Artificial Continuum

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Seeing when a developer is completely out of ideas is easy. Sometimes the game just happens to like exactly like another game. Sometimes multiple games with a slight variation of title are released consecutively. The most obvious sign that shows a complete lack of originality, though, tends to be basing the story completely around characters from (usually Norse) mythology. Fortunately for us gamers, Vanillaware manages to create games based on mythology that are actually original.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade, created by the aforementioned Vanillaware, takes place during the Genroku era (thanks, Wikipedia!) and follows the story of the protagonists Kisuke and Momohime.

Warning: If you are one of those mindless pricks who hates any Japanese, show, comic, video game, or just modern Japanese art style in general, then screw you. Wait. I mean you probably won't like this game and should go continue playing Halo, drinking beer, and having sex with beautiful women, you contemptible jackass.

Yes, this game is very Japanese, but probably not the Japanese you are used to. The story contains much talk of Japanese legend, and will probably confuse you.

The story is split up into two distinct story lines, that can be played in either order. One story is about a rogue ninja named Kisuke who has lost his memory. Yes, yes, I know it sounds horrible, but it's really not. This is probably the better of the two, because Kisuke is more easily related to. The other story is about a princess named Momohime, who becomes possessed with the soul of an evil samurai. Both are very interesting story, and give the player even more motivation to play a fun game.

The gameplay of Muramasa, is a mix of RPG and and sidescrolling fighter. The player equips three katanas, of two differing styles. One is shorter and does less damage but is faster. The other is longer, slower, and more powerful. As the player attacks, blocks, and uses each blade's unique special attack, the sword is damaged. Once it breaks, the player cannot block and attacks with a very reduced damage. This makes the combat much more interesting than that of an average fighter, because firstly, swords should be carefully chosen based on their special attack, and secondly, the player must switch swords every once in a while. Overall, the combat is very enjoyable, and never grows stale, even after fighting the same enemy many times.

With multiple endings, secret boss battles, and fun gameplay, Muramasa is very replayable, and should satisfy both RPG fans and action fans.

Now, to talk about the some of the most amazing graphics I have ever seen in a game. Just look at it.

The game is simply a moving painting. I was repeatedly blown away by the incredibly detailed environments and enemies present within the game. Furthermore, the beautiful graphics are enhanced by a wonderful soundtrack. Look at more of it!

Muramasa: the Demon Blade has a very original story, great gameplay, freaking amazing visuals and audio, and you should go buy it.

And also, because it is a Japanese game, it has a hot spring scenes.

Everything Japanese has them, I don't know why.