Review: Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Review: Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Is it possible for gameplay to become lost in translation?

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I stopped reading for a second when I saw this: " while Kisuke is an amnesiac ninja who must travel eastward in search of vengeance."

If he's amnesiac, why does he wants vengeance? Shouldn't he had forgot why he wanted vengeance in the first place?

Random argument man:
I stopped reading for a second when I saw this: " while Kisuke is an amnesiac ninja who must travel eastward in search of vengeance."

If he's amnesiac, why does he wants vengeance? Shouldn't he had forgot why he wanted vengeance in the first place?

That is a truly excellent question. I wish I knew the answer.

"The combat, while repetitive, is oddly satisfy."

How long have you been playing it? Is it really translated that well? I think it may have had an impact on you. :-P

Um...actually, the different blades require a certain amount of strength and vitality to equip. Not level. Which it -does- say how much of each you need, including the ones that you obtain from bosses.

I also don't see the big deal about the controls. Yes, it sucks a little that jump is up on the stick, but after a few minutes, it worked well, and I was jumping, slashing, dashing, rolling, and dodging almost as fast as my instinct allowed, and having jump on the stick actually worked in my favor. Of course, I used a GameCube controller, so that may explain a little.

The menus are no worse then a light RPG menu, which I suppose if you don't want to think about things while playing an action game, I guess is bad. Item management isn't hard either. It's pretty simple. You have 5 slots for field items. There are more or less 3 main types you really need to worry about. Ones that increase your health by a lot, but has a cooldown timer. One that increases health by a little, but can be taken right away. One that fixes your sword. You start finding better versions of each every time you clear an act. So basically, equip whatever the best of each you have. Beat a boss. Equip the improvements when you find them. Not hard. I hadn't even looked at the instruction booklet, and I figured all that out in 3 minutes.

My only gripe about the menu is that there's no "cook all" option for cooking your food, so you have to sit there and mash "A" to get through the little cooking animation each time you want to make a stack of recovery item.

As far as the story goes...well...yeah it's a bit much if you don't know anything about Japanese folklore. It also has a couple parts where it seems like they forgot to start filming the scene about 10 seconds into it. The girl's story is pretty interesting. I haven't played through the guy's story completely so I can't comment on that yet. Like I said though, if you don't know a little Japanese folklore, you probably will be a little lost.

As far as replay, yeah, there isn't a whole lot. You can get different endings depending on which blades you have equipped at the end, some of which can't be obtained until you've beaten both stories once. There's little challenges scattered around that you can do for cool items that involve either fighting large mobs of a type of enemy, or a optional boss. You also can unlock a higher difficulty.

Two-player co-op -is- sorely missed.

Really, if you're a old-school arcade slash'em up fan, there really isn't any better game out right now as far as they go. It really reminds me back when I was a kid burning my allowance in the Strider arcade game.

Hmm, seems everyone has a differing opinion of this game. IGN and Joystiq's reviews were positive, but not so much with this one. Guess I'll have to rent this game and see for myself.

Sounds like it's Odin Sphere except with the unwarranted media gushing over the graphics removed.

I can actually explain the Bathing with Monkeys...

You see, Japanese Macaques, or Snow Monkeys are one of the only primate species other than humans who dwell in colder northern climates and while they are adapted to the cold climate, having a thicker coat of fur and all that, they still don't actually ENJOY the cold. However since Macaques are fairly clever and since Japan is rich in natural hot springs, the Snow Monkeys have found a solution to their cold issues, hot springs. Yes thats right, Snow Monkeys make regular use of hotsprings, both natural and man made and it is not uncommon to see a whole pack of them bathing in said hotsprings.

This doesn't come from being a japanophile though, I learned this by filling my Science Credits in University with Primatology courses.

Sounds like a good concept got cut down by bad execution (sorry for the puns).
The Wii could really have benefitted from this, where it not hindered by the mentioned problems. :(

And I think it's a plus to not try and exhibit the Wii's crazy controls, but for a sword fighting game it might have been a big plus.

Also PedroSteckecilo, thanks for the info; cool to know ^_^

1. Actually, the translation is one of the few things everyone seems to complain about. The english subtitles seem way too short for the Japanese VA. If the characters seem unemotional or poorly motivated, that's probably why.

2. Every Metroidvania-style game is divided into rooms. why should this one be any different?

3. They took out the motion controls because they were laggy and imprecise, and honestly i'm glad they did. DS games were mostly gimmicky crap until developers realized they didn't have to bend over backwards to make players use both screens, the microphone, and the stylus. you're right that there should have been a jump button on the classic/GC controllers though.

3.5. Waving the Wiimote like a sword SOUNDS fun, but it's not once you've been doing it for an hour straight. that's why red steel was mostly a shooter, and it's why iga made a crappy fighting game instead of a real Castlevania for the Wii.

4. the menus make perfect sense to me. the only problem i have with them is that when you equip a sword with a passive ability, there doesn't seem to be a description of what that ability does.

Jordan Deam:

Random argument man:
I stopped reading for a second when I saw this: " while Kisuke is an amnesiac ninja who must travel eastward in search of vengeance."

If he's amnesiac, why does he wants vengeance? Shouldn't he had forgot why he wanted vengeance in the first place?

That is a truly excellent question. I wish I knew the answer.

where did you get "searching for vengeance" from, anyway?

KDR_11k:
Sounds like it's Odin Sphere except with the unwarranted media gushing over the graphics removed.

why wasn't it warranted? the game is damn pretty.

Wait a minute. All the swords need you to have a certain level of strength and I think spirit, and I'm pretty sure they are listed. You can also avoid the menu by cycling through healing items with the D-pad.

