Muramasa Rebirth is a port of 2009’s Wii title Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Prepare yourself, as this hack and slash, 2D adventure has taken a step up and is a stunningly beautiful extravaganza visually on the Vita. It is shrouded in Japanese folklore and there are not one but 2 different stories to play through so you will spending a lot of time with this one.
As previously mentioned, there are 2 different story paths to take but there are 2 different difficulty settings to choose from (well 3, but that’s a whole other story that I’ll let you discover yourself) too. You can choose the story of Momohime, a princess escaping her castle after being possessed by an evil spirit belonging to the evil Jinkuro Izuna. Alternatively you can choose the tale of Kisuke, who suffers from amnesia and is trying to regain his memory as a ninja. Everyone seems out to get him, but why? Your difficulty settings are Legend and Chaos. Legend is effectively the ‘Easy’ setting. I use the term ‘easy’ very loosely. You will come across many enemies but the boss battles are anything but easy. More on them later. You’ll need to get past your everyday enemies first. I use the term everyday because you’ll be facing them a lot. Ninjas, goblins, monks and er, pheasants stand in your way. Your friends and foes themselves are a thing of beauty. They are truly original and surreal. You’ll have to fend off swarms of Wooly Eyeballs. You’ll fight against a giant foot. It’s ok though because you’ll become friends with a monkey and get stripped to your pants (in the game, don’t worry) so you can relax and heal. Muramasa is a strange world but one that you will want to inhabit regularly.
The boss battles are tough but incredibly imaginative and so, so fun. Take the giant centipede. So, so creepy but I had a blast slaying that beast! It’s a funny feeling to rack up a combo of 800 and the enemy still be standing (or writhing in this case). Not just in boss battles but the whole of Muramasa Rebirth swords are your friend. In fact they are essential to progress. In each chapter you will be designated different tasks. You can bring up your map by hitting select. At times you’ll have to come off your intended path because there will be road barriers blocking you from completing your task. You will need to choose a different destination and there you may find the specific sword you need to get through. They are colour coded so you will know if you have the right one.
Muramasa Rebirth is a strange one to review. You could go into detail about the eerie and engaging story. You could try and describe how it feels to witness undoubtedly one of the most spectacular looking games the Vita has to offer. But words don’t do it justice. It needs to be seen. It’s needs to be experienced. Muramasa Rebirth is simply magnificent and for £19.99 is an absolute steal. This is one to truly savour and appreciate. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded how lucky us handheld gamers are to have games this delightful to enjoy.
If I could sum up Muramasa Rebirth in one word? Essential.