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E3 09: Hands-on with Muramasa: The Demon Blade

4:50 PM on 06.02.2009 // Ashley Davis

Anthony and myself hit the show floor today, and we went -- as the kids say -- positively buck wild. We hit the sizable Nintendo booth first, forcing our hands onto every controller in the immediate area and playing whatever game they happened to be attached to.

Being reasonably big fans of Vanillaware, Anthony and I were excited to try out Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Two protagonists were available of differing sexes. Obviously, I played through the demo as the woman. 

Hit the jump for our impressions of the game, delivered in a slightly different format than what you may be used to.

Anthony: So, we just played Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Ashley: Yes we did!

Anthony: Good one. Way to push the conversation along.

Ashley: Hahah.
Well, I'm mostly captivated by how beautiful the game is in person. It's like a huge moving watercolor painting.

Anthony: Right. It's -- and I know that we both know this, and typing this makes me feel like a fucking phony like I'm Kari Byron on Mythbusters or something -- by the guys who did Odin Sphere. Vanillaware.

Ashley: And personally, I think it's even prettier than Odin Sphere!

Anthony: These conversations are supposed to be personal and back-and-forth without seeming overly artificial for the reader. Hi, reader.
It's definitely more fluid, just because of the gameplay.

Ashley: Hi!

Anthony: Odin Sphere had combat, but not as sort of fast and fluid as Muramasa. It's really just a super-pretty button masher.
Too late. We said hi to the readers hours ago.

Ashley: Fuck, my chat window was scrolled up for some reason and I thought that was the last message I got.

Anthony: You're a stupid.

Ashley: Yes, yes I am.

Anthony: Well, now I feel like a dick.
Anyway, the demo we played scrolled directly from room to room, and every other room was filled with baddies and crap. What did you think about the controls?

Ashley: The controls were much better than I imagined they'd be. The whole "press up" to jump thing always gets me, but it didn't take nearly as long to pound that fact into my head as usual. The combos are very easy to pull off, and there is no waggle to speak of. Just the Nunchuk Wiimote combo.

Anthony: I thought they were almost too fluid for their own good. Every single attack is goddamn devastating, and they're all so fast that the enemy has no chance to react.
It's insanely fluid and fun for a little while, and certainly looks great, but I literally did not take a lick of damage the entire time I played up to the boss fight.
Literally did not get hit once.

Ashley: I did.
But I'm not as good as Anthony.

Anthony: I remember Jim did an impressions post of it a long time ago and mentioned it just felt like a button masher. I dunno if it's quite that banal, because there's still a tangible reward in how fluid the fighting looks and how huge the combos you can string together are, but it definitely got a bit boring near the end of the demo because I felt I was in no danger whatsoever.

Ashley: Depending on your level of gaming prowess, the game could either be reasonably difficult or way too easy. I would wager most people would be on the "too easy" side though.

Anthony: The boss at the end of the demo basically stood around and sort of stared at you except when he decided to attack every thirty seconds.
Except he had literally six fucking health bars to deplete.

Ashley: Yes, the combat most certainly got more boring, as that boss probably took like five minutes to defeat, even when using super attacks the entire time.

Anthony: Five minutes may not sound like a lot, but Jesus. It was like chopping down a tree with a nail file.
Except not as difficult as that sentence made it sound.

Ashley: It was a lot like pressing B for five minutes.

Anthony: Your metaphor is better.

Ashley Davis,
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