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Muramasa The Demon Blade(which I'll abbreviate as MTDB)was one of the better RPGs for the Wii and here it is for Vita in HD.I think the Vita version of MTDB is much better than the Wii version not just because it has superior visuals but the Vita's controls felt easier for me to use and control my character compared with the Wii's control scheme.As for the review,MTDB is a side scrolling action-RPG.I found the game to be fun and very playable and beautifully presented although not quite a memorable game.You can easily hack n slash some long combo attacks and the combat has enough strategy to have some depth.---------Story---------The story for MTDB is set during the Genroku period in Japan(1688 to 1704)and a power hungry-shogun(military commander)began a conflict in an attempt to gain possession of some swords named 'Demon Blades' which can be used to summon demons.You can play through the story as 2 characters.One of the characters is a princess named 'Momohime' and she is possessed by the soul of a man and he won't free her until she assists him with his own evil ambitions.You can also play through the story as a fugitive named Kisuke who cannot remember much about his past and is being chased for crimes he can't even remember committing.The story will also involve mythical creatures,Gods,demons,Buddha.The story can lighten up the mood a bit by have situations where Kisuke will encounter Momohime when she's naked and the Gods/mythical beings have good distinctive personalities and some can be quite funny.-------------Gameplay-------------Like I've mentioned before,MTDB is a side scrolling action RPG and you can easily hack n slash some long combo attacks.The gameplay has 2 modes,I forget their names but one of them makes blocking much easier and the other move makes you time your sword swings to be able to block and you'll need to use better dodging skills.Basically one mode is if you want mindless fun,the other mode is if you want a tougher challenge.The game uses trophies for beating the game on the harder mode as an incentive for beating the game on the harder modeThe exploration in this game doesn't have as much depth as other RPGs because you'll be moving through 2D environments,however you can still enter some buildings and try alternative paths when you're traveling through places and you can find hidden goodies.Just like with other RPGs you can also listen to what NPCs have to say.An interesting feature the game has is that your weapons can break and you'll be forced to switch weapons a lot.When you switch out a weapon it will automatically get repaired and if the weapon is broken it will take longer to repair.But if you want to take a gamble you can try to use your more powerful weapons for longer to do more damage.Some enemy attacks can break your weapons instantly and you'll need to react quickly and dodge those attacks but at other times you need your weapons to block attacks that are hard to dodge.You can carry three weapons with you at once and you will constantly earn new and more powerful weapons after defeating bosses.You can fuse and customize weapons to make them more powerful too.Different weapons have different abilities to use to your advantage,for example some swords will heal your character a bit when you land successful attacks on your enemies with it.Some swords do a lot of damage to enemies but their blocking abilities are not as good because they're heavier and slower to swing.Also,sometimes excessive blocking can be a bad thing because it will cause your swords to break more quickly and it's possible for all your swords to be broken and you won't be able to block enemy attacks for a while.The gameplay allows your character to perform double air jumps(to get to higher areas and to gain a height advantage during boss battles)and you can glide(slowly fall to the ground or glide across areas)so you can avoid falling to the ground too quickly if the enemies are exploding bombs around you and so you can make certain platform jumps.Yes,the game does have platforming,quite a lot of platforming actually and most of it is basic,but there's times you'll need to use precision with you're platform jumping(using the glide feature)and against some bosses you'll need to be precise with your platform jumping/gliding and there's even a boss battles where you'll need to jump on parts of the boss's body so you can actually attack them(and it's not as easy as it sounds).Controlling the jumping with the Vita's controls are much easier than controlling the jumping with the Wii's remote.Like with all RPGs,there's leveling up and items for healing and stat boosts.It took me 10 hours to beat the stories for both characters,but you can unlock different endings for the characters by beating the final boss with a different weapon and there's lots of secret areas and hidden bosses to search for and lots of challenging trophies to earn.
--------------Graphics--------------The graphics have a lovely,hand-drawn style and they remind me somewhat of Okami.There's beautiful forest,waterfalls,countryside,villages that are lite up and surrounded by trees with the purple leaves and the environments have details such as bridges and rivers besides the village and ricefields in the countryside and the interior of some buildings have things such as Japanese screens and people sitting and eating on the floor(in the Japanese style).There's also an environment set in Hell,there's lovely sunsets,and a variety of forest vegetation,caves etc.The enemies can range from ninja,samurai,demonic entities(including some very huge demonic creatures)and wild animals.There's also mythical creatures that have an Asian mythological feel to them such as fox spirits and the types of Gods from Asian mythology.The Wii version looked quite nice but the Vita version gives it a nice amount of extra polish and sharpness to the visuals while combining it with the wonderful artstyle.
----------Sound----------The VA's are in Japanese(with English subtitles)and I'm not sure what bad Japanese VA's are supposed to sound like but I'm glad they didn't replace the Japanese VA's with English VA's like most Japanese games do because I want the authentic Japanese feel for the gameThe music in this game suits the mystical feel of the game and the feeling you're in 15th century Japan.-------------Overall-------------The game is very fun and playable and nicely presented and it's different to many other RPGs in a good way.
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