As part of July 2014’s North American PlayStation Plus free game list, Muramasa Rebirth was made available to subscribers for free. Having only heard of the game in passing I was somewhat intrigued to try it out and see what it was about. The game presented me with the option of one of two stories and I chose to play Monohime’s story.
I was pretty much instantly tossed in, and unless I missed it, I saw no backstory as to “here is why things are happening.” It somewhat threw me off, but I decided to just go with it and take the tutorial. Muramasa Rebirth’s tutorial feels extremely lacking for how complex the game can be. As I played through this storyline I never actually fully grasped the combat system which made it quite difficult near the end. It would have been nice if there was a somewhat better tutorial available.
As for the story itself, it felt few and far between. For Monohime’s story the basic jist I got was “Go here, see if the weapon you want is there. Now go here and try and find it there!” Story scenes would only actually happen on specific screens that were either immediately before or after a boss battle. You would need to go around and talk with everyone before you could “continue.” Oftentimes, they hardly seemed to provide anything useful for information. This made it even harder for me to feel attached to these characters.
To get various weapons you need to either defeat bosses or forge them. To forge weapons you need Spirit which is gained from eating food and Souls which you either find on field screens or from defeating enemies. At first I had far more souls than I knew what to do with, but that quickly changed as I started eating food just for basic healing. Near the end I was struggling to get enough souls to try and keep up with the weapons unlocking for forging, but having more than enough Spirit available.
To equip these weapons you just made you need to meet a minimum Strength and Vitality stat. You can increase these either through leveling or by equipping specific accessories. As I proceeded further into the game, I found more and more that I wouldn’t meet the minimum requirements to equip things despite fighting every battle on my way. I didn’t really feel too much of an urge to go out of my way to grind either, so I’d often go into boss fights and struggle to get through. This was from a combination of just not enough healing, never truly grasping the combat system, and being a bit underleveled – or at least feeling underleveled.
Money also seemed very hard to come by as the battles you did dropped so little of it. Again, as I really didn’t want to have to go out of my way just to grind up more money, this resulted in my going into battles a bit unprepared. It also meant I wasn’t really able to buy better accessories when I’d run across a shop.
Fields, after a while, start to feeling just like copy-paste fields. You’ll end up basically going through what “looks” different but functions identically to other areas you’ve already been in. This contributed to the growing lack of desire to explore and just wanting to finish. A slightly larger variety in field design and function would have been nice.
Graphically the game is very Japan. This goes right down to the very exaggerated body parts on females. One late boss in Monohime’s story in particular was a bit.. out there… in terms of how over exaggerated she seemed. The choice of clothing on the particular boss didn’t help this cause either. Despite this though, the art style of the game is somewhat charming. Muramasa Rebirth is also very Japan in terms of house it sounds – including the Japanese only voice over.
In the end I’m somewhat torn on if I really did enjoy Muramasa Rebirth or not. On one hand I did, but on the other the horribly explained battle system and copy-paste fields really turned me off from exploring more. It’s really one of those games that you’d just have to play for yourself to see if it’d be right for you. I will likely return eventually to work on getting that elusive Platinum trophy, however it’ll likely not be any time in the near future.
Muramasa Rebirth Review Score
You can purchase Muramasa Rebirth off PlayStation Network for $24.99.