As a general rule, I try to start games on their normal difficulty. Everyone expects the optimal tuning for a game to be as such, and you'll find most if not all reviews are based on a game's normal setting. I do, in fact, suck at games, so you'll seldom see me hit up hard mode on anything in my game collection. While I like difficulty, I'm not all that into getting completely torn up by nearly unfair difficulty. I think I'm a pretty average gamer in that regard, so, this message is very important, as many people will want to run their usual game routine:
Go ahead and just play Muramasa on "Shura" Mode.
Trust me, this isn't about gaming machismo or who's more elite, or who's too hardcore for normal. Screw that noise. The truth here is that "Shura" (Muramasa's "hard mode") is the optimal "gamer" setting for experiencing the meat of this game.
Johnathan Holmes mentioned this in his impressions
, and the man is absolutely right.
"Unless you are actively afraid of your enemies, you wont try to work out strategies to beat them. That'll cause the game to turn into a button masher, and you'll be bored in no time."
The tuning of this game, for whatever reason, is such that "Normal" is a complete, unquestionable cakewalk, and "Hard" is difficult enough for the quality of the game's design to come through. There's a certain amount of tension that just does not play in the normal mode, where boss strategy is irrelevant and button mashing alone will easily get you through.
After starting off last night playing normal, I've switched over to Shura this evening. I've started into Kisuke's storyline past the first boss, and I've continued Momohime From the second act through the samurai boss. My experience tonight has been more fun and far more satisfying than last night. The story so far is actually very good, and the "Shura" difficulty has helped pull me in, letting me experience the challenges that the characters are expressing, rather than letting me press "a" to watch pretty pictures.
I implore you, fellow Dtoiders: Play Muramasa on Shura mode. The game cautions that Shura is "Only for the brave." I'd say if you're reading this, you're most likely the men and women they had in mind.