for battle. The loot comes in one of three formats: melee, ranged, and magic. The combat has a sort of rock-paper-scissors aspect, where you will do more damage to a ranged enemy with a melee weapon, and vice-versa.
Being a rogue-like means you get one life to beat the game and if you fail, you restart from scratch. There is no permanent progression system in this game, and while at first I thought there should have been, I have come to appreciate the competitive side of the game the devs are trying to establish. This is reinforced by the leaderboards presented to you after each run.
Speaking of each run, the star of the game has to be the procedural skill tree, of which changes each time you start a new game! The skill tree is populated from a pool of skills, ranging from spells, damage increases, stamina management, health boosts, and elemental-focused powerups. There is a lot of variety here forcing you to come up with a new skill tree strategy every game.
The few frustrating mechanics in Asura were quickly patched the day after it launched. Burning no longer destroys a random item (normal difficulty only), hero units shouldn't stun lock you nearly as often, and breakable objects can no longer be auto-targeted while you are in combat. Bonus points to the devs for reacting so quickly to player feedback.
Asura does very well at what it sets out to be: a very challenging, fun, loot-driven, action-RPG, rogue-like. It will test your skill and patience, but it has the right balance of fun and difficulty to keep you coming back for more.
Good luck, puny mortals. Oh, and bring a controller.