Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Muramasa: The Demon Blade

6:00 PM on 09.23.2009 // Conrad Zimmerman

We waited very impatiently for Muramasa: The Demon Blade to come out on Wii this month. The slashing action game has been enchanting us with trailers for months. And here it is. The die has been cast, our fate determined, and there was nothing that would have been able to prevent it.

Now that the game is on store shelves, should you be taking it home with you and giving it a loving home? Possibly. Why not let this review help inform your decision? It's the very best one we've written about Muramasa yet!

Click below to read more.


Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)
Developer: Vanillaware Ltd.
Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Release Date: September 8, 2009 
MSRP: $49.99 

Muramasa is an absolutely beautiful game. The backgrounds are lush and detailed, giving the impression that you're running through a picture book. Likewise, the character designs are gorgeous and all the characters have beautifully fluid animation to them. I often found myself just stopped cold, staring at how gorgeous it all looks. If you are a fan of sprites in your games, this one has them and they look fantastic.

As a story, Muramasa is passable, at best. The characters are interesting and the plot is not without its charming moments but it has some problems, largely tied to the presentation. Bits of plot are fed to you around the game's boss fights, with sections of dialogue between characters before and after major battles. This means fighting hordes of enemies to get to a place, a big and exciting warning about how there's a big bad guy coming and how you should be ready, then the flow is completely destroyed by the slowly progressing story content. Annoying.


Still, the tale is compelling. The two playable characters, Kisuke and Momohime, both become home to the spirits of those who have mastered a secret swordfighting technique, called Oboro Style. Kisuke is a wanted criminal who has no memory of his past or why he's being chased. Momohime, on the other hand, is a sweet girl forcibly possessed by a soul which desires to tear down the very walls of heaven. They are great characters, particularly Momohime, and the story is rich enough to keep interest maintained even if it is a bit poorly paced.

Each character has their own story that takes them from one end of Japan to the other. The stories take about eight hours to finish each. Afterwards, there are opportunities to fight in the game's many bonus dungeons, some of which must be completed in order to see each of the three endings available to either character. Plus, completing the story of a character allows them to access the boss levels from the other character's game, essentially allowing all content to be playable for each character.

The gameplay is decidedly simplistic. This is a very basic sort of hack-and-slash game which is made compelling not by the depth of its mechanics but the frenetic pace at which it operates. As you run through the provinces of Japan, you'll have random encounters with ninja, monks, and oni among others. While certain enemies may have slightly differing strategies which are more effective, very little grace is required to kill anything and a player could easily traverse the first half of the game on button mashing alone.


So, instead of being heavily skill-based, fights become acts of attrition. Combat will more often hinge on how many enemies you're facing at once over how skilled you are at defeating them. Rather than forcing you to adopt new skills, the foes just get stronger and arrive in greater numbers to increase the challenge. This means combat can be fairly repetitive, but the speed at which it moves and the variety of weapons to select from keeps it feeling fresh.

As you block and deflect attacks, your sword loses its power and will eventually break. Swords can be repaired by sheathing them again and having a little patience, and you have three swords equipped at all times. Swords are differentiated by size, with normal blades supplying quick attacks and long blades acting more slowly but delivering more damage. In addition, every sword has a special attack which can be activatedby using some of its juice. New swords are acquired by defeating boss enemies or by spending points earned through combat.

Apart from some really useful special attacks, most swords are completely interchangeable and you'll probably spend a lot of the game just using whatever deals the most damage. As time passes, however, some swords do show greater value from secondary traits than their raw attack power. In addition to their special attacks, most swords also confer some sort of bonus to the player in the form of stat boosts or bonuses to gaining experience points and health regeneration.

It does get a little repetitive at times, as the game is basically a lot of running and sword swinging. Enemies seem to scale their damage and hit resistance to your character's level, so it also rarely feels like you're making any real progress. Still, fun wins out over tedium by a long mile as the action rarely gives you time to feel bored.


The controls are tight and responsive, the way they should be in any action game. Three control schemes are available, allowing the player to use a Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination, a Classic controller or a Gamecube controller to play. I recommend using the Gamecube or Classic controller if possible, simply due to button layout, but the Nunchuk controls work just as well and it'll merely be a matter of player preference.

Muramasa features multiple difficulty modes. Mudo, the most basic level of challenge, automatically blocks attacks when you are not in the act of attacking yourself. This is basically for people who have never played a brawler before, and will bore more experienced veterans. Suro, where most people will likely find the most enjoyment, requires you to hold the attack button down when you wish to adopt a defensive stance but there's otherwise no difference. A third mode for the truly brave unlocks after finishing the game in which you have only one hit point before death's sweet embrace.

Overall, it's a very solid title. Flawed, certainly, but a lot of fun to play if you don't mind a little repetitive combat and a story that feels a bit slow.

Score: 7.0 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)

Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
 Follow Blog + disclosure ConradZimmerman Tips
An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

KingSigy avatarKingSigy
I think Microsoft takes the cake for worst console updates. The XBone UI is worse and the fucking controller had an update. What the hell has gaming become?
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Well, that's a wrap for the Bloodborne DLC. I liked it. More thoughts and maybe spoilers in the comment section.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
a rainy afternoon, and too sleepy for games. Time to go to the animal shelter and try not to fall asleep, surrounded by kittens.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Following from yesterday's Community Question, how would you feel if reviewers began assigning two scores to a game? One specifically for the technical aspects/performance of the game, and the other for their own personal enjoyment?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I went back to Persona 4 Golden this weekend, asked Chie to be my girlfriend but then accidentally maxed out my social link with Yumi, changed my relationship status to "It's Complicated" on Personabook. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Why am I hyped? Just cause :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
You know what Fallout 4 mod I want to see? One to fix the interior lightning. It's like the silliest thing to get fixated over, but I can't seem to ignore how white and bright some of those inside lights are.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Just wrote my first C-blog. It's me talking about the games I have played this month; I'm quite excited
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I wish the Squid Girl outfit was still a dress for boys. I want to live through my Inkling boy and be a cute girly-man, dammit. [img][/img]
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Goshdarnit...just stood in front of the camera to record an intro for the advent calender thingy and actually got stage fright >.>
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well, it seemed like for two seconds people were finally going to give Star Fox a fair shake, but nope! GameXplain's YouTube audience seem pretty insistent that it's just a Star Fox 64 clone down to the graphics. Sometimes I just don't understand peopl
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -