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Muramasa: The Demon Blade review

Devil May Cry meets Castle Crashers in this stunningly animated slasher

Action games usually land in the 8-10 hour range for one standard playthrough. In a welcome departure, both playable characters' stories take about 6-7 hours to finish, putting the final game clock near the 15 hour mark. Even better, both Kisuke and Momohime (which literally means Princess Peach, another retro shout-out) have different stories and different bosses to tackle, so there actually is a reason for playing both sides. The second time through opened our eyes to a few more problems (lots of empty, unnecessary rooms, a vague map, several repeating backgrounds etc), but once again we're able to overlook those shortcomings and soak up the imagery instead.

This certainly isn't the first time we've seen this style though - developer Vanillaware has twice wowed the world, first with Odin Sphereand then with GrimGrimoire, both late-release PS2 titles that showed the older systems still had some life. Seeing Vanilla's third title land on Wii, however, is much more meaningful than it appearing on PS2 again, or even PS3, as Wii is in desperate need of such sturdy adventures.

Muramasa will stand out on Wii, shining as one more ray of inspiration to other developers who have passed on Wii for good. Are we saying spend $50 just to show support? No, but surely there are less deserving games sitting in your pile that could be used a trade-in fodder for one of the platform's strongest offerings to date.

Sep 8, 2009

More Info

DescriptionFeaturing lovely hand-drawn 2D art, Muramasa transports players into a little known mythology envisioned by the creators of Odin Sphere. Take on the role of a male ninja or female kunoichi and traverse the side-scrolling levels with crazy combos and scads of old-school action.
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Alternative namesOboro Muramasa Youtouden
Release date8 September 2009 (US), (UK)