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Muramasa: The Demon Blade Review

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A good looking Wii game? Get out...

★★★★★

What manner of magic is this – a Wii game that doesn’t involve flipping burgers, hurling hoops or shaking a monkey’s maracas? But while it’s true that Nintendo’s box of delights finally has a game for hardcore players to get their teeth into, Muramasa is a flawed experience that often amazes and enthrals, but never strays into the realms of modern classic it aspires to.

An old-school 2D adventure from the Japanese school of stylish platforming, Muramasa is a stunning-looking game that rivals anything on the PS3 or Xbox 360, its intense attention to detail, imaginative landscapes and wide variety of enemies feeling like a modern interpretation of the classic adventures unleashed by Japanese developer Treasure, such as the N64’s befuddling Mischief Makers. And with two characters to choose from that each approach the story in a different way, and oodles of jumping action and fierce combat that’s easy to get to grips with, this is one of the few Wii games that’ll appeal to anyone weaned on chunky cartridges and 16-bit consoles.

Sadly, Muramasa’s achievements are undermined by repetitious action that sees players retreading the same levels time and time again, looking for ways to access previously-locked areas once they’ve earned new skills and powers. And while the combat system likes to think it’s deep and offers a huge variety of ways to approach each skirmish, pounding a single attack button is enough to slaughter most enemies, made worse by the fact you’ll meet the same monsters again and again as you slog your way through worlds you’ve already visited.

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