An excellent 2D side-scrolling demon slaying title with only one drawback
Muramasa Rebirth is the PlayStation Vita version of Muramasa: The Demon Blades that was released back on the original Wii a few years ago. Those who played the original Muramasa game already know what to expect, however, the PlayStation Vita version features upgraded HD visuals thanks to the five inch beautiful OLED display, localized translation text and re-mapped controls to fit the handheld’s control scheme.
Muramasa Rebirth is a beautiful 2D side-scroller that introduces players with two different playable characters Momohime and Kisuke. Both of the characters have their own campaign/story-line, however; in the end they’re both seeking 108 Demon Blades along with their own purpose that they need to fulfill.
What’s nice about each of the characters is that they actually have a different set environments and bosses, so the game essentially has two whole separate campaigns in one. The game is also scheduled to receive four additional playable characters with new scenarios later down the road, so there is more to expect after you’re done with the multiple campaigns.
The game’s biggest draw is it 2D visual art-style, it’s beautiful, charming and fun to look at. It’s totally worth purchasing this game a second time just for the updated and fantastic HD visuals. The game is already excellent, but it’s even better with updated visuals and localized text. Thankfully, the voices are all still recorded in Japanese, and you won’t find any cheesy English voice acting that tend to plague most Japanese games.
"What's neat is that the player can carry three swords at a time and switch between them on the fly by pressing the triangle button. "
As you play the game and complete chapters, you will also level up from defeating enemies and bosses. When you level up you’re able to use higher level blades and your health pool and attack damage increases overall. The game also allows you to grind certain areas and boost yourself up a few levels in order to make the boss fights a tad easier.
Overall, two characters to play which offer two different story-lines, gorgeous updated visuals, localized text and Japanese voice acting gets the presentation done perfectly.
Muramasa Rebirth combat system and boss fights are the two main reasons that this game is a ton of fun. There are a ton of blades to collect/craft and each blade has different individual attacks called The Secret Art. The Secret Art is a technique that you can use for every blade. Each blade does something specific, and it’s essential that you use the right blades at the right time to get through the bosses with a decent amount of health pool and get through the game on the harder difficulty settings.
Every time a player uses The Secret Art the blade’s power-bar depletes, once depleted you cannot spam the special attack anymore until you beat more enemies with the same blade using regular attacks or switch to a different blade. What’s neat is that the player can carry three swords at a time and switch between them on the fly by pressing the triangle button. When the player switches to a new blade, he/she also unleashes a unique attack that slashes enemies across the entire screen which adds another level of satisfaction.
"While the title shines from marvelous combat system and boss fights, the game's pace of traveling from one environment to another can be a bit repetitious due to the fact that the game just has too much backtracking that can get annoying."
The combat is down-right amazing. The gameplay is so addicting that I couldn’t put it down due to fantastic combat design and exceptional boss fights that are truly challenging. As I mentioned earlier, the two campaigns contain completely different bosses, which ends up delivering more content to the players. The game’s exploration aspect is fun, there are restaurants that you can find to eat food, hidden items and secret caves that contain arena challenges with harder enemies and find all the hidden blades in the game.
However, Muramasa Rebirth is not without its fault when it comes to the pacing of the game. While the title shines from marvelous combat system and boss fights, the game’s pace of traveling from one environment to another can be a bit repetitious due to the fact that the game just has too much backtracking that can get annoying.
You will also encounter too many of the same enemies and that can get annoying. However, my biggest grip is that you have to pay for the future four-playable character DLC. That’s unfortunate due to the fact that I was hoping the PlayStation Vita version would include more than just better graphics considering the game came out on the Wii in 2009, which is 4 years ago.
Muramasa Rebirth has a brutal trophy list in such a sense that it will truly test your patience and skill. Majority of the trophies are hidden which are just regular story mode trophies that cannot be missed as you progress through the game.
"Overall, Muramasa Rebirth's gameplay and visual art-style are what makes the game fun despite the annoying backtracking and repeating enemies. "
The miscellaneous trophies are easy, one of them requires you to eat all of the possible food in the game by finding all the restaurants in the game and tasting every dish. Trophies that require defeating a boss by using Secret Art attack, taking down all the barriers that exist on the main road, defeating a boss without taking damage and more should be easy to achieve if you’re good at the game and enjoy exploration.
The most challenging trophy is in fact, completing the game in Fury Mode. Fury Mode can only be unlocked when you beat the final boss on Chaos Mode. The reason Fury Mode is super difficult is because it requires you to beat the game without getting hit once and this includes all the enemies that you come across not to mention boss fights. If you want to obtain the platinum trophy, then you must have a lot of patience and skill in order to achieve such status.
I personally think this is a good trophy list, it gives the game a ton of replay-ability and stays true to the hardcore fans of the game. There are plenty of people out there who will attempt Fury Mode and some of them will either be successful or will give up. I like how this trophy list is truly challenging and clearly a worthy platinum to have if you are a skilled player.
Overall, Muramasa Rebirth’s gameplay and visual art-style are what makes the game fun despite the annoying backtracking and repeating enemies. This is a perfect game for the PlayStation Vita and is exactly what it needed in order to boost up its library of quality games.
This game was reviewed on PlayStation Vita.
Charming 2D visuals and animations, nice soundtrack, fantastic combat gameplay, memorable and challenging boss fights, multiple difficulty levels that appeal to every type of player skill.
Too much backtracking, repeating enemies, must pay for the upcoming DLC
This is one of the best PlayStation Vita games despite the annoyances. If you own a Vita, then you must buy this game. Fantastic 2D HD visuals, amazing combat and memorable challenging boss fights.