"I do not know who he is or why he's fightingme, but it sure does look perty" genius

Unintuitive control can be very very "lost in translation" thus why all games need button remapping... and a good cheat menu that offers wide and varied cheats so one can enjoy the POS game offline....

I guess it's basicaly Odin Sphere in an ancient japanese setting. Wich isn't to bad since Odin Shere was pretty damn cool. Untill about halfway through when it became pretty damn boring.

I think he was searching for "vengeance" in the sense he was trying to figure out why all these ninjas were after him. Okay. Don't know why Monohime has to keep fighting ninjas though.

Protip: When cooking hold the A button down instead of mashing repeatedly, the animation goes WAY faster.

I agree about the plot being sparse and doubly agree with the mistmatch between the English text and the length of the Japanese VA. They seem to talk much more than the short sentences would merit. I just feel you're given little bites of a story, but someone hid the the feast in the other room and won't let you in.

Actually, I feel Muramasa is inferior in almost every way to Odin Sphere. Characterization is weaker, localization is poorer, combat was less interesting from a tactical perspective, areas felt less diverse artistically (some exceptions). I even preferred Odin Sphere's cooking and item management. Also, sheep plants. Even the music is more forgettable in Muramasa. Which is not to say Muramasa is a bad game, I just felt it wasn't as strong as its predecessor. Part of me is disappointed, since this game was a large part of my decision to buy a Wii, but despite its faults I've gotten a fair bit of enjoyment out of it. I just can't recommend it over OS.

Random argument man:
I stopped reading for a second when I saw this: " while Kisuke is an amnesiac ninja who must travel eastward in search of vengeance."

If he's amnesiac, why does he wants vengeance? Shouldn't he had forgot why he wanted vengeance in the first place?

I stopped reading there too, but mostly because I think amnesia is a shitty cop-out of a plot device. One of the reasons I can never forgive Code Geass R2.

Random argument man:
I stopped reading for a second when I saw this: " while Kisuke is an amnesiac ninja who must travel eastward in search of vengeance."

If he's amnesiac, why does he wants vengeance? Shouldn't he had forgot why he wanted vengeance in the first place?

That's an inaccurate statement. He loses his memory and is then is attacked, then searches for his identity and the reason why he was attacked... then the revenge comes.

I really like the game so far. Only played through the male protagonist's story though, but I don't agree with the review at all.

qazmatoz:

Random argument man:
I stopped reading for a second when I saw this: " while Kisuke is an amnesiac ninja who must travel eastward in search of vengeance."

If he's amnesiac, why does he wants vengeance? Shouldn't he had forgot why he wanted vengeance in the first place?

That's an inaccurate statement. He loses his memory and is then is attacked, then searches for his identity and the reason why he was attacked... then the revenge comes.

I really like the game so far. Only played through the male protagonist's story though, but I don't agree with the review at all.

I'm sorry. I haven't played the game yet. It just sounds like a weird idea to me. Well, maybe when I'll play, I will understand more.

Random argument man:

qazmatoz:

Random argument man:
I stopped reading for a second when I saw this: " while Kisuke is an amnesiac ninja who must travel eastward in search of vengeance."

If he's amnesiac, why does he wants vengeance? Shouldn't he had forgot why he wanted vengeance in the first place?

That's an inaccurate statement. He loses his memory and is then is attacked, then searches for his identity and the reason why he was attacked... then the revenge comes.

I really like the game so far. Only played through the male protagonist's story though, but I don't agree with the review at all.

I'm sorry. I haven't played the game yet. It just sounds like a weird idea to me. Well, maybe when I'll play, I will understand more.

Oh wow, after reading what I wrote again I sounded like a giant douche. Sorry bout that. Got a little overzealous with my Vanillaware fanboydom. You should definitely give it a try at least.

Does the framerate chug when things get busy like Odinsphere did?

ChrisP.Lettuce:
Does the framerate chug when things get busy like Odinsphere did?

Nope.

I liked Odin Sphere so maybe I'd like this. But it begs the question, why wii exclusive?

research two seconds.

Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; kitsune usually refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others-as foxes in folklore often do-other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.

Let me get this straight, the main issue that this review brings up is that the game's story and situations don't make sense and that the combat is repetitive?

If you ask me, and that is a big if, you shouldn't play video games for their story line. For that kind of stuff just watch a movie or read a book, seriously, stories in those are infinitely better than any video game has ever pulled off.

And for the repetive part, it's a really subjective matter. I mean, you don't get more repetitive than Tetris and somehow millions upon millions don't find that annoying at all.

Looks like a beautifull game, but you got to know the japanese culture to understand and enjoy it better.

blablax2:
Let me get this straight, the main issue that this review brings up is that the game's story and situations don't make sense and that the combat is repetitive?

If you ask me, and that is a big if, you shouldn't play video games for their story line. For that kind of stuff just watch a movie or read a book, seriously, stories in those are infinitely better than any video game has ever pulled off.

And for the repetive part, it's a really subjective matter. I mean, you don't get more repetitive than Tetris and somehow millions upon millions don't find that annoying at all.

You haven't been here long have you?

I for one support the decision to map "jump" to up (though I use the classic controller, which might make a difference).

The difference here is that combat doesn't work in quite the same way as other brawlers. You don't mash a button to rack up hit combos, but rather hold down "attack" and start dashing. Keeping mobile and juggling enemies by using midair dashes and uppercuts is the most important tactic, especially in Shura (Hard) difficulty.

It's best to think of Muramasa as a 2D Devil May Cry. You're constantly using left-to-right jumps and juggle attacks to keep enemies off-balance, switching swords to keep them from breaking and taking advantage of quick-draw attacks. So many of the enemies in the game have ground-pounding or area-effect attacks that being stuck on the ground is one of the worst things that can happen.

 

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