Insaney's Picks: Underrated and Overlooked Gems
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07-24-2012, 10:24 PM
We cannot give up.
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: In your mirror
Re: Insaney's Picks: Underrated and Overlooked Gems
In defense of the Wii:
Muramasa: The Demon Blade
NA September 8 2009 | PAL November 27, 2009
ESRB: T | PEGI: 12
Muramasa: The Demon Blade
is an Action-RPG developed by
and the lesser known
, both for PS2) and published by Ignition Entertainment in the US, and Rising Star Games in Europe. This unique game is all about simplistic controls with swift blink-and-you-miss-it combat that takes a great deal of time and timing to master fully, to truly be untouchable. The game follows two separate but intertwining stories of two characters. Kisuke, a renegade ninja who has lost his memory, travels the game world from west to east. While Momohime, a possessed princess, travels from east to west. They are connected by the people they know, the people they come to know and the strange blades they both wield, along with the mysterious fighting style known as "Oboro".
is truly where it's at. It's all beautiful 2D. There's so much style in it, and you have control over the characters at nearly all times. You literally use one button to attack and defend, but combined with directional inputs and holding the button down instead of just tapping, you can do a number of things, including a dashing-slicing attack (which you can do in mid-air) or a roll forward or backward to evade or do a low attack. Defending is done by holding the button. It's a lot more simple than it sounds, and allows for quicker combos. Despite using a single button for attacking and defending, it doesn't go fully into button-mashing mode (except for easier enemies and low difficulty) you still have to parry, guard, counter and more. Not only that, but switching blades at the correct time (you can have up to three equipped, but can only wield one at a time) will unleash an attack that hits every enemy on the screen. Though powerful, quick and easy to use, most times it's best to save it for when it's appropriate. Your blades can break due to too much abuse, and having to switch to one in the middle of battle leaves you open without that little trump card. Alongside these normal attacks, each blade also has a special skill that you can unleash. These skills can be very useful, or not useful at all depending on the enemies you face. It's always wise to keep blades that have a variety of skills. As you go on defeating enemies, leveling up etc, you can forge more and more blades. There are two types; longswords (slow, long reach, heavy attacks) and katanas (fast, less reach, light attacks).
The game involves some platforming, but it's not the focus. You do need to be jumping around to find items and lingering souls (which are needed to forge new blades and also "feed" the blades, helping them repair faster. The blades need to "taste blood" before they go back into their sheath, which is why they can't be drawn out of battle). You can also cook or buy food which heals you can grants you "Spirit", that also counts towards making blades. Eating food also fills the character, and they can't eat anything else until the Fullness Bar depletes. There are, however, items that heal you without adding a Fullness bar, except they don't heal as much.
For the most part, you journey across the game world on 2D planes, kicking ass and meeting people along the way.
is simple and straightforward, for both characters. They cross paths and intertwine, but not so deeply as one might imagine. Kisuke's storyline revolves around getting his memories back, while Momohime's storyline revolves around her possessed self. There are several different endings for each character (which depends on the swords you gain during the final battles), and with each different ending come different final bosses.
- The game is downright
. Everything is hand drawn and animated (as is Vanillaware's signature) Everything. No 3D CG involved.
- It's simple and easy to learn. Though if you don't master it and just try to mash buttons, the harder difficulties can kick your butt. There's even a difficulty level where you only have 1 HP.
- It has an intriguing story, with the crossing of paths and goals of the characters intertwining and sometimes clashing.
- Although beautiful, you'll be revisiting areas and seeing reused backgrounds a lot.
- The longswords are for the most part, useless. Despite hitting harder, they are too slow to use; the same amount of damage can be made by comboing with katanas, and being more agile while doing so. The only reason to keep one on you would be to use its special skill when needed.
Underrated and Overlooked Gems
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