|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Vanilla Ware||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ignition Ent.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 8, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Offering different control styles is smart. Muramasa: The Demon Blade lets you pick between Nunchuk style, Classic, or GameCube Controller. I admit I like to play most Wii games with both the Nunchuk and the Wii Remote, and this time it's no different. The thumbstick on the Nunchuk allows for extra agility, and the big A button is perfect for performing attacks. The GameCube controller offers similar gameplay, but the Classic controller feels a bit cramped, plus the character doesn't seem to move as smoothly. Of course, it depends on your personal taste, but this is my conclusion after trying all three.
Other than that, there's only one way to play the game: the story mode. This single-player experience offers a decent amount of value, as there are two different storylines to follow and two different characters to play with. Both stories are separate from each other, and they lead you to different endings. There aren't many cutscenes to explain what's going on, but the few that there are, are engaging and very artistic. The rest of the story you'll find out by talking to characters you meet on the way; you'll end up traveling through a vast map with assorted environments, townsfolk, and new foes.
The background music is very pleasing, and its oriental style is undeniable and perfectly fit for the game. You'll also hear a few cool sound effects coming from the different beasts, but perhaps this is where I would have like to see (or rather "hear") a little more. They certainly look ugly and wicked, so pumping up the volume with scary growls and shrieks would have helped to get players even more focused on the task at hand - kicking some serious butt. This is just nitpicking though, and it's nothing to worry about.
Even though Muramasa: The Demon Blade only offers the story mode, the two difficulty levels, the two different storylines and upgradeable characters, the extra challenges, the boundless amount of swords, and the dazzling Japanese visuals make up for a great experience most players will enjoy. If you're into arcade action and don't mind some RPG'ing as you go, this game might be one to look for the next time you visit the game store. Or, if in doubt, rent it out!
CCC Site Director