Muramasa: The Demon Blade, released on PSV and Wii, is a mix of action and RPG games, characterized by original and unique two-dimensional graphics. Despite relatively low sales, the title received many awards and distinctions and was warmly received by the players. Its producer is the Japanese studio Vanillaware, well known to fans of niche productions thanks to GrimGrimoire and Odin Sphere from PlayStation 2.
Set in a fantastic 17th-century version of Japan, Muramasa's plot is divided into two separate but overlapping parts, each with a separate main character. The first is a young ninja warrior, Kisuke, who sacrificed his life to protect his beloved. He was saved from death by the mysterious spirit of a famous armorer. The second protagonist is Princess Momohime, possessed by the soul of the infamous warrior Izuna Jinkuro.
The gameplay resembles classic Castlevania games. Players move through multiple interconnected levels/rooms. In almost each of them, we will meet groups of opponents attacking us. In some, we will encounter a hidden treasure or a strong boss whose elimination will take the plot forward and open the way to new locations. Momohime and Kisuke can use one of more than 100 different swords, unlocked with progress. During combat, they can carry three types of blades at once, providing different effects and special attacks, useful in battles with specific types of opponents. Each weapon can be upgraded using the currency, which is the souls obtained for the defeated enemies.
The graphics design of Muramasa: The Demon Blade is probably the most important element of the title, influencing its reception by players. Hand-painted backgrounds and characters are brought to life by an interesting way of animation, using techniques known from, for example, paper puppet theater. All models consist of several separate elements, so they can perform eye-catching smooth and natural-looking movements.