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Muramasa: The Demon Blade - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: Marvelous/XSEED
JP Release: 2009
NA Release: 2009

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It's always fun to go to a show and hear positive buzz from other press members about certain games. That's even more so when said games are on your list, and this was the case with Muramasa: The Demon Blade for the Nintendo Wii. As an action RPG, Muramasa is a fun title to play and one of the best looking 2D games out right now. In addition, its position as an RPG on the Wii puts it in a spot where it has a good chance of getting lots of attention.

"As an action RPG, Muramasa is a fun title to play and one of the best looking 2D games out right now."

The ten minute demo available on the Tokyo Game Show floor was meant to showcase the battle system instead of character interaction, as the game is still under development. Among the battle system's strengths is its speed. The main character is a ninja (either male or female depending on a choice made in the beginning of the game), and battles are usually fought against multiple enemies, sometimes numbering over thirty. All of this combat is done with the benefit of the Wii Remote, although players looking for an additional challenge may opt to use the standard controller. Also featured in the game are a large variety of swords; three of which can be selected for use in combat. If one sword breaks during combat, as often happened during heated battles, another one of the two remaining swords can be replaced in its stead.

The story centers around a hunt for the titular Demon Blade, and both main characters are hunting for this blade. Depending on which character is selected at the beginning, players will run into the other during the course of the story. As for the background of the story itself, it is rooted in Japanese mythology. Some of the monsters include tengu, oni, and other related beasts.

Combine RPG elements with an addictive battle system and this has the elements of a really promising title. It's hard to say how successful this will be in the end, and there are still lots of elements to work on; Muramasa: The Demon Blade isn't due for a release in any country until next year. Still, if the playable demo at the Tokyo Game Show this year was any indication, this will be a title to look out for.

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