Review: Muramasa belongs in the Louvre

In addition to the obligatory praise they’ve earned for creating a fun and addictive Wii game that is also perhaps the most visually striking game on the system, the good folks at Vanillaware deserve credit for finding the right blend of action and RPG elements with Muramasa.

The developer trimmed the fat from both ends to access the leaner meat in between. Extremes like overly advanced character attributes and difficult platforming passages were sacrificed for something more polished and streamlined’call it a deep action game or shallow RPG, but Muramasa is actually much better off somewhere in the middle.

It’s a taste of both genres without gnawing the gristle of either.

It’s the prettiest doom one could ask for, and just wait until you see it in motion

Like any good RPG, successful battles earn experience points which automatically increase your character’s strength. Forging new blades requires plenty of souls, which you’ll collect in battle and exploration, as well as spirit, an attribute gained by eating food. Be sure to visit rice houses for quick meals, or prepare your own from ingredients you’ve collected’oh, and all while battling demons and devils.

Item management, side quests, weapon crafting and Muramasa’s exemplary sense of pacing ensure it never feels monotonous. There always seems to be something exciting happening’a new foe, new area or new blade’to keep the game’s core gameplay interesting.

Muramasa is deep enough to provide the experienced player a good swim without drowning those new to the hybrid action-RPG genre.