PS Vita Review: Muramasa Rebirth

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Muramasa: Rebirth is a new game for the PS Vita that is a remake of a 2009 Wii game called Muramasa The Demon Blade.  The game is by Vanillaware games and is published by Aksys games in North America

Monohime, the possessed princess
Monohime, the possessed princess

The game follows two separate but connected storylines.  Set in a mystical version of Feudal Japan, you play as either Monohime, a Han princess possessed by the spirit of a brutal warrior named Jinkuro, or as Kisuke, a ninja with no memory of his past.  Both will have to face waves of enemies, from ninja and samurai to monsters and demons.

Kisuke battles giant bugs.  Note: Not historically accurate
Kisuke battles giant bugs. Note: Not historically accurate

While the two characters have different goals, Monohime forced to go to Kyo to find a way to transfer Junkuro to a more suitable body, Kisuke is trying to regain his memory, they have two things in common.  Both are guided by a Ktisune, a fox spirit and both seek out the swords of Muramasa Sengo,  a famous sword maker who can forge new weapons for the player.

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One of the fox-y spirits

The graphics are beautiful on the Vita.  The OLED screen really shows off the hand-drawn sprites and colourful backgrounds in the game.  The gameplay is smooth and clear and the game uses visual tricks like a fish-eye lens to great effectiveness.

The visuals are really quite stunning.
The visuals are really quite stunning.

The gameplay is simple, yet fun.  You have a basic attack button, a jump button, a special button and a button to change swords.  The swords, which you collect from defeated bosses or have forged by Murasama, each have their own special attack, which cost spirit energy.  If the sword runs out, either by using specials or blocking, the sword can break, forcing you to switch swords.  The weapon repairs automatically when not in use.

The blue bar underneath the weapon icon indicates the amount of power left.
The blue bar underneath the weapon icon indicates the amount of power left.

When you weapon icon is flashing you are able to do a draw attach.  When you switch weapons at this time, you will do an attack which hits every enemy onscreen.  The amount of damage varies with each swords.  Your character will also increase in level as you play, unlocking new areas and new swords to make.

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Monohime unleashes a devastating Draw Attack

The game is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.  The translation is well dome, with the character’s personalities matching the tone of the game.  Some of the lines in the game are definitely tongue-in-cheek, but is fits well in the game.

The mouth on that girl!
Monohime says, “Stop eye-humping me, you sleazy degenerate! You aren’t fit to mate with a radish, let alone a human being!”

All in all, this is another great addition to the PS Vita library.  The only negative point I can think of is that you back track a lot to get to the various objectives in the game  Sometimes the path to the next chapter is not clear and you find yourself seemingly bypassing the objective marker.  The game does not use any of the touch features on the Vita as well, which is not much of a problem, but it shows that the game was a port from another system.

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I would recommend this game to fans of action RPGs, hack and slash games and fans of Japanese art direction

4/5

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Author: xcalibar25

One man on a never-ending quest against mediocrity.

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