Originally announced in January, the demo on display for Aksys Games’ Muramasa Rebirth has gotten me pretty excited for the game. Thank goodness that the release is right around the corner. Despite my enthusiasm, the game is still considered a niche title despite turning out decent sales numbers on the Wii.
The game is a side-scroller, not surprising as Vanillaware – known for Odin’s Sphere and their upcoming Dragon’s Crown - developed it. What definitely caught my attention was that, depending on what difficulty level the player chooses, the game is entirely different due to a smarter and more active AI. On easy mode, the game is much like a hack-and-slash and the player doesn’t have to worry much about defending themselves as they cut through scores of enemies on the screen. The harder difficulty forces the player to utilize the game’s block and dodge mechanics, making for more of a skill-based action game.
Featured in the Rebirth version are new high-res graphics, some new post-release DLC missions for sale, and a new translation. Each DLC mission has a new story and features a different character than that of the main game. Fans of the story will be happy to know that the English translation has been completely redone to give a richer experience throughout the dialogue segments. Japanese voice-overs are going to be the default voice-over, which is a special treat for those who understand it. There is a little something for anime fans as well; many of the voice actors who worked on the game are prominent and recognizable actors. However, dub fans will be disappointed as there will be no dub in Rebirth.
The game will feature a great deal of weapons, a total of 108 swords, each with their own unique abilities. The swords each have a durability bar that the player must keep track of. When this reaches zero, the sword “breaks” and while it is possible to keep using it, you must sheathe it and wait an extended period before it starts to deal damage again. The player can have three different swords available in the field at any given time, so keeping a new sword up shouldn’t be too hard with some simple awareness. Souls will be the currency that fuels your swords or upgrades. You can choose either to use a soul to instantly, which fills your sword’s durability, or to save it for upgrades at the end of a level.
With another skill-based side-scrolling action game on the way, I think I’m going to find myself spending a lot less time outside than I was hoping for this summer. Fans of side-scrolling action games should definitely check the game out when it releases on 6/25/2013 for the Vita.