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Asura Cross

For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad

A few cross words

Product: Asura Cross | Publisher: Gamevil | Format: Android | Genre: Fighting, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Asura Cross Android, thumbnail 1
The story behind the development of Asura Cross is almost as interesting as the game itself. Originally conceived for the GamePark GP2X open-source handheld, this curious fighting game/RPG hybrid was largely forgotten until Gamevil picked it up for publication on smartphones.

According to its developer, it took an entire decade to create - significantly longer than most mobile games. It's hard to see exactly where all those years have gone when you start to play Asura Cross, however. While it's not a bad-looking game by any means, it's far from stunning.

The 2D sprites move smoothly, and look nice enough, but Capcom and SNK fans will notice that they are based on characters from past classics - for example, protagonist Jin has the same animation and poses as Kim Kap-hwan from SNK's Fatal Fury

Crossover chaos

However, Asura Cross's core appeal isn't really about how it looks - it's about how it plays. This is a 2D fighter in its most basic form. Instead of having to input complex button combinations and pad movements, you simply have to mash on-screen keys or hold your finger down to create combo attacks).

IAPs explained
You can use real money in Asura Cross to purchase Asura Points (the game's currency, which is used to unlock additional content). Asura Points are awarded in-game, but earning them takes ages.

300 points is the basic pack, and will cost you $2.99 (around £1.80). 7000 is the maximum you can buy, and comes with a price tag of $49.99 (around £30).
It's possible to become quite a killing machine with very little effort or skill - something which makes the game accessible, and enjoyable, but also limits its long-term appeal. It will also be something of a turnoff for truly dedicated fans of the genre.

The two main components of Asura Cross are Story mode and Arcade mode. The former follows the exploits of ex-soldier Jin, who returns home from active duty to find that strange events are intruding on his life.

Interestingly, this mode features dialogue screens where you can make choices which mildly impact the outcome of the tale. It's an interesting concept, undone slightly by the poor quality of the script.

Cross your heart

Arcade mode is your straightforward fighting game arrangement, and is only worth playing to earn Asura Points which are used to unlock other aspects of the game. Earning Asura Points takes a long time, but - inevitably - you can use in-app purchases to make unlocking things easier and faster.

Asura Cross is an interesting concept without a doubt, but the execution feels a little off. Visually, it's incredibly derivative of other 2D fighters, even going as far as to steal character animation.

The simplistic action becomes boring very quickly, and the Asura Point system is blatantly fixed to encourage you to spend real cash instead of putting in the required effort.

While it's encouraging to see a game with such a long history get a second lease of life on smartphones, Asura Cross just isn't successful enough to be considered a forgotten classic. It's a mildly diverting escapade, but little more.
Asura Cross
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 22 January 2013
Apparently, Asura Cross took a decade to create. While this fusion of fighter and RPG has some interesting ideas, we can't help but feel that the time would have been better spent elsewhere
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