Bradcat’s Japanese Game Focus… Muramasa: Rebirth

The Genroku years in Japanese history are considered to be the most significant period of the Edo era. Art and architecture reached new levels of beauty, and many of the most famous events took place, including the 47 Ronin incident. So what better era to base a game story on?

Muramasa: The Demon Blade was originally released on the Nintendo Wii back in 2009, but was revamped and ported to the Playstation Vita late last year. Players assume the role of either Kisuke, a young ninja with no memories, or Momohime, a young princess possessed by the spirit of a demon.

Combat is relatively simple as combos can be chained together with simple direction pushes and tapping square. However the tactics come into play when you’re given the ability to forge your own swords. As each sword has it’s own durability level, and the ability to only carry three swords, players must decide on the best three swords to carry based on durability, speed, and power.

One of the larger “Oni” bosses in Momohime’s chapter

The game has some beautiful 2D artwork spanning over 30 locations from Japanese history. This is a perfect example of how games don’t have to be flashy, over the top, 3D innovative control, blockbusters. The simple side-scrolling formula is enjoyable and easy for any gamer to pick up.

For those who aren’t a bit fan of the “hack ‘n’ slash” genre, don’t be put off by the play stye. There is a big emphasis on character customisation and a degree of RPG style “leveling up”. There are over 100 swords to piece together for you to find the best combo of three blades to suit your attacking style (I personally go for two “quick” swords and a long “slower” sword for those bigger bosses)

I often found myself pausing for a few moments to admire the artwork

The game was released in Japan in June 2013 and then other countries a few months later. While it fell under most people’s radars, the addition of the game to the PSN digital store saw a huge rise in it’s sales figures. So much in fact, that Muramasa Rebirth ranked as the seventh most downloaded digital Vita game on the Japanese PlayStation Network in 2013.

You can pick up Muramasa: Rebirth from PlayAsia here or view more on the PSN store here.

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