Sunday, 27 November 2011

Muramasa: The Demon Blade - a look back

With its bold colours and gorgeous art style, Muramasa was a breath of fresh air when it was released in Europe two years ago today.

A 2D hack and slasher, developer Vanillaware expanded on ideas set out in their previous game, Odin Sphere on PS2 and delivered a wonderful game which remains one of my favourites on Wii.

Taking control of either Momohime - a princess possessed by a malevolent spirit - or Kisuke - a young ninja - the player embarks on a supernatural quest through the heart of feudal Japan.

The gameplay centers on the use of blades - which can be found or forged - and using them to slice your way through groups of enemies and visually splendid bosses.

While the fighting is entertaining, it's not the most refined system in the world. Button mashing can be relied upon during some battles, although diligent use of blocking is vital as the difficulty ramps up.

Muramasa is far from perfect, though and feels a little rushed in places. Bosses can turn into laborious wars of attrition, while the player is forced to backtrack through dozens of empty screens to unlock new areas.

However, despite its shortcomings, the magical art style and sumptuous soundtrack pull you through the 15-hour experience.

While games such as Uncharted 3 and Skyrim have had us gawping at our TVs recently thanks to their incredible level of detail, the hand-painted artwork on display here still manages to delight.

Corn fields gently ripple in the wind, cherry blossom falls from trees, waves crash upon the shore and shadows of clouds drift over sun-drenched fields. It really is a spectacular looking game.

So while Muramasa is rough in places and could have benefited with a little more finesse in the way it plays, it's still well worth a closer look if you haven't played it before.

1 comment:

nintendo wii console said...

I was playing Muramasa which giving me perfect tuned. I know that this game is too much old, but till is my favorite. All the controls and layouts were fascinating.