Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 58
  2. Negative: 1 out of 58
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  1. Play Magazine
    Other than Princess Crown and Odin Sphere (which were equally superior in their time), Muramasa defies comparison. The art and animation throughout is so refined it almost seems unfair, the gameplay is intuitive and never grows old; the RPG elements are unique and superbly presented and the score is simply mesmerizing.
  2. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a game of the highest quality. While there are a few minor complaints to be made against the game, they really are minor and easily overlooked.
  3. 92
    Action, exploration and Japanese tradition made art in your screen.
  4. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is already destined to garner a cult following, and I feel it deserves better. This title should be embraced by all Wii owners, don't let this one pass you by.
  5. 91
    Like the legendary sword the game's named after, Muramasa easily cuts through all the unnecessary fluff and gives you just what you want: tons and tons of flashy sword action.
  6. All together, if you own a Wii, you should definitely plan on picking up Muramasa: The Demon Blade. It's easily one of the best third party titles on the system, and it's certainly the best looking 2D game I've seen in quite some time.
  7. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a gaming experience that must be played regardless of your console preference.
  8. Muramasa is positioned as a compelling work and highlights a passion for Japanese culture.
  9. 90
    Muramasa may not play quite as beautifully as it looks, but you can be confident in the knowledge that whizzing around slicing ninjas with a big katana is definitely as fun as it looks.
  10. The best part about Muramasa, though, is the presentation. This Wii effort sports vivid hand-drawn animation, breathtaking locales and a memorable soundtrack. It's without question one of the better games you'll find on the Wii.
  11. 90
    My only qualm with the demon was that he never really veered us off the beaten path, for the most part we were always trying to get from point A to point B; I would've loved to take in the sights more.
  12. The best hack-n-slash side-scroller of the generation. Muramasa is a masterpiece from beginning to end.
  13. On top of the unparalleled graphics that lovingly caress players' retinas from the second they load up the game, and enveloped within a traditional Japanese soundscape, Muramasa delivers steadily enjoyable gameplay from start to finish
  14. There’s no two ways about it, Muramasa: The Demon Blade is the most rewarding game to hit the Wii this year.
  15. Nintendo Gamer
    Expect the depth of an RPG and you may be disappointed, but for latent ninjas this blisteringly quick and beautiful action title will be like manna from heaven. [JPN Import; July 2009, p.64]
  16. 89
    As much a piece of art as it is a game, and it’s that true cohesive nature that will keep players pushing further and further along. The gameplay isn’t always the deepest experience in either the action or RPG genres – two buttons, blades, and a whole lot of killing –but the game’s inherent action mechanic is fun, fast, and addicting, and there always seems to be something new around the next corner; visually, gameplay, or otherwise.
  17. The art of fun is in a safe place thanks to games like Muramasa: The Demon Blade. It's a little piece of art that nobody should miss.
  18. Games Master UK
    One for those who like their games tough, terrific to look at and ever-so-slightly traditional. [Winter 2009, p.74]
  19. 88
    Muramasa: The Demon Blade is another example of a developer that truly takes pride in what they do. The sheer visual enjoyment you can take away from this experience is endless, making this one of the best looking game this generation.
  20. Muramasa is a good game with a few small flaws.
  21. 86
    Muramasa is a fun game, but it's not for everyone. If you are bothered by minimal story, repetitive fighting, and a fairly short length, then it's not for you. For all other action RPG fans, Muramasa succeeds in delivering pure fun factor that's addicting and highly accessible with excellent aesthetics to complement it.
  22. Repetition is just about kept at bay by delicious artiness and deeply involving combat. [Dec 2009, p.80]
  23. Muramasa: The Demon Blade's a piece of art, or art by itself. It's a simple beat 'em up that's set on the early Japanese history, mainly focused on the personal story of two wanderers that're trying to earn a living smashing every enemy that's set on their way. It's one of the most interesting games for this console, lacking an in-depth story, but still a very joyful one.
