Saturday, July 6, 2013
I Finally Get Muramasa Rebirth
I picked up the Muramasa Rebirth Collector's Edition last week when it released and it wasn't until some point earlier this week that I actually gave it a little play, mostly because good lord, I have so many games and Animal Crossing: New Leaf requires about an hour a day at least and I want all of the bells to have the best house as well as, you know, things around town. Like a Cafe'. Though I have been tired a lot lately and it has, of course, impacted my ability to enjoy things so when I looked at Muramasa's LiveArea screen, I told myself, "I am too tired, I'm not going to like it because of that and it's going to make me all negative about it" but I tried it anyway. And I was correct - I was simply too tired and grumpy to actually enjoy the game, given that I haven't actually played it before and knew absolutely nothing of it in the broad sense. A couple save points in, I saved, quit and switched to something else - I forget what.
Despite that, I've steadily been putting time into the game more and more, tiny clips at a time, and it began growing on me. I had hoped it would because I really wanted to like Muramasa Rebirth, even if I doubted I would love it with a fervor that someone else has. It looked like something that would scratch all the right itches from the combat to the art and to the animations, and I can say with certainty that it does not disappoint. That is definitely a relief, though it was only through my tiredness that I suspected otherwise and to be fair, when I'm tired/grumpy, I might find something like REVENGEANCE annoying, which is....well, it's saying something since you all know I love me some REVENGEANCE.
The thing that threw me off initially was the difficulty of the game, or rather the lack thereof. Granted, I was starting from the beginning and using the "easy" difficulty so I could get used to it, but I expected....something to be able to hit me or cause me some form of issue or problem. Yet every battle ended with "Flawless Victory" bonuses among others and I quickly began to wonder at that. It wasn't until later that I realized that that is, indeed, the point in making it feasible to end every battle without getting hit because the most difficult setting of the game requires that. It sounds daunting at first, and indeed likely is, but knowing that makes the combat feel better to me as a base. Of course, getting more and more used to the combat system after that point or perhaps because of it helped the transition as well. As did getting some rather sweet weapons and learning to eschew long swords even though I want to get my Kojiro on.
Played correctly, the moment the "!" goes off-screen, Momohime turns into an ineffable whirlwind of steel and destruction for approximately 5-15 seconds before everything that stood as a challenge is slain and the comforting "Shink!" of a blade being sheathed is heard. It's wonderful in so many different ways that I simply cannot find a way to properly describe. Yet, that's not the true beauty of the combat system for me. The true beauty sets in when you find yourself in a boss fight, where the goal is to be that same whirlwind of death, but with a time limit that is considerably longer, in a sense, and thus makes it all the more impressive in motion and feel. Juggling a lone samurai on a beachside in such a way that he doesn't get to do much before half his life is gone? Satisfying. Utterly, utterly satisfying. There's frankly not many other words or descriptors that I could use for it here.
Something I do find odd, however, and it's the only thing really, is that I don't care one lick about the story that is in the game itself, since that story is generally impeding my ability to cut things up which annoys me because I just want to get to the cutty parts because they are so good. That is not....how I usually operate. Perhaps it's because my first dip into the story was through a tired haze, but I read yet don't manage to retain the story as it comes up, simply looking forward to the next boss, the next sword upgrade, the next batch of swords I can technically forge. A demon dude possessed a girl and is being followed by a jerk-ass monk while the demon looks for a sword that'll let him pick a better body is what I'm getting from my basic perusal of the story and that's.....well, a story. It's a thing. Somebody tell me why I don't just decapitate the monk while he just sort of stands there and taunts me? Anyone?
I need alllllll of the swords