Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Alastair does, as he follows up his hack with a stylised slash.
Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.
And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.
This review was submitted by Alastair Christie. If you’ve played Muramasa, or just want to ask Alastair more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a much hyped side-scrolling action RPG from Vanillaware, famed for only making 2D games.
Nippon: Like Okami's, Muramasa's world feels Japanese. The architecture, monkeys in hot springs, kappas, Hokusai's wave off Kanagawa, to little details like Jizo statues, topped by all spoken dialogue being in Japanese, is a dream for those with an interest in Japan.
I can't believe it's on Wii: Being sold on the game solely by its graphics probably makes me a graphics whore. Oh well. Stunning and highly detailed 2D with what looks like up to ten layers of fore and background depth. Just like seeing Hyrule field in 3D for the first time had me stopping and weeping with fanboy joy, so did Muramasa's world.
Old and New: The old, 2D, offers purity and critically speed of movement. The new, lite RPG elements, sword forging (108 in total), sword durability and cooking systems, do seem like padding, until you get owned in boss battles because you neglected them.
Basic: All attacks but the special are handled with A and the (hurray!) d-pad. Not having many moves was exacerbated by starting with all abilities. It left me yearning for the two playable characters to play differently, or wield ninjustu, hammers or twin daggers and not just massive swords.
Design weaknesses: It’s the least painful backtracking ever, given the beauty, but there is a lot. Blocking and attacking using the same button can be frustrating.
With New Super Mario Bros., A Boy and His Blob and now this, we've had three full retail 2D titles released in Australia in three weeks. Muramasa shows the strengths and admirably mostly covers the limitations of 2D to offer a stunning, albeit somewhat basic hack and slasher.
Reviewed by: Alastair Christie
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.