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  1. Developer: Vanillaware Publisher: Aksys Games Platform: PS Vita Release Date: June 25, 2013 ESRB: T for Teen A download code was provided by the publisher for this review The biggest appeal of Vanillaware games is obviously their art style. Exaggerated curves, muscles, and proportions run rampant in them. Muramasa isn“t a stranger to this. Of course, it“s also incredibly beautiful. Aksys decided to take this hack-and-slash, redesign it, and put it on the PlayStation Vita. This showcases Muramasa“s art at its full potential thanks to the system“s gorgeous OLED screen, but how do the other elements of this port compare? In Muramasa Rebirth, there are two main stories to play through. As Kisuke, you are an amnesiac ninja that is traveling in search of a certain katana. Momohime“s story is the focus of Muramasa, however, and it“s the one that everyone always talks about. As Momohime, you are a princess possessed by a demon. This demon, Jinkuro, will stop at nothing to find the blade that is needed to make a complete soul transfer. The full story is a bit convoluted when you first start playing, and you may be incredibly confused in the beginning, but you'll get a grasp on it eventually. For those that have played the Wii version of Muramasa, which was brought here by Ignition Entertainment, you may appreciate the completely redone script by Aksys. This localization stays much closer to what the original text conveyed. And yes, the original Japanese dub is still intact. Hack-and-slash games can definitely feel repetitive. Muramasa feels like the epitome of repetitive, however. All you“re doing throughout the whole game is going from point A to point B, where you battle enemies in-between and a big baddy at the end. Battling is not terribly complex, either. All you need to do is button-mash and occasionally switch your blades, which mends them and unleashes a special attack. The controls, at least, make all of that easy and enjoyable. Among other changes that Aksys has made, the remapping of buttons is one of them. You“re also now able to jump with the X button rather than having to push up on the control stick. And the best part… no unnecessary touchscreen or motion controls, despite being on Vita. Thank Amaterasu. Aside from battling and progressing the plot, there“s not much else to do. You can cook delicious looking foods that heal your character and craft new blades, but that doesn“t really add much. Muramasa Rebirth does add four new characters with their own playable scenarios, at least. They also all have their own unique playstyle. If you“ve grown tired of swordfighting, then this is a godsend for you. Muramasa“s art style is undeniably its saving grace. The 2D artwork is smooth, sharp, and colorful. When the characters and backgrounds form together into one scene, it is truly a remarkable sight. With such fluid animation, every battle feels like a new experience, especially with boss battles. Aksys made a wise decision to bring Muramasa Rebirth to Vita, where the OLED screen accentuates the art“s vibrancy and detail. Muramasa Rebirth may not be winning any awards in the gameplay or story departments, but it“s definitely worth a play to experience George Kamitani“s gorgeous artwork in motion. Honestly, I would recommend Muramasa for its art and animation alone. Don“t you need a new game to play on your Vita anyway? Pros: + High-quality artwork and animation + Better translation and controls over Wii version + Four new characters to play as along with Momohime and Kisuke Cons: - Gameplay can feel tedious and repetitive quickly - Story a bit too unnecessarily convoluted Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good This new and improved version of the aesthetically-pleasing Muramasa Rebirth will be sure to satisfy old and new fans alike.
  2. Leah

    Muramasa Rebirth - 3

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Aksys Games

  3. Leah

    Muramasa Rebirth - 2

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Aksys Games

  4. Leah

    Muramasa Rebirth - 1

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Aksys Games

  5. We've known for a while now that Muramasa: The Demon Blade would be getting an enhanced port on the Vita, but what about for us NA folk? Luckily, Aksys Games has just announced today that they'll be in charge of localizing and bringing it to us under the name of Muramasa Rebirth. What new features does the Vita port have over the original Wii version? Not only will it have hi-res graphics on the Vita's gorgeous screen, but also a completely new English localization from Aksys. Aksys will also be bringing the paid DLC over that allows you to play short scenarios as four different characters. Please note that Muramasa Rebirth will not be a digital-only release! Look forward to nabbing a physical copy, if that's your preference. Muramasa Rebirth currently does not have a release date. What do you think about Aksys handling Muramasa Rebirth's localization?