"A story of an era, told through the brandishing of swords."
Game Title: Muramasa: Rebirth (US) a.k.a Oboro Muramasa (JP)
Genre: SA-JRPG (Sidescrolling Action-Japanese Role Playing Game)
Publisher: Aksys Games
Product ID: PCSE-0024
Price: $29.99 (Digital)
PlayStation Network Page: Muramasa: Rebirth
Release Date: June 25, 2013 (R1.US/Digital/Physical)
Muramasa: Rebirth is an action-RPG that is not "easy" to deal with. It delivers the real experience on how an action-RPG should behave in such a way that it shaves all the blandness and boring moments away. It relies deeply on how you handle a given situation but apart from that there is only one objective in this game; Annihilate all who oppose. It also weighs deeply on its deep-rooted story along with its interesting character development to keep you hooked on the screen for hours.
It is a remake of Muramasa: The Demon Blade for the Nintendo Wii. Vanillaware decided to make a remake/port of their critically acclaimed JRPG for the PlayStation Vita. And it's not your typical run-of-the-mill port, it's studded with features such as but not limited to: Beautifully hand-drawn artworks, button assignment customization, reworked translation, and stunning HD graphics to match the PlayStation Vita's OLED-screen. The game is based on the folklore's of Japan during the Genroku Era.
Swords play a huge part on the entire structure of the game. Mainly because it's what you use the whole time you spend traversing and battling monsters on the field. You use a sword to defeat monsters, you use a sword to advance the story, you use a sword to unlock more swords, simple right? The world map is divided on to different provinces and each province is divided into different sections for which the current character can venture on. One nifty feature that this game has to offer is its cooking system where you can gain buffs for your character to utilize.
The battle system of Muramasa: Rebirth is pretty straightforward: Cut till your blade drops. But don't worry the blade will come back, and it works surprisingly well. While traversing the provincial map you'll come across enemies which will try to kill you (obviously!) but there's your trusty sword to the rescue. After an exclamation mark pops out on the screen a battle will initiate where you will then use one of the three swords that you carry (either a Wakizashi--the short sword--or a Nodachi--the long sword--) either type of sword varies in strength and speed; a Wakizashi induces more hits while sacrificing damage while a Nodachi inflicts more damage for the cost of speed. Each sword also features varying skills for you to execute when the icon for a selected sword turns blue or if it is full. Once you get the hang of it you can string a myriad number of combos that will earn you achievements after the battle has ended.
One major feature that this game has to offer and that I am really pleased to say is it's vivid high-definition graphical presentation. Never have I seen such high-quality graphics on a handheld device and to boot the game features a no-lag environment in which we have Vanillaware to thank for such a high-quality port. And speaking about the environment, on a setting such as a field, you can see that the backdrop interacts with the player, as an example is when you walk through an area where a bush or grass is present the grass will sway as you pass through it which I would say is a great feature to see. Each scene is very rich in detail which is awesome.
You can't go wrong with the soundtrack of this game; it's really immersive and awesome. If you'd like me to define the characteristic of the music played on this game then the only words to describe them are 'The Twilight Zone of Japan' and nothing else. One unique feature to this game is that the music changes whenever you're traveling or when you're fighting, the mood-setting feature that this game gives makes fighting more exhilarating and enjoyable as compared to other games where the music stays static throughout a given stage. All of the character dialogues are fully voiced the major downside for players whom are not a fan of Japanese dubs might be disappointed by a notch.
The game also features never before seen DLC that is exclusive to the PlayStation Vita release. Each DLC consists of four full-blown interconnected stories that will keep you glued to the screen if your craving hasn't been satisfied by the main game.
And we've got Aksys Games to thank for publishing the game in the west.
Muramasa: Rebrith is a game that's worth your money to be spent on. With it's over the top eye-candy graphics, on-the-spot translation, and awesome storyline, Muramasa: Rebirth is a game that JRPG fans should experience.