When Odin Sphere debuted last spring, it was lauded as one of the most beautiful games ever made, and a shining star of hope for 2D relevance in the mean world of console games. Although it may have overreached by stretching its assets across a few too many game hours, it was undeniably a painstaking labor of love. The main regret, then, was that it was such an intimate, personal project, so many years in the making, that we weren’t likely to see another to match its brilliance any time soon.
[[image:nn_081010_oboro_01.gif:If Hokusai only knew.:center:0]]
Which is why Muramasa: The Demon Blade (then known by its Japanese title, Oboro Muramasa Youtouden) was revealed to such amazement last September. Odin Sphere trailed its predecessor, Princess Crown, by a full decade, but here was evidence of “Princess Crown 3” not half a year later! Naturally, there was some skepticism that a company as small as Vanillaware could conjure an experience of the same quality in so short a time frame. And after the initial blurry Famitsu scans and shaky-cam trailer, no further details emerged, and the game slipped off the radar for over a year.
But here we are at TGS, and Vanillaware are eagerly showing off the fruits of their silent labor with gorgeous new screenshots, a playable demo with a slew of different environments, and best of all, an American publisher. Consider me back on the enthusiast bandwagon. In fact, I call shotgun.