Muramasa: The Demon Blade Review
Muramasa: The Demon Blade box art
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.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot

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.

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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!

By Maria Montoro
CCC Site Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.7
Graphics
The Japanese mythology-inspired visuals portrayed in this title are admirable - it's the best thing this game has to offer. Less repetition and more cutscenes would have sealed the deal.
3.6
Control
They'll remind you of Super Smash Bros., which will be a good thing for many and not so good for others. It needed a few more combo attacks and less button-mashing.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Instrumental music with a clearly oriental style is the perfect soundtrack for this game. Cool sound effects, but it needs a few more to get you to hate the beasts.
4.0

Play Value
It's a surprisingly long game, since it offers two different storylines and endings with two different characters. There are also challenges scattered throughout, as well as an incredible amount of swords to forge or collect.

3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • From the subtle movements of a character's hair and clothes to their explosive battle animations, every detail is expertly animated by hand for amazing visuals that cannot be mimicked with 3D polygons.
  • Playing as a male ninja or female kunoichi, you have a wide variety of ninja skills at your disposal as you progress through the levels in not only side-scrolling fashion, but vertical progression elements as well.
  • Gameplay transitions seamlessly from player-controlled elements to story sequences to keep the player engaged within the world.
  • Rather than the often told fables of Greek and Norse mythology, take an adventure through less commercialized, but equally rich and mysterious, Japanese mythology.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge Muramasa: The Demon Blade screenshot - click to enlarge

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