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Muramasa: The Demon Blade
So I've sunk a solid 4 hours into Muramasa now, and so far it's surprisingly on par with what I was expecting coming out of Run to the Sun in July. The gameplay is fast-paced and crazy, the animation is gorgeous, and the localization is awful.
The last one is what I was really worried about, especially after playing Odin Sphere and seeing what I saw in July. Odin Sphere's voice acting and dialogue were easily the highlight of a game plagued by technical problems. Muramasa seems to be the opposite. The game runs at a terrific framerate, but the dialogue is just awful. Here's a little sampling that I found particularly mind-boggling:
"I'm a bit surprised, but it seems you've grown a bit fond of Monohime... Haven't you?!? If that is true, I want to tear her Soul apart using the mystical power of the foxes."
Now, to be perfectly fair, a few things here you sort of understand through context. Monohime's body is being possessed by the soul of a dead warrior, and he's being aided by some weird fox lady. However, it's still unclear who she is or how they know each other, but I expect it's going to be revealed as the game goes on. At this point in the game, the dead warrior Jiroku just spared the life of one of Monohime's friends at her soul's behest, which is where this line obviously came from. But it's still terribly written and definitely seems like a very weird thing to say. It makes you wonder if this is a literal translation that just doesn't work in English.
In any case, the game is still quite fun to play. The story sequences are fairly short, and are separated by lengthy stints of gameplay, so the focus is at least in the right place. I will finish this entry by saying that the controls feel a bit awkward. Using "Up" to jump just doesn't make any sense, especially when a face button on the classic/gamecube controller goes entirely unused. It seems it's a victim of the Nunchuk, which has fewer buttons to make use of. They chose to use the Z button to toggle the map instead of using the 1 or 2 buttons (which go entirely unused), and thus we end up with this control scheme.
9/8/2009 - 21:00
Just played through the first two chapters of Kisuke's storyline, and Rebo was quite right: The centipede boss fight DOES rock. Totally epic.
Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...