I’ve been playing games for around 13 years of my life now, and I can safely say that hands down, Muramasa has the best presentation and soundtrack i’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. It’s so gorgeously Japanese that you wouldn’t know you were playing a game at some points, and it’s obvious how much love and care went into the majority of this game.
So, Muramasa is a 2D Action-RPG styled game, playing similar to Castlevania or that Metroid game on the GBA, where you’ve got a 2D map and your character navigates from one end to the other. In most cases, each screen contains a group of enemies to fight, defeat and gain EXP from, and then you move on to the next screen until you reach your destination. Yeah, it sounds as thrilling as it gets, to be honest. It’s not something you can spend a long time doing before you get bored, and the lack of an improved transport system blows. I mean, you get to spend time going back through that level you just went through and the one before that just to get to where you want. But, that’s the only bad point I found about this game.
The rest of Muramasa is pretty much amazing, in all honesty. The gameplay is amazingly fun in short bursts, and it’s accompanied by a fairly decent story. It’s a tad confusing for those new to the game, but you get the hang of it really quickly. There’s hardly any flaw in the sword-fighting mechanics, and being Japanese-styled, the way of the ninja really shows. It’s great fun to play, and amazingly entertaining. The only downside is that it gets old after an hour or two, and you end up wanting to play something else, but that’s something which can’t really be helped.
The real shine of this game is when you get to fight those huge bosses. Be them some powerful youkai, gods or even a Buddha, the bosses span across the screen and never fail to impress. They’ve all got stunning design, and even the enemies have a creative design. When added onto that is the fluid animation behind all the attacks, and the way that most of the specials and combo slices pack the wow factor, it’s a really beautiful thing to watch.
If you havn’t figured out by now that the game looks amazing, it does. I’m running out of adjectives I can think of to describe this game, and that’s because the appearance IS what makes this game amazing. However, there is something else. The music. I don’t know who composed it, but I know that i’m downloading several tracks…they’re just so wonderful to listen to! Listen to tracks like this and you can feel your mind escaping and that lot…the music is equally luscious, and when combined with the graphics, it makes for one of those experiences.
See, I think that’s what Muramasa is. The gameplay, whilst good and fun in short bursts, does have it’s flaws, but you get a good 5-6 hours out of each of the characters, and then you get to spent extra time hunting all those extra bosses and gathering every demon blade. However, the graphics and the soundtrack are what sets this game above being just another fun, good and slightly flawed 2D Action game, and ensure that it’s worth a spot on your collection, making an end product that falls short of amazing.