Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Demon Swords under the moon - Oboro Muramasa

Done by Vanillaware, under the artistic eye of Joji Kamitani and Yoshifumi Hashimoto, the Wii action adventure is very similar to Odin Sphere in terms of gameplay, therefore those who adored the Norse Mythology inspired RPG will love this Eastern counterpart.

One attractive aspect of the game is hacking and slashing, nothing quite compares to the simple fun of running a sword through hordes of enemies in a series of lightning moves.

Compared to Odin Sphere, the system seemed easier to master with difficulty levels that you can choose according to your abilities. The musou mode is friendlier for beginners (such as myself) and the most difficult mode that could be unlocked, or so I have heard, is torturous in a lovely, hellish sort of way, perfect for veterans.

According to wikipedia, a localized version will be going to the States and European countries, so hopefully gamers in those regions can get this title soon. For those who are impatient, come get the Japanese version now, as it is not uber difficult to learn the basics of the game.

Let's say that the action part of the game is not particularly difficult for those who can't speak a single word of Japanese.

You can start playing once you learn the basic moves such as pulling out a sword, slashing your enemies etc. But like all Japanese games, you need to know the language to fully understand the story, and with its pseudo archaic speech, this game might need a little getting used to in the beginning. Luckily, the game is more action packed than dialog intensive, so not understanding the speech won't be fatal.

As you proceed through the game, you can collect and create more swords through the smithing option. Learn the special characteristics of each sword, the lighter ones can be wielded faster to create more combos and the larger ones attack with more power. Other things you can create throughout the course of the game is food, you can cook your own by using the materials you have collected on the fields or by defeating enemies. The food such as the tofu pot looks absolutely scrumptious, by the way.

Genroku period, apparently, is a very colorful era in Japanese history, the game takes you through forests, coastal areas, towns and the red light districts. The era depicted is charming, intriguing and apparently, quite dangerous. A perfect time frame to adventure in. The game will cover your screen in layers and layers of vibrant paint throughout the playing time so you would feel like you have entered the world of Japanese paintings.

The story isn't quite as deep as Odin Sphere, but what it lacks in plot is recovered through the gameplay and much enhanced graphics. So if you have both PS2 and Nintendo Wii, nobody is going to stop you from getting both games (Odin Sphere is available as a Best Priced version as well.) And if you have a Sony PSP, there is Princess Crown, the spiritual ancestor of both of these games.

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