We do not write about the Wii real often anymore, but there are still plenty of good games out there for the system, and every now and then it is nice to take a look back at some of those we have had a chance to play recently, but not had the opportunity to review in the past. Muramasa: The Demon Blade was a title that caught me completely by surprise. I was able to look at the images on the box and determined it was a pretty game, and the concept sounded entertaining enough, but I wound up enjoying it a lot more than I originally had expected to.
Sometimes this game is referred to as an RPG, but it really does not feel like one to me. There is a sense of progression as you play though, but Muramasa is most comfortable when the action is high. This is a side scrolling action game that gives you a lot of swords to collect and some pretty memorable boss battles.
Graphics – 10:
The backgrounds are gorgeous and the characters and monsters are fluidly, beautifully animated. I recall one site saying something along the lines of ‘someone got a game in my oil painting’. This is the best-looking Wii game I have played since the console released. It is a bit older now, having been released a few years or so ago, so there have been some newer titles since that maybe surprise Muramasa – but I have yet to see them.
Sound & Music – 9:
I will admit that I prefer English voiceover in my games, but not everyone does and this game features only Japanese language. So, that is a slight knock from my standpoint. That being said, the sound effects were varied and never got on my nerves, and the music was absolutely beautiful.
Gameplay – 7:
This is something of a mixed bag for me. The combat is easy to do – you are essentially using two buttons. The combat is fun, but it is a bit repetitive – there is not a lot of depth to the combat. Collecting new swords is fun, but there is a lot of backtracking and the RPG elements are incredibly light. Easy to pick up, but not a lot of depth beyond that.
Intangibles – 7:
The audio, graphics and combat are the high points here. That is not a bad thing – they are excellent high points, but the rest of the title really drags down during non-combat portions. The world is pretty to look at, but the traveling can get a bit dull. There are two difficulties and over one hundred swords to collect, so you can get a couple dozen hours of play out of this title pretty easily.
Overall – 8.25:
The presentation values of Muramasa: The Demon Blade really ratchet up the score here. Depending on how heavily you weigh those things personally, your mileage may vary. Then what it all boils down to is the combat, which is fun – but somewhat shallow. Things such as the graphics are of course on a sliding scale here. This game is not going to hold up to the latest PS4 release, but it is still arguably the prettiest game for the Wii, both technically and from an artistic standpoint.
Review by Nick