4cr Minute

by Gregory Gay

1:

I have been absolutely obsessed with Muramasa Rebirth on PS Vita for the past couple of weeks. I missed the game on the Wii – it always looked pretty, but I assumed it was just a 2D sidescroller, and I just don’t tend to play many of those. Since it was free this month for PS Plus subscribers, I decided to give it a try.

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I’m glad that I did. I absolutely love the game. While it does take place on a 2D left-to-right plane, it plays more like an action game than a platformer. Precision jumping doesn’t matter, but mastering the combat system is essential. The combat is deep, especially on “chaos” difficulty, and incredibly satisfying (especially once you dig into the staggering array of moves that you open up by swapping out swords). The controls just feel perfect. Movements and attacks feel extremely precise. The game isn’t perfect – there are only about five different environments that they repeat over and over – but the gameplay just sucked me in.

The game looks stunning too on the Vita’s OLED screen. There was a bit of an uproar over some of artist George Kamitami’s grossly exaggerated female characters, and I can see what people would be offended by, but it’s absolutely well-executed. The 2D artwork is richly detailed and the character and monster designs are intricately detailed and absolutely unique.

I finished the initial pass through Momohime’s story, and now I’m in the middle of Kisuke’s story. I can’t wait to get home and play some more. If you have a Vita and a PS Plus subscription, make sure you download the game before Friday. It looks like Vanillaware’s newest game, Dragon’s Crown will be free next month. For those of you who have played Muramasa, how is Dragon’s Crown?

2:

Over at the A.V. Club, John Teti reviewed each and every one of the Mario Kart 8 characters. I don’t know what inspired him to do this – probably some really good booze – but the results are glorious.

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I won’t quote even a tenth of what I’d like to quote, but here are a few of my favorite out-of-context lines:
“Princess Peach is the prime candidate for a refresh. She’s a blond princess. Her favorite color is pink. Her favorite emotion is being a princess.”
“What are those pigtails made of? They look like two chains of pink racquetballs. Are they bouncy? Fibrous? Edible? I want to touch Toadette’s dangly things for myself, and I feel just as uncomfortable experiencing that urge as you did reading about it just now.”
“Baby Rosalina, seen above, looks like she’s ready to cut someone, and she frightens me.”

The whole article is worth a read. I think that the rest the people in my office thought I was dying.

3:

Bethesda has decided to allow fans to vote on an alternate cover for The Evil Within, the upcoming survival horror game from Resident Evil‘s Shinji Mikami. You can view all three covers and vote for your favorite over on Bethesda’s blog.

I kind of dig all three, but my favorite is the “Asylum” variant:

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4:

Giant Bomb has just posted an extremely interesting interview with The Room developers Fireprood. The interview is a sobering look at just how toxic the world of mobile and free-to-play development is, and how hard it is to succeed with your integrity intact.

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I highly recommend giving the article a read and trying out Fireproof’s The Room and The Room Two. They’re interesting – and pretty complex – puzzle games. If you’re more of a big-screen gamer, a PC version of The Room also just launched on Steam.

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