When Marvelous AQL first announced that Muramasa: The Demon Blade (朧村正) – one of my favourite Wii games – would be coming to the PS Vita, I was worried how the action title’s speedy fights and gorgeous visuals (comprising layers upon layers of hand-drawn 2D art) would translate to the smaller screen.

Having seen this first gameplay footage from the PS Vita port that Marvelous just put up today, however, I have to say that most of the fears I previously had were allayed all at once. Although the video (which you’ll find below) is rendered in the low resolution of 360p, and thus poor indication of how the final game will look like when played on the PlayStation Vita, it does show off that the Vita port will handle the game’s intense, speedy ninja fights quite amicably. Quite amicably, indeed.

I’ll reserve final judgement for when I get to see the sprawling vistas of Western Japan in the PS Vita port. In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, backdrops are rendered in multiple different layers (several planes for rice fields, mountains, and the Sun) scroll along independently to give you a surreal sense of depth of field. The art was so fantastic that I actually enjoyed backtracking because it gave you an opportunity to run past those beautiful vistas and see them scroll in the opposite direction.

Other highlights in Oboro Muramasa (that’s its Japanese title) include eating food – you are literally presented with a traditional Japanese snack, drawn in beautiful watercolour art, that you can then take bites out of every time you hit the action button – and a tragic love story that should move fans of historical period dramas (or just really sad love stories in general).

Outside of this first trailer, Marvelous AQL also revealed that gamers in Japan who pre-order the title from a participating store would receive a bonus soundtrack CD, filled with the BGM tunes from the game and featuring CD jacket artwork by Vanillaware, the developers for Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Oboro Muramasa for the PlayStation Vita comes out in Japan March 28, 2013.

PS Vita『朧村正』公式サイト

 

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