Vanillaware have been busy with their side scrolling RPG games recently with two releases for Sony, the excellent Dragons Crown (Review Here) and Muramasa Rebirth. Here CoyoteCub gives us his review of the latter.
Muramasa Rebirth is a port to the Vita of Muramasa: The Demon Blade which was released on the Nintendo Wii in 2009 with additional content for the new Vita release.
Set around ancient Japanese myth and folklore you have the choice of 2 stories, Kisuke the runaway Ninja fighting to regain his memory or Momohime whose body has been taken over by the soul of a dead warrior, both very well written and both so far unconnected in my play through.
Muramasa has a world which is set over a number of towns, each with numerous side scrolling multi-levelled screens and random encounters give you the opportunity to fight various enemies to build your stats and collect all of the mysterious Demon Blades.
With over 100 of these swords to collect and forge and with each boss having their own weaknesses choosing the right combination of weapons becomes not necessary but advantageous through your battles.
The controls are quick and very responsive and work well with the Vita allowing you to pull off a variety of moves and with each sword having its own special move you can rack up the combos in no time.
The artwork in Muramasa is stunning and looks amazing on the Vita screen, both storylines use the same beautifully designed levels through fields, forests and towns all with highly detailed backdrops that are amazing to look at as you travel to the different towns and even though there can be quite a bit of backtracking over the levels the scenery is quite a pleasant distraction, this mixed with the oriental soundtrack and Japanese voice acting makes a very atmospheric and well produced game.
The numerous character models of the enemies are cartoonish in nature but fits in with the art style of the game perfectly and with the end of level bosses I’ve encountered so far they have given them that something extra special with their designs, expressions and movements with my highlight so far being the first boss I met the Giant One Eyed Monk (Not a euphemism, Honestly).
The game lends itself to the Vita perfectly whether you want a quick 10 minute blast or sit for hours both will have you gagging for more and I’ve found myself in the just another 5 minutes situation on more than one occasion.
My only criticism would be the backtracking between levels, but despite this the game has me hooked with its involving storyline and stunning visuals. If you like your side scrolling games I can’t recommend this highly enough.
Format: PS Vita
Release date: Out Now
Publisher: Aksys Games
Full disclosure: CoyoteCub Purchased a digital copy of Muramasa: Rebirth . The game was reviewed on a PS Vita over the course of two days.