  24. Even with all its flaws in terms of pace, exploration and level design, Muramasa remains a brilliant example of 2D action game. It's not just a nostalgic commemoration, but a good piece of classic gameplay brought up to date by a wonderfully crafted product.
  25. The game is an amazing visual feast with some excellent gameplay which most gamers should at least try as if they don’t them may be passing on having a chance to experience something truly great.
  26. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is the state of the art for modern 2D graphics. Although it is a bit repetitive at times, it offers quite a few interesting gameplay solutions, alongside the possibility to play two different stories depending on which character you choose.
  27. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is most certainly a unique experience with its beautifully hand drawn environments and visual perfection. If you're an action fan and you don't mind fairly repetitive gameplay, Muramasa is one of the most beautiful games you'll ever play.
  28. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a great 2D action game. Unique and amazing Japanese style makes the game a truly beauty to play. Too much backtracking and a lack of variety in the gameplay are two unforgivable missteps. Luckily there are over one hundred swords to forge and two different stories to play.
  29. Muramasa is easy to pick up and play thanks to its simple control scheme, but offers enough depth and challenge to keep the action from getting stale. Combined with its amazing visuals, this is easily one of the better action titles on the platform.
  30. But perhaps its best unrecognized feature is that it actually got a hardcore “gamer” like me to stop playing my Xbox 360 and pick up the Wii for the first time in months, possibly years, not just because it was my assignment, but because I wanted to. And I’m not sure I can give better praise than that.
  31. 82
    Muramasa: The Demon Blade is an awful nice and beautiful game. Unfortunately there's a lack of English voices, a multiplayer mode and sometimes there are long trips. But still we want more of these games!
  32. It is a beautiful game that is a victim of its own success as the story so badly eclipses the gameplay. Muramasa is an imperfect jewel. It’s a precious stone for sure, but the cut’s not quite right.
  33. For all it's got going for it, though, Muramasa's problem is that it simply overstays its welcome. This is a good 14-hour game, and the gameplay cannot support that kind of play time. I found myself wishing that the game was about half the length it is, which would've left me satisfied, rather than fully exhausted.
  34. games(TM)
    In an age where choice of avatar often means nothing more than trivial personalisation, it's great to see a game like Muramasa come along and use that choice to offer twice as much game. [Dec 2009, p.124]
  35. Muramasa symbolize the rebirth of a genre, and defends the bideimensional culture with an intriguing gameplay.
  36. If there was ever a game that deserved to be played, Muramasa is it.
  37. Nintendo Power
    You've-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it graphics certainly don't hurt. [Oct 2009, p.88]
  38. Muramasa will stand out on Wii, shining as one more ray of inspiration to other developers who have passed on Wii for good.
  39. Muramasa is a jaw dropping experience. Smooth play control and an awesome score really help compliment what is the best looking game of the year. With a great balance between easy and hard difficulties that can be switched on the fly, Muramasa is a game that deserves to be in every Wii owners system. Do not let this beautiful game pass you up.
  40. 80
    However, don't go into Muramasa expecting an impressive story. For gamers that want an experience full of beautiful scenery and engaging gameplay, Muramasa will provide just that.
  41. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is will be remembered as one of the most unique and visually stunning Wii titles of 2009.
  42. While it may have some niggles with backtracking, lame endings and button-mashing combat that hold it back, overall the game is as engrossing as they come and certainly one worth investing a chunk of time into.
  43. Even in the face of some structural missteps, Muramasa is a visually stunning game that is entertaining in the heat of battle – though that heat eventually cools down due to short and shallow encounters. Without better pacing and a lot more depth, Muramasa isn’t fit to run with the top-tier action titles.
  44. It's a surprisingly long game, since it offers two different storylines and endings with two different characters. There are also challenges scattered throughout, as well as an incredible amount of swords to forge or collect.
