I hate the words "instant classic"--it makes the game sound like a cup of coffee.

User Rating: 8.5 | Oboro Muramasa WII
Back a couple of weeks ago, I played a rather unknown, indie game called Uncharted 2. My buddy had been spilling praises over it's low-budget goodness, so I told him that I wanted to try it out. You see, like I've said in other reviews and blogs, I'm a very visual person, so when I started playing Uncharted 2, I felt the need to stop in the middle of battle to look at the texture on the wall to the left of me, "How'd they get the shadows to look so real!!" I exclaimed while my virtual body flew in the air along with a couple grenades.

You see, I was absolutely blown away by Uncharted 2's eight-bit goodness, but it kept me from enjoying the game. It certainly had the rest of the dudes playing 'throw rocks at the ADD kid' for the rest of that game. my eyes watered and I handed the controller with my head down like a child.

Muramasa is easily one of the most beautiful games on any system--certainly a tasteful exercise into the realm of japanese water color and animé. The grass moves, the shadows play, and the ninjas throw their arms out, swords extended, to greet your bloody soul in a war between man and mythology. Vanilla Ware's director must have been someone just like me. They created a game that was easy enough for me to focus on the swaying grass (and it friggin' sways good too!).

Nevertheless, in some way, I feel the claims that the game isn't 'deep' enough is often washed completely ashore. Certainly, when you play the game on 'easy', you have lots of leeway in terms of being hit. If you start the game on 'hard', you'll find that even the smallest of sword swings could be a difference between 'game over' and 'continue(?)'. The baddies waiting at the end of each 'level' will especially have you dodging, rolling, jumping, and parrying attacks that can very easily break any one of your swords.

At the top (or bottom, I can't recall) of my review, I say the game is easy, but if you start the game on hard, expect a game much less forgiving by it's very nature. Sad to say that the game doesn't have a mode that is 'just right'. some of the bosses required me to quit and start the game on easy again. Others forced me to go out into the world and fight as many ninjas as I could possibly find.

The biggest issue with Muramasa is that it exchanges difficulty for a balanced expirience and a balanced expirience for difficulty; however, this game is a collector's item that no one with a good eye should miss.