Muramasa Rebirth is a HD remake from the original Wii title. Taking place in feudal Japan, players can star as Momohime, or Kisuke. Momohime is a princess whose body has been taken over by the ghost of a malevolent bandit trying to reclaim his sword. Kisuke, on the other hand, is a rookie ninja with amnesia trying to piece together the crimes he’s accused of. The central theme between these two stories is slaying demons. While there are moments of intrigue accompanied by an interesting cast of characters, the overall narrative is a bit dry.
That’s all right seeing as the action is suburb. Think of Muramasa as a Metroidvania explorer with the action of Devil May Cry. Both characters play ultimately the same with the ability to equip 3 blades at a time, each with special abilities that range from area attacks to powerful charges aimed at one enemy. Along with player health, katanas have a stamina bar and will break temporarily until they recharge, decreasing their attack power. Each encounter comes with its own challenging, but with a little grinding, the game can be cake. It may not be a pure Metroidvania clone, but it’s a hell of an action title that’s great for short bursts on the go.
What was already a gorgeous game on the Wii is made even better in HD. From the watercolor characters and environments to the animations themselves. It’s a work of art come to life. The music, on the other hand, while authentic to the time period, isn’t as memorable. And it’s a little disheartening that both campaigns retread the same areas albeit with different characters and bosses.
Muramasa Rebirth lives up to its name. It was good on the Wii, but is amazing on the PS Vita. A dull story and a repetitive structure hold it back, but as it is, it’s still pretty dang good. Fans wishing for a new Castlevania, or Metroid game will not want to miss out on MR. It may be older now, but it’s never too late to pick up a gem like this one.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on October 16, 2014 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.