  45. Ultimately, the game has a lot to offer actual gamers. While it sometimes feels like more of a quality WiiWare/PSN/Live Arcade game, I encourage you to pick it up.
  46. While it may not be the sharpest blade from the forge, Muramasa: The Demon Blade is still a finely crafted work of art.
  47. Pelit (Finland)
    A simple hack slash RPG with a lot of repetition. Still - the action is fairly addictive and the beautiful 2D art creates a charming atmosphere. [Dec 2009]
  48. This 2D hack-and-slash adventure lacks depth, but the striking backgrounds make it easy to get sucked into its world.
  49. Sure it has its problems, but it is a drop-dead gorgeous game and sometimes you're not looking for a rocket scientist; you're just looking for a good time.
  50. Overall, it's a very solid title. Flawed, certainly, but a lot of fun to play if you don't mind a little repetitive combat and a story that feels a bit slow.
  51. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a masterpiece manqué: Vanillaware focused too much on the technical side forgetting a little about the core gameplay, and the result is a game that's visually astonishing yet flawed. Some will love it the same, but many will regret its wasted potential.
  52. The Demon Blade pulls everyone to the television screen with it’s fantastic art direction. It also plays like a dream, but after a while you might get bored, because this game is simple. There’s not only little challenge, but also little variation in what you do. It’s a shame, because visually this must be one of the highlights of the this generation on any console. Still, you would do well to try this one out.
  53. Oboromuramasa is shallow, rather simple and relatively short-lived, but nonetheless wonderful in its way. As a piece of visual videogame art it's at the very peak of the medium's achievements, along with Okami and Odin Sphere, and it's crafted with such obvious, loving care and attention to detail that it's impossible not to like. If only its combat were as precise and considered as the faultless presentation, this might be an enduring love rather than a fleeting but indisputably beautiful affair. [JPN Import]
  54. 70
    Muramasa is frustrating because it's a game that should be great, but its compounded faults result in it merely being good. If you can overlook the repetitive combat and boring backtracking, then you'll get a kick out of slicing up ninjas and monsters for a few hours -- and you'll certainly like ogling one of the best looking titles on the Wii.
  55. An arcade-style game, Muramasa is fun in short bursts, but without much depth anywhere—meaning players should only come to the table when they’re especially hungry for it.
  56. Edge Magazine
    Is Muramasa a luscious concept art gallery rudely interrupted by swordplay, or just a ponderous Ninja Gaiden clone. Whatever the case, it doesn't wholly succeed. [July 2009, p.99]
  57. Dazzlingly gorgeous 2D graphics cannot hide Vanillaware's merely competent beat 'em-up gameplay.
  58. In every way save the graphics, I found Muramasa: The Demon Blade to be a failure.

Awards & Rankings

#14 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2009
#36 Most Shared Wii Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 124 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 124
  2. Negative: 11 out of 124
  1. RomanP
    Oct 30, 2009
    Best 2D hack and slash game in a decade. Beautiful graphics. This is the best game on the Wii.
  2. Feb 12, 2011
    Muramasa: The Demon Blade is an excellent wii game that will captivate. The graphics of course are the best part, with everything beingMuramasa: The Demon Blade is an excellent wii game that will captivate. The graphics of course are the best part, with everything being beautiful hand drawn pictures for sprites and backgrounds. The combat is quick and beautiful, and you've an abundance of blades to use throughout the game, each with different abilites. The music is extremely beautiful, and fit perfectly with the mood of the game (You'll be humming them every now and then). The voice acting is of course excellent. The storyline is enjoyable and the cutscenes are embracing. Full Review »
  3. BobbyJ
    Jan 5, 2010
    Maybe it's because I'm from a generation of low graphics but, depth is more important and this game is definitely lacking in it. If Maybe it's because I'm from a generation of low graphics but, depth is more important and this game is definitely lacking in it. If it wasn't for software return policies I would be taking this back pronto. Full Review »